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Desert Delirium

The desert is a brooding furnace of sand
remote dunes, a night sky full of unknowable stars
falling, flying and dying like all of us can
a place that in season leaves no heat in the land
and the nights can be bone marrow cold for a man
 
The desert drama is lead through different seasons
it cools you down with gentle breezes then eases
you into the spring of flower and nectar days
the hum of happy flight and sweet scents in the night
 
Summer then slows the performance to a soft mirage
hazes suspended over spinifex pale straw oceans
winds heaving across dunes and shimmering in the swales
 
The suspense rises and falls with the heat above ground
below the sand is cooling to the hand and the roots a balm
nights are full repertoires, a vast curved stage to the horizon 
shooting stars across the sky and a gentle peaceful calm
 
Eventually cyclones explode across the entire stage
lightning flashes a vast morse code to the horizon 
 
Spinifex, phascogale and irrepressible mallee
roots in cool heaven for foliage lives in hell
wooden stems appear above ground as sand blows
like eroded relics from an ancient ships prow
 
In this dire lament a joyous ode to summer
cupular flowers hang with tight bud caps
lemon yellows and glowing red stamens erupt
then ting, ting, and ting the honeyeaters sing
launching over dune and stony rises
dangling at angles to drain the nectar store
 
Then in humming light after bird flight
the scene slips of colour and evening forms
bark hangs loose, lightly rustling and shifting
as spiders weave cobwebs, waiting for a storm
 

Go to Luke Sweedman's profile to read more poems

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