Posts Tagged ‘eucalyptus’

river

The river crawls glacially
Glass reflections reiterating of surrounding bush
Eucalyptus trees lean over water
Glistening sunlight ripples
Cool depths calling out
A a barramundi flicks the surface and willow branches caress water
A Paperbark like an old man’s hand on the edge
Reflections of the burnt holes like evil empty eyes
A dragonfly buzzes an erratic line across the water, occasionally hovering
Occasionally a kookaburra celebrates the day with glorious cackles
Red dirt desert all around but here there is life
Life embracing life and surging through the pores of reality
Watch out for Crocs!

Swagman_(2715952698)

I was walking alone through red dirt in the vast Kimberley region of Western Australia
The sun beat down on me as if softening me up for death with a meat hammer
I was so thirsty that my tongue was beginning to stick to the top of my mouth
I was worried as I had not seen a road for ages, and was wandering in spirals
Suddenly he stepped out from behind a eucalyptus tree
He wore a long coat despite the heat, and various mugs and tools were tied to the coat
On his head a battered old hat
And his eyes were like burning blue coals
He smiled and said ‘Don’t be afraid- what are you doing out here?’
I told him I was lost and thirsty
He said- “I’ll show you how to find water’.
“You just look for a good tree then dig to the roots’
He dug down about 2 feet with a little spade he pulled out of a pocket in his coat
And there was water—we both drank
Then he grabbed a few rocks and set up a fireplace
He said- ‘Leave these rocks here for the next bloke, that’s the Swagman’s code’
He gathered together some twigs and rubbed two sticks together to start the fire
He tried to show me how to do it, but I couldn’t work out the trick
‘I didn’t like the city, so when I was eighteen I left for the bush, and I’ve been wandering around here for near fifty years’ he said
‘I’ll never regret it, the bush is in my blood’
‘The blackfellas taught me how to survive, amazing people- they’ve been doing this for fifty thousand years’
‘Some fellas come out here and have no idea because they don’t learn from the blackfellas. Those fellas die.’
He told me how to get back to the road then disappeared behind a tree.
Once again there was silence with an insect buzz
A real Swagman.

bush
The sunlight bludgeons the earth till it squeezes out the edges,
Morning is breaking all over the ground like an incandescent egg.
The eucalyptus trees whisper softly in a slow murmuring breath of wind,
And the birds call each other with inscrutable sounds.
A kookaburra’s insane laugh booms through the land,
And the elusive fragrance of wattle is in the air.
Granite outcrops are silent sentinels, watching over the bush.
I sing the beauty of this land, its endless deserts, plains and mountains,
I sing the unique birds, animals and plants, their fecundity and claws.
Wide to the ends of space is the Bush,
So easy to be lost in.
A pin in an infinite haystack,
But in it is the heart of the nation.