To celebrate the long awaited return of my travel journal from its extended sojourn at the Grand Chancellor near Auckland Airport, here are some night-themed snippets from its pages. These words take me back to the sultry heat of my twelve nights in Northern Queensland.
The cicadas rise and fall like breath, like tide,
like a pounding pulse filling my ears with organic white noise.
Dusk falls like mist to the rainforest floor
Night rises up to the canopy like a dark sea dense with life.
We are floating on a warm night sea
an undulating mercury and cobalt membrane.
Overhead, bats flap purposefully, silently
from sleep towards a dark night full of fruit.
Quickly the strange sounds of the rainforest at night
become familiar and I hear the chuckchuckchuck of the gecko,
the cluck and gobble of the Bush Turkey,
the soft hoot of owls,
the rustle of wallabies
as if eavesdropping on the gossip of new neighbours.
The frogs have finally fallen silent after their great night chorus
and the birds take up the aural space.
Cicadas continue unabated
as does the rain in plops, drips, drizzles and distant rushing along a stream bed.
Trees tower in a green cloud
dense, complex, ancient and alive.