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Running Waters

by ClementineBelle McIntosh
in response to
The Rocks by Greg Pritchard


Audio Description Text

My name is Clementine Belle McIntosh and I’m from Gilgandra – the waterhole meeting place for the Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi and Wailwan peoples.

The Castlereagh River runs through town and along the highway towards home. When lockdown came, I followed the Hugh River’s baked sandy bed in Tapatjatjaka and then the murky swollen Brisbane River in Meanjin.

Now I am beside the Murrumbidgee River in Ngunnawal country, watching saturated silk dyed with Meanjin and Ngunnawal gums cling to smooth rocks, after a heavy La Niña deluge. I listen to the sounds of the crashing water from upstream. Perhaps that same water has just passed. Then it will enter the ocean and eventually evaporate into the sky. As rain clouds, it may fall close to another river or over familiar places.


inhalare part 1 – text

The Rocks

The Rocks are quite famous in Wagga: a popular swimming spot on the Marrambidya (Murrumbidgee) River quite close to the CBD of the town. People like to walk the 500 m up from Wagga Beach and float down to the beach in the strong current. However, just off The Rocks, a slab of granite that runs down to the water, there is a platform of rock that at most times runs unseen out into the water, full of leg-trapping crevices, discarded chunks of machinery and old bridge pylons. I know this because I did a project here, swimming out to attach helium balloons to a rope.

The river has been in flood for months, caused by a combination of more-than-average rain and releases from the upstream dam, Burrinjuck. The river at The Rocks has been a swift brown glide, carrying small logs and human rubbish past quickly.

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