Miles of red dirt
barren bush-covered scrubland
under this vivid blue-white sky.
The odd over-priced Roadhouse
To some, an oasis in the desert.
In the distance,
magnificent hills break up
the overwhelming flat-ness of the surround.
Suddenly, we turn a corner.
A surprise to all.
You encounter so few on the famously long, straight outback roads.
A road sign
informs us that our destination,
Tom Price, the iron-ore mining town is 287 kms away.
We drive on.
To me, it all seems like a barren wasteland.
Beautiful in all it's red dusty glory
but all the same, empty and dry.
Trees stand hunched and cracked
like withered old men trying to stand.
I wonder how aboriginal people
could survive this harsh, hot terrain.
This expanse is their homeland
They lived on what we see as nothingness.
Hot, dry and burnt red earth.
Over the Ashburton river before lunch,
apart from the sign you wouldn't have known.
Sun blaring down
this river's as dry as a bone
nothing around except dry rock and stone.
Sky darker, clouds heavy
the bare trees seem to reach upward here
beging for a drink.
Land is richer, greener at their toes.
A light shower could save them.
Red earth asks for nothing
and wants nothing in return.