Australian Inland Sea

Australian Inland Sea

The territory was northern

The earth the brownest red.


Phosphene constellations

Danced across eyelid heavens

As we fled the sun's glare

And dwelt in a moment

In lieu of ancient dreamtime

Slumber, the blink that captured

Whole millennia in its snare.


The road straight as a plumb line

We fell south towards Alice.


Upturned table of a cow,

Stomachs swollen like a blimp,

Ready to blow at any moment

Or lift free from its tethered

Earthly roadside hold and

Soar high over the bush,

Shrinking into the big big sky

Beyond the highway.


Time was nearly on its uppers.

We were rubber gripping tarmac.


Back on the plains of West Bengal

We'd limbered into the tropics,

Now Capricorn was calling time.

Alice loomed like a staging post;

From her nestled thigh the fall

Would be steep and long and

Greyhound hued. Nostalgia rose

With the sun.


We had no satellite vision,

We curved and quaked with the earth.


Then tilted our world and dead

In the tracks foot jilted from

The pedal, as if speed had

Conjured this red centre vision

Of a brow that wasn't there,

And a phantom decent to a

Powder blue cumulus

Inland sea.


The horizon had slipped, though

We'd not known it at the time.




February 2014