On the Darling River at Gundabooka

WC Piguenet ‘ The flood in the Darling’ 1890-95

I acknowledge the Ngemba and Barkindji people who
have lived on the Darling river for tens of thousands of years

For Neeraj, died 4 June 2021

august fires fan the firmament
stoic hands clasp fast to the breast
reddish star, eye of a bull, with fierce intent
take me now, triumphant and unblest

the river still, the pure night unbroken
curlew song, a forlorn request forever fated
marrow, blood and bone forsaken
churning sand and pebble – never sated

clouds chatter on the horizon, serpentine
thoughts evolve, migrate and cease
no longer do I know what’s mine
no longer do I seek release