…The drink has stirred up my emotions and memories
of the trip flick through my mind in no particular
order but return, time and again, to Cardwell…
Its waterfall and rock-pool.
The water, black as death.
The surrounding rock formation – a she-bear and her cub.
The Goanna lured by our breakfast eggs left out
on a tree stump, impatiently bounding up the trunk
of a pine on our return, its hoarse bark summoning
a solitary rain cloud to facilitate its escape.
Jed and I dashing to the cab of the van to finish our
The trip out to Hinchinbrooke Isle with
its section of rain forest, and then the rain…
eternally beating out time on the roof of our caravan.
‘What’s the difference between forest
and rain forest?’ Jed asked our guide.
I am still unable to explain scientifically
but we knew when we had found it:
the trees were like spirits, immense and ancestral,
their gloomy, white limbs basking in a deep, cool,
stillness which seemed to be of their own making.
I recited a little ‘prayer’ because it felt right.
Part of a poem.
Repeating it in my head three times until it sang:
‘Let’s play frogs instead,
splay spinney pools and legs.
Circumvent: big bulbous gullets… belching rain.’
– Extract from, The Living One…By Stuart France