Sandstone Caves

By | 31 October 2021

Gamilaroi Country
with respect

We rumble the turnoff
Quieting wood song on stone
Pick Hardenbergia sprigs
Purple haze to hang
On the rear view mirror

Empty face staring she
Swivels tack waiting
Out of frame a sphinx looks
Up two steps more a Monaro
In the backyard familial

Alcoves contain only absence
Carved with emu feet walls of
Swirling rain pastel smoke
Faint whispers behind open
Windows on outstretched arms

Framed by spindly trusses holding
Bluest sky sharing Uncle’s
Laminated face incongruous
The only one who shows himself
A ghost or a song we might sing

For ersatz seekers in urban black
Scrambling inside digging footprints
In this sacred dust they say
Well others were here

She turns on her long legs
Faces the heat frozen crest
Marathoners straggling behind
Slowly drink in the clouds

I wait in the wave face shadow
Struggle to reconcile for we
Cannot unhang the purple haze
What’s done has left these
Afterimages of illuminance

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