A recent interview by ABC reporter Peter Gunders is available for download from the local ABC website at
Dougie and Doreen are in trouble again Forbidden Fruit
Check out more of Susan’s Flash Fiction on the FLASH FICTION Page
A Frogmouth looked at me
We have a delightful variety of birds in our backyard and I am grateful for the pleasure I experience each day, watching them, hearing them and sometimes grabbing my camera and photographing them. I love to watch them lining up for a turn in the birdbath. The grey-crowned babblers give me hours of pleasure as I watch them steal my mulch to build huge mansions in the top of the ironbark, and rainbow lorikeets amuse me with their antics, hanging upside down in the bottlebrush.
But my greatest delight is seeing tawny frogmouths pretending to be dead branches in the trees beside the shed. Often there is one resting there during the day, and occasionally there are two of them. They sit so still and maintain their ‘I’m a branch’ pose even as the grandchildren discover their presence and spend ages looking at them.
But recently as I photographed one so the children could take the photo for Show and Tell at school, it turned its head and looked at me. For several minutes we observed each other. I was totally amazed to have this experience. Then the bird returned to its usual dead-branch pose and remained there for the remainder of the day. It must have decided it was quite safe to stay there in my tree.
Thank you God for these beautiful creatures.
A poem written after a visit the the site of the Glenrae State School, now a ploughed paddock
The school’s no longer standing
they came and pulled it down
children board the ancient bus
attend the school in town.
District schools now disappearing
that concept out of date –
one teacher in a classroom
year one right through to eight.
The purple jacaranda
gumtree by the gate
and lacy pepperina
suffered that cruel fate.
Knocked down for a corn field,
erasing every sign
of children in the school yard
and dreams they left behind.
But I can still remember
sounds of children’s laughter
carvings on a wooden desk
light dangled from a rafter.
the age-old game of rounders
playing with our mates
chalk upon the blackboard
and pot hooks on our slates.
I stand here by the old gate
and contemplate the corn
The crop is only transient
by autumn will be gone.
but nothing really changes
and I’m sure the farmer knows
no matter how he ploughs it
what sort of crop he grows
that land is stained forever
by little children’s tears.
Ghosts of bygone school days
echo through the years.
The memories will linger
in the minds of you and me
the good times and the bad times
and the bell that set us free.
A poem inspired by a recent visit to Goomburra National Park, captured with my camera
Goomburra dawning awakens my senses,
Nature’s wild spirits take hold of my soul.
Gum trees – tall ladies, models slender and sleek
Spring Carnival fashion so proudly display.
Gum nuts and blossom, branches of grey
in the coolness of dawn seductively sway.
Mists of the morning shroud a crystal-clear creek.
Unseen, a bellbird bids the forest ‘Awake,’
A whipbird arrives with unmistakable crack
joined by the bowerbird and superb fairy wren
to accompany the magpie and currawong’s song:
deep in the leaf litter –he won’t be outdone –
Fleay’s barred frog ock-ocks to the sun.
Goomburra morning weaves its spell;
creates a mind-space I’ll carry away
past gold-laden wattle, green orchids rare,
giant spear lilies, grass trees and oak
over rocky creek crossing, on winding dirt track
back to the city, back to where I belong.
A place to revisit again and again
to recapture this moment of beauty serene.
My heart will rejoice and my spirit find peace
in memories of Goomburra, its daybreak in spring.
Susan Skowronski © 10/9/2013