A Long Way From Anywhere

This is a poem about my time as a field assistant exploring for gold and diamonds in the Australian Outback – let me know if you enjoy it.

A Long Way From Anywhere

When I was a long way from anywhere
I watched the silent sun rise,
breathed in the chilled dawn air
still damp with early morning dew,
still, ever so still.

Out here I watched meteors burn
white-hot against the universe,
counted them like fiery sheep
that sparkled with a desperate light
leaving just some angel dust.

Once I sat in a quiet place,
eerie, warm and sultry
in the face of a biting wind,
a rugged cleft in land without
a right to have such stillness,
a place outside, a place removed,
filled with history overflowing
with ancient eyes that watched
from shadows of a luscious jungle
long since withered.

After my leisurely lunch they spoke,
said, ‘Move on, time’s up – go.
You don’t belong.’ No argument
from me, I simply gathered up
my sieves and sample bags, gave thanks
for their kind patience, then left,
grateful for that small respite from
winter’s vicious gale.

When I was a long way from anywhere
I drifted in and out of time,
collected moments of rare peace
in a land worn down, worn out
worn through.

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