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by reg Thursday, Apr 26 2018, 2:19am
international / poetry / post

lost in the outback
un-mapped dirt tracks offer routes
to somewhere near or too far
for my near empty tank,
such is life and death out here

a wrong turn and ur screwed

i stop and climb onto the roof of my trusty
EH wagon, a city vehicle they said is inappropriate
for the desert, well, itís the driver that makes
the difference

binnoculars to my eyes i pan 360
in the searing heat,
itís all the same to my city eyes
O that i could read the desert like the originals
that see vastly more than i am able,
their survival depends on their perceptions
and knowledge

but i am a white invader that sees
with white eyes, which now fail
to read the scene

water for two days max and 100K
gas remaining, it ainít looking good
the bush track is visible but devoid of fresh tyre tracks
i feel doom approaching
so i drop to the ground and fix a tarp for shade
and try not to think as (white) thinking for me
would only lead me further into hopelessness

the burning brass sun sinks slowly, night follows dusk
i welcome its coolness and sit, a small fire to repel
the snakes and scorpions, tho one legless reptile
slithers too close so i dispatch it for a meal
searing it first in the fire

i sleep and dream of strange incongruities,
excisions from my life displayed before me
watching me in dream one observing
the other oblivious to the other me

i see the dead asian bodies, holding my
issue rifle, the park in which i delighted as an infant,
my sweet first love
and the sapphire blue sky above the danube
of my motherland, which i was forced to abandon
at four
so now iím an aussie thru and thru
rugby, beer and the local vernacular
my mother tongue now lost and buried in memory

but i love this place like i emerged from its sacred red soil

how many lives and deaths have i already experienced?
tho my current life is distinguished by a cultural anomaly,
my european birth saved me from the anglo-aussie cringe
which has plagued our politicians to seek a mother/father
figure since the Brit empire failed, colonial infantile mindsets
continue to cling to apron strings
but here in the red desert no such infantilism or other
white tendency prevails

i have done well not to entertain my predicament --
a new dawn, a packed wagon and off to who knows where

driving moderately in the heat until i reach a threeway
intersection in the dirt -- the initial track offered two choices only,
now three so if errors were/are made doom lies ahead

i do not think, which allows my primal brain to guide
well below reason but in closer proximity to survival

i remembered my first visit to an indian capital
wandering the streets fascinated by the foreign sights,
night fell and i was lost tho surrounded by millions
of people
a little apprehensive due to my youth
i allowed what i call my remnant pigeon brain
to guide me back to my hotel
after three hours of walking on instinct or rather
latent unconscious impressions, i arrived
but this choice was different as i had not
previously experienced the terrain
and so i let it go and allowed my arms to turn the wheel
taking one in three chances for life

i was committed tho passively, so i drove until the
last of my petrol had been exhausted; not giving it a thought i
took to the track on foot, water and light pack on my back

right on dusk i saw an unfenced gate on the track,
a cattle station --
and so i am able to write this account four decades later

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