Jan/Feb 2006 Poetry

On the Mundi Mundi Plain

by Barbara De Franceschi

On the Mundi Mundi Plain

there are no tedious tracks of time
just ancient traditions
& a silence that shouts blasphemy
as connection is denied—wasted breath
carried away on willy-willies playing tag

the body unties
self is fossilized & memory chipped
like the shells on the floor of this spinifex sea
sensitivity addicts to dry waterholes / solid flatness
smoothed by a secret dialogue with the wind

kangaroos scratch in ageless erosions
a circling hawk keeps me between the blue high rise
& tiny ants building ochre cathedrals
speech is mute
unable to describe the pull
small red bosoms rise in sandy mounds
where wild flowers promise to return

beyond the sight line
the earth's curvature caresses resistance
there is no confrontation / no struggle
I am now as I have always been—insignificant
in the immensity undulating across alluvial fans
the union is as it should be—
I give back what I cannot keep


The Mundi Mundi Plain starts just beyond Silverton (once considered a ghost town, now a thriving art village) near Broken Hill in western New South Wales (Australia) and stretches 300 kilometres west to the lowlands of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia; some believe it may once have been part of an inland sea. Many overwhelmed by its vastness, experience a strange mystical force at play.


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