The cattle are fat and muscular. They are full, like sacks at bursting point, like part-time weightlifters who have over-dosed on energy drinks.
Australian cows are bony. They are skin draped across skeletons with racks for hips, their flanks not hollowed so much as cavernous. Yet their bellies are often round and their coats glossy.
I am passing through Flanders Fields.
My grandfather’s younger brother, the youngest of five, was killed in the Great War on these flat fields. Where would I start to look for his body to take home to his mother, her husband dead in an earlier war? Where under these working fields would I find his disassembled bones? In this place of houses and signs, highways and wind turbines, where roses bloom on the motorway verges and even narrow strips of forest rest on a layer of inviting velvety blackness, where would I start? *
In the distance, that most cheering of sights: an elegance of wind turbines. They appear as stately dancers, their flurried heads adding to, rather than detracting from, their majesty. Their saviour-like function renders them aesthetic.
As we draw near, we see that one is being erected. A spindly crane has positioned the bottom layer. The external steps are in place and the door, the tiny inviting door, stands open like a portal in a Colin Thompson book. On the ground, neatly side by side, lie the blades. Our view is of the circular bases, the white skins and the dark internal workings. The graceful twist and flatten of the other ends reminds me of the translucent cartilage found inside a marron claw.
* At the time of writing, I had forgotten my great-uncle has a marked grave. Many bodies, however, remain in Flanders fields.