Bush ballad

Mallee seared in distance,
horse made sullen steps,
day hung hot and brutal;
cattle lost and spread.

The rider drawn as image,
dark, leathered skin not seen,
arm high to shade his vision;
a world devoid of green.

In snap and drying rustle,
twig, branch and lifeless scrub,
movement in a song of death;
drought did slowly suck.

Heat held shimmered court,
beat of rising day,
where crucible confronted;
mortality displayed.

Inhaling slow and steady,
inferno’s raging breath,
bush and man became as one;
nothing else was left.

NB: Mallee is a bush/tree which survives  well in desert/outback situations. It also burns brilliantly so the logs are great for open fires. Scrub is the name for dry, outback – sparse, bushy plants but can also be used for woody areas or country. Bush is the Australian name for the country, outback, forest – it can be desert or it can be lush.


About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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