Oct/Nov 2002 Poetry Special Feature


by anjuna

Artwork by Tara Gilbert-Brever



It was the driest season
The rhythm of austerity
Etched deep into roots
Earth painted in
Burnt sienna
Raw umber
Golden amber
Autumn smeared in the sand
And the rocks
Rusted and running rampant with life
Tuckaloos calling wild
Kuckaburras scratching the ghost gum trees
Fire energy feeding through Uluru
Burning against the march of Aboriginal sunsets
Ochres, kaolin and charcoal
Hanging in a bonnet of blue indigo

This, the desert people call their land
Children of the Dreamtime
Lost at the hand
Of the white wolves
They walk those same footprints
To beg forgiveness
To tell their story
Of a desert
Of a coast never seen

In the East the land was a dream
Lush fertile green mounds pregnant after rainfall
Fig trees palms coconut groves
Purple jacarandas
Crimson hibiscus
Red oleander
The sea eagle
Black raven craving in a black sky
Fleshy yellow roots of cassava
Aubergine cassis
Tea plantations
Macadamia nut plantations
Pussy willows
Halcyon flowering around
Coral reefs in waters of lapis lazuli

A time when people were the minority
The wind rescued back into her desert
Birthing by the rocks
Following the vanishing sand beneath her feet
Falcons told time
Where nature was a vast soul


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