THE GATES OF HELL

Out here nothing changes,Not in a hurry anyway.You feel the endlessness,Running from the light of day…                             – Goanna, Solid Rock. East of Borroloola the back left tyre of my four-wheel-drive exploded.  I was driving fast, too fast, probably, on a hellish stretch… Continue reading THE GATES OF HELL

CROCODILE COUNTRY

Out where the river broke,The bloodwood and the desert oak…                            – Midnight Oil, Beds Are Burning At Roper Bar I was swimming with crocodiles. And not the harmless freshwater variety, either. These were the real deal: big ‘ol, bad-tempered, drag-you-under-and-drown-you saltwater crocs.… Continue reading CROCODILE COUNTRY

IRON AND GOLD

the emu-sextons pay me a last cursory glance… At Menzies, a dead-on-its-feet mining town a hundred kilometres north of Kalgoorlie, I turn off the bitumen highway onto a rutted track bulldozed through the red dirt landscape of Western Australia.  My rented car moves about on the loose surface like a schooner under sail on a… Continue reading IRON AND GOLD

UNDER THE SUN

You’re in by Karumba,Where the fishing boats come in;I can’t believe this feeling,But I wish that I was there,Every passing day…                    – Goanna, Every Passing Day Fifteen nautical miles north-west of Karumba the oppressive air presses down on us with an almost tactile force. Thunderheads massed… Continue reading UNDER THE SUN

Vanishing Points

Nothing beside remains. Round the decayof that colossal wreck, boundless and barethe lone and level sands stretch far away… – Percy Bysshe Shelly, Ozymandius. At Curdimurka Siding, the windows of an abandoned railway station stare sightlessly out onto a landscape of grey saltbush and red dirt.  The roots of a coolibah tree have cracked and… Continue reading Vanishing Points

Ghosts of Cooper Creek

I live and breathe the silences and dust where no man reigns…         – Cold Chisel, Wild Colonial Boy Dawn at Cooper Creek.  Day begins early out here in the far north-east corner of South Australia.  Long before first light seeps into the sky, the birds are awake: screeching and wailing and… Continue reading Ghosts of Cooper Creek

Wide Awake in Dreamland

Out here nothing changes, not in a hurry anyway. You feel the endlessness, running on the light of day…                  – Goanna, Solid Rock Before the Dreamtime there was nothing.  The Earth was flat and lifeless; no stars glittered in the sky.  The universe was dark and silent. … Continue reading Wide Awake in Dreamland