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I wish I could have spent more
time here in Tasmania,
I was hoping to see the
Huon pine trees, one of the
oldest living organisms on the
planet Huge trees that are
thousands of years old ,
before Christ was born.
Tall sailing ships are in Hobart,
from Mexico, Russia,
Indonesia, crowds gathered down
on the wharf to see them.
Sailors and young women
"new strains of the clap"
as one man put it cynically.

Dave Lasky, a friend, told me that
people don't talk about the
shooting massacre in Port Arthur
much these days, but everyone
knows someone who was affected
by the massacre.
Someone who died or whose kid
died just because they happened
to be walking down the
street that day or eating in
that Cafe when the "unstable"
loner with a high powered rifle
walked in and shot anyone
who moved for some reason.
There was no screaming for
a lynching at his trial,
people didn't feel anger they
were just shocked!
Now all guns have been
handed in, after a parent became
active in the anti gun
lobby, all old rifles,
keepsakes, heirlooms were taken/given in by their owners.
I went to meet a mate Rob,
Vietnam veteran, I met at the Wheat-sheaf
public bar 6 years before, he used to hunt and fish.
Rob and Gary, the old Wheat-sheaf barman,
plan to revisit Vietnam after
30 years, when they were
fighting there.
I met Rob where he normally drinks now,
at the Waratah hotel, he and Anthony,
a friend he was painting for,
reckoned some people had buried
rifles and guns in their
gardens, sealed and greased
inside plumbing piping and screwed
away at each end to protect
them from damp earth.

I visited Rob again later who
had tried to make a banjo,
ukulele out of a Cuban cigar
box and a guitar neck.
But had the wrong gauge
strings and couldn't find
the tuning over the fret-board.

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