By Anthony Wood
The chortle rose in unison as the spreading stain of pink encroached darkening grey clouds. Sharp light peered through a plume of smoke that disappeared high into the tower of eucalypt trees. Brilliant rays stretched across the sky to tickle out from the canopy a chatter and then a giggle. As the sun inched slowly to the horizon it delivered its punchline with a final burst. The audience appreciation was spontaneous. Cackles pierced the cool evening air. They applauded the hilarity of the moment which drove them to new heights. A rising crescendo of belly laughs joined and relished in splendid release. Mirth resounded through the trees. Whoops from the spirits of madmen who made their wild escape from this world. With drifting chuckles, the kookaburra’s rapture subsided, to be replaced with a distant open throated bellow. Screams echoed around the hillside. They could not be dulled by a sodden hemp canvas drawn over the frame of a few small saplings. Soul tearing howls bore testament to the pain of presenting a new life to the world.
The blanket of evening draped over the land, with no relief from either stars or moon. Receiving her parcel, she unwrapped the paper of sadness and celebrated the torture that would soon give way to the gift of great relief. The memory of misery would fade as the days and then the weeks passed. Replaced with a life of her creation. Nurtured and tended. Companionship, sadness, happiness. Pray for the mother, pray for the child. Pray for their safety.
A tender midwife conducted proceedings. Mopped beads of sweat and soothed with a gentle voice while a new spirit tore its way blindly into a new cold world.
The rain collapsed from the pitch black sky. The sound went unheard at the torment’s apex. The roars of grief, of anguish. A wah wah wail of a new voice. Pure lungs. New breath. Cleansing, the torrent washed away the agony. Tears joined rain. A river.
Anthony has a Masters of Arts (Writing) from Swinburne University and lives near Lake Macquarie, Newcastle with his wife and four children.
He blogs at
If the RSS feed does not work in Google Chrome download an RSS Feed extension from the: Chrome Store
Books published by Hunter Writers Centre. Available from our online shop