The ceiling rose is carved with cherubs and leaves, unidentifiable swirls. A shade created from tulip-shaped silk encases the light fitting. Knotted tassels droop down, throwing shadows on the walls which dance and tremble when we make love. Beneath the floor of this room runs a river, a creek which has never dried up. Which may have dried up once, but which flows again despite the drought. Sulphur crested cockatoos and pink-tinted Major Mitchells flap to a halt on our chimney, following the scent of water. They have fled the empty billabongs* in the now arid countryside and we pause to listen. Claws and beaks scrabble at the terracotta tiles over our heads.
a tumbleweed rests
on the jasmine
*billabong (Austral.) = small lake