Poems and paintings by Sian Butler (copyright). For more poetry and paintings by Sian Butler, visit the “Australian Bush Poetry 1” page (left click on the menu bar at the top of this page).
The Road Beckons
The space is so wide there’s nowhere to hide
only a stunted tree or two beneath the sky so brilliantly blue
under this expansive dome we’re very far from home.
The ground is shades of red where maybe no human has tread
The bushes are scrubby, some dense, and just here, not even a fence
Our road stretches ahead as we’re steadily led
to some mountain range far away.
There’s no time to linger or stay
these mountains so old are arranged fold by fold
they tempt us to explore where we hope to find fossils of yore.
We cross a dry riverbed. There will be more ahead.
As we travel my thoughts unravel
from the tangle in my mind to some of a better kind
There’s time to be and space for me
to drink in the beauty of this land, the grasses, stones, clouds and sand.
There are ruts in the road, an odd lizard or toad;
feral animals galore, sadly more and more,
but over there a few emus strong
They at least have the right to belong
A snake slithers away. I’m glad it won’t stay.
This is an ever changing scene quite different from where we have been
an hour or so ago even though our journey is slow
for we want to savour the sights before we reach city lights
Our hearts open wide and we’re all soothed inside.
As these memories will last forever we know that we were brave and clever
to have found the courage this trip to take in spite of sacrifices we had to make.
A drive ‘around the block’ is a chance to take stock
of our lives as they were in the past;
clearly not meant to last.
When we return there’ll be new ways to learn
Changes need to be made or a heavy price will be paid
for our happiness and health. This travel is real wealth
Time and space to grow though we may not know
what our soul has come to decide which we cannot override.
…To reassess this life we have been given; nevermore to be society driven
on a merry-go-round where we hardly touch ground.
It is time to relish each day. Yes, work but also play.
To be discerning and when we are yearning
for a simpler way; we just cannot stay.
Before we really tire,
a dose of desert,
A little explanation: to “go around the block” is understated Aussie humour, and means to drive around Australia, which would, I think, be a similar distance to driving around the contiguous USA.
Hopefully, more to come.