Taemas at first

Willy willies across the red ridge, drought and heat swirling with dust and dry leaves. We were living in a caravan at the time. I don’t remember, but it must have been hot; it was summer after all.

thirst heat
on the canvas water bag
native bees

A canvas water bag was the only way we could cool our water when we first went to Taemas. The evaporation from the damp bag would cool the water. Of course, being a drought, there wasn’t other water for miles so insects would come to the bag: wasps, hornets and bees. The bees in that country at the time were the small native ones, stingless, but I didn’t know that. When I first saw them I ran away as if they were chasing me and came a cropper on the guy rope of the awning. So Dad took me back to the water bag and educated me in the ways of insects and the ones that bite.

teetering
on an ant hill
the lithe child

Dad and the boys were building the shed in which we were to live. I remember they backed the caravan into it, as a kitchen and my parent’s bedroom. It must have been hard for Mum, such chaos with seven mouths to feed.

red laminex table
five pairs of legs
swing

I went for a walk in that first week and after a while I heard voices calling my name. They didn’t know I was not lost. We were living on one hundred and forty square miles of land with only a one small paddock fenced. That’s a lot of land to lose a child in. But I came running up the hill when I heard them, and then Dad taught me ways to not become lost.

a child
flat backed on a warm rock
the high circles of eagles

. . . .

Note: thirst heat was written in answer to:

early morning gentle rain,
two big bumblebees
humming at their work

 © Jack Kerouac

for Carpe Deim Haiku Kai

11 thoughts on “Taemas at first

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