Day 356

March 21, 2021.


I’d hoped it was all over, after passing the first anniversary of running away to the river, March 21, 2020. After being free for community infections here for 2 months –

It’s back Not the python, which is harmless to us – in fact, a neighbour likes it to sleep under his bed to keep away the bush rats. The virus.


Not the python, harmless to humans, at least large ones. A neighbour says he likes it to sleep under his bed, to keep away the bush rats. No, the virus.

After a hospital doctor in Brisbane caught covid, the highly infectious UK mutation,  from a patient, a recently returned Australian, somehow that doctor passed it on to his gardener, who passed it on to 4 others. There’s now a Brisbane lockdown but not before 20,000 people from Queensland have arrived in NSW- how many are infected? A mother and daughter went to Byron Bay, and now 1321 who signed in to a hotel have been told to self-isolate for 14 days, and 166 who signed in to a restaurant.

I’m in Sydney, at NIDA till Good Friday, listening to the readings of first drafts of plays, poems,and novels written by our students in the first semester.

Last Sunday, remembering how distressing Easter was last year,  I went for the first time to the Uniting Church in Pitt Street, Sydney. It was the first time people in NSW were allowed to sing without masks. I wish I could’ve joined in, but I was floundering, for none of the hymns were familiar. It may be the last public singing for a while. At least, being Palm Sunday, one of my favourite poems from adolescence was read; I identified with the donkey.


The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
   And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
   Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
   And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
   On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
   Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
   I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
   One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
   And palms before my feet.


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