in the river at Mannum
It’s clearer, brighter, sharper
looking down beneath the water –
even the clouds are less misty
the reeds lining the edge
the paddle steamer with its wheel churning
the underside not seen from above –
all etched in my mind’s studio
like looking back on memories.
We’re told they’re not reliable
but who’s to say what’s here and now
is more real than what is stored
for chronos* time does disappear and fade.
But there’s another time – a kairos* ‒
a season or moment that holds its place
ever sharper at a distance; for what I know
is real from miles and years away ‒ the feel
of warm sun and shivers of breeze
whipping up gusts and hurling tumbleweed
against the fence, or walking on the creek bed
dried out in hexagonal tiles, crushing them;
even now, decades later, I hear
the sharp crackles in my ears blotting out
the sounds of the distant schoolyard
more truly than by time.
∗ The ancient Greeks had two words for time. Chronos time was linear or chronological time, whereas Kairos time was qualitative, an indeterminate moment that was right for something to happen.
Ros Schulz spent her childhood in the Barossa Valley and Murray Mallee before settling in Adelaide. Along with raising a family of four, she was a high school teacher for 12 years in country South Australia and Adelaide, and for a further year in London; she spent another 15 years as a TAFE lecturer in Communication Studies. She has published a book of poetry, “Weight of Evidence”, and two chapbooks, “It Wasn’t Me” and “Living on Promise”. With both poetry and prose pieces also in South Australian and interstate publications, she is a long-term member of Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets and is currently co-editing its next anthology.
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