for Geoff Bell
Heaving breath slows
on Paton’s Hill
in full view of the climb’s reward.
The Great Divide is a dragon’s tail
curled beside the Breadalbane Plain.
The beast’s breath turns distant glinting blades.
Dogs rustle dry grass
a fly hums at ear level
engines thrum remotely
from the highway.
until a plane swoops low
with dipped wing salute.
The pilot chose flight post-cancer.
friends found another foil-wrapped egg
in their garden
long after his inaugural Easter airdrop.
A Puckish sense of play makes each day count.
Cattle are hospitable creatures
with one or two endearing features.
They act as host with bovine grace
to brazen birds which bag a place
at intervals along their spine
from head to tail in a single line.
While cows munch grass and chew their cud
birds dice lice that suck their blood.
A cow’s philosophy includes the clause:
You itch my back and I’ll hitch yours.