Rain in Walmadan: a traveller’s tale



Time and fate fluid like the waves of the sea,
incessant rain voiced the political turmoil
over the Kimberley’s gas dispute
on the anniversary of Lulu Paddy Roe’s death.
We, Lurujarri trailwalkers found ourselves
at the mercy of nature’s fury when
the guardian spirits vented their anger
through the wild, wild wind that shook
our tent of self-assuredness.
How did it feel when layer upon layer
of security was torn away from us?
What slim thread for survival
could our limp, damp fingers clutch onto?
The vicious snake at Kundandu spoke forcefully:
‘losing country will lose the home of your soul.’
On top of the sand dunes at Walmadan,
we faced our darkest ocean of place
and time and we were overcome by a sense
of awe and strangeness, our tourist eyes
radically transformed as we sat on wet swags
realizing what it would be like
to be deprived of everything of substance.
At that moment, I felt nothing but sheer skin
collecting rain of tears, of country.

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