New Year’s Day

Long listed for the WALKING HOME writing competition run in January & February 2022

New Year’s Day breaks on the back of a night of furious rain from an angry, strobing sky soaking the summer landscape to the core. It’s a burnished gold and green morning on the city’s bush fringe. A cool breeze becomes colder in the shade of statuesque box trees, arms stretching out from roadside footings, glittering and clacking high above me, showering spent leaves like confetti. 

My breath labours as I walk uphill past the neighbour’s drive. The heavy, bronze tops of kangaroo grass bend toward me in a mass of wattle saplings, dishevelled yellow paper daisies, and thick stands of grass—weeping, wheat, windmill, red, hairy panic and tussock—all jammed between fence and road. The scree of pink galahs and white cockatoos pierces the reverie, the caw of ravens somewhere distant. 

Last night’s storm rearranged the dust, a clean slate for new tracks—small birds, lizards, a goanna, kangaroos, and my factory-made soles imprinted in the spongey gravel. Our paths intersect on this day. A fallen cockatoo feather glows in the roadside grasses, golden in the morning light. 

Almost home, deeply saturated yellows, pinks and mauves draw me to look closer at the smooth, naked bellies of ornamental eucalypts shedding their skins. Rust-coloured rivulets of cypress pine needles drape the shoulders of the road. The warm, heady essence of lemon-scented gums wafts on cool air carrying the amphibious cacophony of chirruping, barking and booming frogs in the gully by the house.


Read more from the Long List of poems and stories submitted to the WALKING HOME writing competition. Listen to winning authors read their work at a showcase event on Sunday 25 September 2022 (booking details to follow).

Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

Kim V. Goldsmith

Kim V. Goldsmith

Australia

Kim V. Goldsmith is an Australian-based artist who uses a range of digital media and writing to explore layers of nuance and complexity within the rural and regional territories in which she works. In the search for new perspectives, she seeks those hidden...

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