Lake Ratzcastle

Page Top Picture

"Lake Ratzcastle" - photo: Warren Mars

I originally wrote this as a big of a dig at pretentious and meaningless modern poetry while Anna and I were lying in our tent at Lake Ratzcastle on our way back home after a trip to Adelaide and the Mallee. I posted it from my head direct to Facebook along with a photo from my mobile phone.

Back in Portland 10 days later I saw a pattern in it, added more lines, changed the order and made it make sense. I also brought in more elements to give a better picture of this quintessential Australian scene.

Why are we here, relaxed and purposeless
and camping alone on the shores of Lake Ratzcastle?

Our Falcon XT stands mute in the twilight
and the question dissipates in the deepening gloom.

Steadily, and with appropriate respect, we pitch the tent
and witness the interplay of wind and reflections on the lake.

Until the raucous chorus of corellas shatters the quiet
and a tortoise pokes out its head and shuffles into the safety of the water.

As if on cue, a static discharge from heaven to earth
and the raindrops begin to fall.

Awestruck but cosy beneath the rolling thunder, we drink the cabernet merlot
and eat the chocolate Afghans we bought at Nhill.

Meanwhile the lakeside eucalypts sing their fathomless song
and continue their battle with the parasitic ballarts.

Are these ancient redgums the sole arbiters of our existence?
Here, stalwart and unreconstructed, on the shores of Lake Ratzcastle in the Wimmera.

Warren Mars - December 2012