Monday, August 12, 2013

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.


  1. bush and man became one...nothing else left...smiles...there is def a connection that forms and a bond that becomes very close...i felt it when i lived outdoors the first year after college....

    1. Yes, and it also refers to the way intense heat consumes everything - in the bush on a boiling Australian summer's day, you know that. In the outback, even more so.

  2. Thanks for sharing this in the comments, a welcome addition to our Cowboy Poetry set! Appreciate your work here!

  3. Incredibly densely constructed: so much in there, every line holds multiple images and thoughts. Admirable writing.