Reflections by the Tortoise Pond

Reflections by the Tortoise Pond

Garden view from the Reverend's back door

“Lovely weather we’ve been having Reverend..”

Pt 1. Sitting in the Rain.


I was sitting in the rain feeding my tortoise.

He was being fussy.

“Hurry up you retard”, I cursed, “I’m getting drenched here.”

For tho I was dressed in a full length, Ned Kelly style, oilskin coat and a wide brimmed hat, I was still,

 nonetheless , soaked to the sodden, super-saturated skin. Brisbane had conjured up one of it’s classic, late-summer storms, and above me the tree branches were being tossed about by bursts of near cyclonic-strength winds, in between torrential downpours. The frequent lightning strikes weren’t conducive to my mental state either, leaning as I was against a metal fence post.

Mr Sulky

Mr Sulky

Strangely tho, I found I was happy sitting there in the rain

by the tortoise pond, and hummed a little tune* as I fed

my recalcitrant reptile bits of bloody meat on the end of a stick,

and, for variety, tossing in the occasional wriggling mealworm.


It had been a hard day. A day of dealing with sullen underlings and blank-hearted bureaucrats, and a cold, uncaring world had not been kind to me, whilst my loved ones and allies seemed all to be absent or preoccupied with their own woes.

 I felt like a Failure and a Fool by the time I finally put down the phone. Frankly, I was glad to take time out from it all, the banal miasma of my Troubles to attend to the simple earthly needs of a harmless, wee, timorous beastie, even if it did mean sitting in a sub-tropical downpour to do so.

tortoise in rain

But as I looked about the sodden garden, waiting for the tortoise to size up and seize his latest gobbet of flesh, I suddenly realised I was perfectly “in Synch” with my environment! Yes, my Mood, my Life, my Career, my Luck, had all collided that day and brought me squelching to this low, sodden moment in the Tide-lands of Life, and, rather than being depressed about it, I found my mood matched the weather exactly, and I was happy, for I knew then in my Heart that I had always been a Child of the Storm, one on whom it would always be raining.

Now I was merely in my Element, you might say, and filled with a sudden, soaring, Promethean pride,

I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Surely at this moment also, I recognised a kindred spirit in the ageless creature before me. Just how Old was it anyway, when it came wandering clumsily into my life? There was no way of knowing. Like great Actresses, their Age is a Mystery that Tortoises keep to themselves.

So, just like “Mr Sulky” himself, I vowed to happily hunker down to endure whatever the Weather or the Fates threw at me, even ready if need be to hibernate till warmer, happier days come. Settle down in bed till then, with a tottering tower of books and an ornate, antique opium-pipe, like some valetudinarian Victorian gentleman, and endure the Winter months, well tucked up under my metaphorical shell.


“We shall Endure, Brother Tortoise”, I said encouragingly, as he obediently snapped a mealworm in half, “we shall Endure!”

As if on cue Lightning struck a near-by power pole

with a tremendous & theatrical CRASH!

Laughing I took a deep lungful of air into my lungs

and my Spirits soared with Exultation.

tortoise looking away in rain crop

* “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” actually.


Grey matter


reverend profile red

The Reverend Hellfire is a practised Performance Poet,

still President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc.,

and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism

AND the Church of the Universe.

Special rates for cash-in-hand jobs.



~ by reverendhellfire on May 10, 2015.

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