Outback

From time to time, I write poetry, either when needed for an occasion or simply when something moves me deeply. Not entirely surprisingly, I’ve written a bit of poetry about Australia. I love all of Australia, but the outback, particularly the Red Center, really makes my heart sing. So I thought I’d share a bit of my verse—because you’ll get plenty of prose in my book (which, of course, you’re all going to buy, right?).

Outback

Red rocks simmer beneath the
Immense, relentless sky,
The sky that disallows a hiding place
And watches every languid move
In a kingdom ruled by light and heat.
Golden tufts of plants that once
Were green dot the rolling dunes
Of wind-rippled red dirt, where
Tracks of little lizards and large bugs
Look like seams stitched in sand,
Connecting the broad, red patches between
Pale, dry, curving humps
Of spinifex. The fragrance of the heat
Rises in air that’s still but for the hum of flies.
The land is huge and open, formidable
In its timelessness, but still it is the sky
That rules, the space above the land
That dominates. The burnished blue
Metallic sky seems infinite, and bids
Souls grow to its clear, endless size,
Or else they will be overwhelmed.
A crow appears, and its loud “Ha, ha, haa”
Mocks those defeated by the sky,
For if not loved, the place cannot be borne.
There is too much honesty and innocence;
The openness of earth and air
Does not spare the shadows.

©Cynthia Clampitt

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