Olive-tipped white bones
press up against the sky;
release a haze of blue
over the Great Divide.
Beyond is no hotter
but boy does it get dry
and stones grow into boulders
to make for the roughest ride.
Many now gone crossed here
looking for life on an inland sea;
time passed by in languid blink and
the passage was used frequently.
First as horse trails
then for bullock carts;
scars of early progress.
As newcomers looked for the heart.
these would heal and disappear,
unlike the standard gauge beams
and heavy diesel machines,
then macadam ribbons;
black snakes of concrete and tar,
cutting through sandstone
older than any man’s claim;
further than a day’s ride home.
Older than kangaroo and emu,
older than platypus, currawong;
young as this nation might be,
it is the land that made us strong.