Child’s Play

© Robyn Sykes

Winner, 2015 ‘Wild and Wonderful Australia’ theme, Copper Croc Awards, Theodore, Queensland.

A deity in nappies skipped excited with ‘the happies’,
tipped her life-encoded Lego with relief;
chose purples, pinks and lightest blues, rich splashes of the brightest
hues, to fashion polyp cities as a reef.

Grabbed blocks for nearby nation, clumped expanse of brown creation,
dumped a shattering of Sao crumbs for sand.
Formed play-dough folks to settle there with fire-sticks but no metal
ware, entrusted them with sacred care of land.

With shakes of Mum’s paprika jar, bub-linguist cried “Eureka,
Ja”; tossed languages as spices all about.
Some tissues, glued, made paper-barks, while stencil trimmed to taper
marks evolved to the echidna’s snuffle-snout.

Then glitter turned the wattle gold, she scattered the whole bottle,
moulded silver foil to sparkle as the seas.
From buttered piece of fairy bread came western blooms like lairy
red-brushed rainbows. Then she hummed to bring the bees.

A solid bead of rusty brown, dropped centre stage, made dusty
crown of desert dreams. She chuckled ‘Uluru’;
draped sequinned cloak for quartzite spoil on Christmas-paper bauxite
soil; cast clay for taipan, quoll and jabiru.

Dad loved her bold creative hand. “We’ll keep this as a native
land for those who love a larrikin’s mad flair.”
Parental pride in cheeky art gave – some would say – a streaky
start that, fresh and free, advanced Australia Fair.

The landscape may have weathered but her spirit can’t be tethered,
shut in, shows up in a dogged freedom-push;
the joy when leaving city strife for country’s earthy, gritty
life; the bling and sting that brand the Aussie bush.

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