Fragments from the abyss

Raindrops, like tears held back suddenly
burst out from the clouds like a torrent.

Raw thoughts struggled for re-birth

longing to be unchained from objectivity.

Re-imagining the mining of minds,
of rare gems explored that dematerialized.


Struggling against the current, spirits were caught
in the eye of the ‘development’ storm.

Blood dripped from my chalice as I watched

sacrificial lambs offered in the altar of ONE World.

Life, emptied of pulsating energy,
slowly lost its lustre.

Stars that adorned the night sky
retreated into the cover of darkness.

Dwellers within the tough shell’s crusty exterior

seemed to be ‘missing in action’.

Now pristine crystal raindrops slowly feed

the parched landscape of my arrested thoughts.



Liyan is an invisible relationship feeling
of how Country reaches out. 
A subtle shift breaks open consciousness,
letting us hear her call.
The earth, the surrounding sea
is a mother embracing our dreams.
Does not the child who turns away from her 
shrink her own soul link with the Self?

The intrusive industrial drill and dig
damages mutual life-giving
that people Indigenous to Country
intuitively discern.

The Spirit never dies 

but our co-creation 

of the features of the land, 

of the old song-line is put in peril 

with unfettered development 

let loose to destroy
our umbilical bond.

Politicians warn protesters
of breaking the law, of breaching safety
But a greater LAW broken heralds
unseen consequences.

we will know when next
Country calls.

Spiral of silence.

The corporate world
mines the ground,
mines our hearts.

The energy alliance feeds ungrounded faith
in the spiral of affluence, widening the gulf
between the natural and the contrived.

When the earth becomes a desert, 

where do we turn?
When our soul becomes a desert,
where is life?

Famished body, shrunken soul,
and the twinkle of life
deserts our grasp.

Broome’s Lunar Eclipse

Last night I watched with friends the lunar eclipse
slowly take away from earthly gaze
half the slice of the almost full moon.
Guardian spirits leapt from a hidden wilderness,
signalling restlessness from changes
afoot in the shape of things to come.

Last Saturday morning, my grassroots philosopher friend
in the Courthouse market drew simple strokes
on the sand…of Kimberley’s six seasons…
how the land speaks through the human spirit.
We are merely temporary dwellers of time and space
bound to fade away, he said,
…like a glimpse of a stream of light, I thought.

My camera eye exposed a kaleidoscope of colours
reflected on the turquoise oceanic rocks and
on the terrain of my otherwise dreamless night.
I am fully awake now, my imagination wandering,
anticipating with excitement and awe
next Saturday’s Lurujarri walk.

How will the guardian spirits deal with me
and my curious escapade into the uncanny?
How will the State’s notion of progress disturb
the balance of ancient trails, wild blossoms,
dinosaur footprints and the bones of lawgivers
that have gone back to the sand dunes and the rocks?

Will the mythical snakes of the song cycles
slither from the pindans down to the coastline
to pronounce their judgment?
What stories of creation and destruction
will echo through the entire continent
if Walmadan is taken away by stealth?

Questions that yield no answers perhaps
until my feet straddle between two cultures
that try to co-exist; perhaps until I walk
the trail of spirits, alive and dead.

Has this restless, half-lit moon light eclipsed
my daytime sensibilities?



closely guarded secrets.

black grandmother dug a stick
into the ground, and water gushed

through and flowed into drinking tins.

bush food and bush medicine abundant

in pristine pindan wilderness.

paradise is when all one needed
was there for the asking.

time was when mixed race black women
turned ‘mission girls’ 

had nuns teaching them domestic skills

to prepare them for employment

for white settlers in town

once they came of age

for release from mission care.

they have great grandchildren today

these ‘mission girls’ proud of the badge

of survival, their battle gear cry

reverberating across the rest of the continent,

‘Leave Country alone!’

they are great nan now themselves,

defending the closely guarded secrets

of their black grandmothers

whose remains have melded with the sacred soil,

whose waterholes and song cycle grounds

are under siege once more

by today’s heavy machinery of growth.


In the waiting room

Breaking news,

boxed-in distraction,

corner tv blaring

in a waiting room of broken bones.

My whispering thoughts

echoing across this bewildering space

filled with crutches, wrapped-up legs sticking out…

Time snatched from time,

my formal writing disrupted

by the exigency of real-time motion picture

of life reasserting itself.