Diving ten meters underwater at Norman Reef offshore Cairns,
I click fingers at one of the purple coral polyps which,
retracts all its tentacles in alarm,
while swinging in the current.
Its reaction reminds me of a beautiful voice once explained to me how the octopus has great vision but also eyes of immense passion.
On the top deck of OceanQuest,
watch friends snorkelling towards the turquoise water
where there is a stretch of shallow reef,
I am feeling proud of having fulfilled my teenage goal as a top middle school geography student.
Here it is A Fragile Australia.
Having found the way out from “Lismore” back to the M1 at dawn,
after a sleepless night in my truck, on the country road I gently tap the brakes,
swerve wildly into opposite lane, and fail to negotiate a sharp corner.
To avoid fatigue, I choose to stop over at a motel no matter how pricey.
On my return trip to Brisbane, after Coffs Harbour, I successfully merged right many times.
However on this occasion I nearly fail to do so owing to being overly courteous
and the slow lane being finished soon over the crest, there appear two B-doubles on my right.
My driver instructor Carl told me one year earlier
“Always expect the worst before driving down a crest. Here, on the M1,
it is A Pragmatic Australia.
After ordering Double Quarter Pounder so many times, I can call her “Julie Smile”.
Miss Chantal and Angela confirm that the young girl’s smile is rare to see.
It’s the stepping point to getting into the local society.
Patiently Ann Cooper guides me to re-read the story on “the Qantas’ dispute” line by line.
As she does not believe in job security, the story does not interest her at all and she is in need of a job at the moment,
but she understands it matters much to me.
This is the last frontier for survival to me,Ann and Qantas as well.
Here, it is An Independent Australia.
At the dawn, towards the end of long flight, red warm lights are in full glory through left windows.
While the plane descending, rolling dark forests come into view from down below.
Ten years on, I remember.
It is the first sight: “Australia”.