Through the whispering desert oaks
along the gun barrel grader tracks
wheels are rolling beneath the metal
that follows the Toyota dreaming cracks.
The cracks in an ancient landscape
weathered by modern time
like crazy marks upon a plate
that make their own pattern & line.
And all along the thin red line
lay the great dead beetles on their backs
burnt-out markers of this time
where two dreamings mark different tracks.
One belongs to the very landscape
is owned by mountain and tree
ancient stories that guide the way
to life and all that be.
The other is an awkward line
that shows on pretty charts
and marks the course of modern man
in search of glowing hearts
Everywhere we drive in this land the roadside is scattered with upside-down, burnt-out wrecks of cars dating back to 1950s models. We have been told that it is traditional to burn the possessions of people as they die, and the same applies to cars.
These ranges are spread widely and include substantial mountains. They sit upon a vast plain with occasional drainage lines. The plain is at an elevation of about 700 metres, and is a sparse but colourful garden & grassland. The peaks jump straight out of the plain, with rugged rocky architecture, some on a tilt. The rock is granite, stained red, and about 2000 million years old.
The landscape is coloured by the rusty red soil. The plains are overlaid with a green and straw coloured lace, and the mountains with a blue haze. The end result of red mountains viewed through the blue haze is a vivid violet colour. Spectacular.
In the time of modern desert stories
new nomads follow their wanderlust
along a line of flashing mirrors
cut by cunning in the dust.
The hard and shining metal landscape
of the bushy gibber plains
reveals a stony glint
after the recent washing rain.
And in the desert garden beds
where tough creatures make their home
is a pretty picture painted on rusty reds
that stand strong against the great blue dome.
All the madness of modern man
in this so-called empty space
is revealed in shadows on the ground
which hide an evil face.
At ground zero the soil is littered with a black slag, glass-like and evil looking. I didn’t touch anything except with my boots.
Left the area via Observation Hill where the British nobs stood and witnessed the fading glory of the Empire. In some fly-ridden, godforsaken, empty land no doubt. Fools be they.
Lunch at the airstrip and then on to camp in a lovely red sandy glade amongst the desert plants and animals.
"Words are clumsy pretenders of the images of my mind."
As a practicing artist I have travelled far and wide across Australia, walked on country, camped on country and rolled out my swag. I thank the custodians and I acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. I pay my respect to Elders past and present.