Below the sun’s relentless rays
the red earth bakes hard,
loosens with the passing feet and hooves
of creatures, wild and domesticated;
becoming dust again. Human feet,
some clothed in boot and shoe for protection
from hot earth and its sharp and stony projections,
others toughened by their habitual nakedness,
add to the wear of the animals.
The soil holds life,
waiting patiently for water
from largely cloudless skies.
With rock and tree and hill it holds stories,
a spirit library waiting for the singing;
waiting for the voices.
The water, too, holds life.
Borne upon wind, sometimes gathering
in clouded configurations,
anticipating the moment
when the swirling eddies of pressured and rushing air
achieve the necessary imbalance
for the soil’s saturation.
Undreneath the dry sand of occasional river beds,
the ever-present but unseen waters
receive and welcome the probing roots of trees;
which gather moisture, mix it with sunlight,
and fashion it into life for leaf, insect, bird and lizard.
In the scorching sun the leaves release their own
fragrant life offering;
the sharp and cleansing eucalyptian scent
that tells of hope and renewal.
Majestic birds, darkened silhouettes
ascend and wheel. They ride heated currents,
created by the fiery sun
as it works upon rugged valleys and hills.
These were, in turn, wrought slowly
from layers of ancient rock by that same sun,
together with persistent wind
and occasional rain.
earth-bound, like the large birds that traverse
these sun-drenched plains,
observe the distant aerial manoeuvres with wonder,
and dream. A few,
kissed by this vision of freedom,
determine also to rise and to soar.
The oxide-red earth;
the unseen wind, sometimes gentle, sometimes wild;
fire from above and within;
water, cool and clear;
the human heart, dreaming and hopeful;
here creation and spirit meet
a necessary and joyous union,
for the fashioning of life and love.
© Ken Rookes 2013