The draught

It hasn't rained properly in weeks, nay, months. The land is in draught and has now officially been for years. Parched earth as far as the eye can see and blessed relief is not in sight. The country dozes under an unrelenting sun, where it is sunny and dry today and dry and sunny tomorrow. "Isn't it great? Every day, hot and sunny! What are you, a lizard? Only reptiles feel that way about this weather. I'm a mammal, I can afford coats and scarves and capuccinos and rosy-cheeked women." (Bill Hicks).

Nothing can grow in these conditions. Australia suffers under a remorseless dry spell, the void is null. Desiccated minds stare vacantly into vacant spaces. Australia, a paradise at first glance which dissolves into dust when gently prodded with your boot. Palm trees camouflage the hard, unyielding ground underneath. Almost every living thing has been driven underground where they mind their own stuff, biding their time, waiting for the draught to end. Surely these conditions can't last much longer, the country in the grip of mercyless dryness that blasts straight off the desert. There is no green evident in the streets and suburban parks, only brownish yellows and yellowing browns; the vegetation looks like an old smoker's nicotine-stained fingertips.

Minds fall fallow in this weather, ground to dust. A whole populace pulverised and packaged in brown plastic satchels. Just add water! Ready to serve in 3 Minutes! Kwik'N'Easy! Reconstituted juices on the shelves. Stock cubes.

The dams are well below capacity and only the very old can remember a time when this wasn't so, when water was flowing freely and verdant fields greeted the thirsty eye. Nowadays people who want to see things flower again are glared at and silenced. Dust and grid gather in mouths as more precious topsoil is carried away on the wind. Stories of past glories are whispered but not always believed - it is hard to credit that Australia wasn't always thus. But Hope springs eternal, as opposed to Australian water.

A skywriter etched a message onto the blue metal sky yesterday. I could have sworn it said PRAY FOR BRAIN.