The edge

 As you get closer the trail declines from wheel ruts to track, path to pad paced between grasses, an alignment of sticks, leaves, animal ways then ends — you can’t see it yet.  

Push past banksias and wattles, stunted angophoras roots down into cracks forever, potholes full of leaf litter, bone-white logs jagged —  this place resists, there’s no reveal, no discovery, each step is pushing against, shoulder through, stumble ahead. You are out of breath and alarm bells are ringing — it’s right here. 

Now a platform of sandstone furniture, desks and chairs and conference tables – the undershelf scoured to gravel in every flood down this escarpment. In the glare and the heat and then … it opens to ocean

Below tiny sheepdogs herd tiny sheep over hanky-sized pastures, a toy truck winds up the switchback with a puff of black cotton wool, a hawk hangs and across the valley the torrent falls. 

Among the fly storm
a dappled moth sips
from my teaspoon.

Image: The Larapinta Trail, Northern Territory. A haibun for Frank at Dverse where he asks us to take a hike.

And here’s my favourite prog-rock from way back – they were obviously hikers too – (just skip the ads).

18 thoughts on “The edge

  1. A pleasure to ride along with your imagination, Peter, into the magic of landscape as it might be. The fashionable rustic furniture is for me. The intro reminds a dream I have, which I suspect has ominous overtones, but here it ends in pastoral delight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter, there’s much to love and admire in this poem but I smiled at the “hanky-sized pastures”. Such a contrast to the rough, edgy untameable features described before that phrase. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so enjoyed hiking in the outback with you, Peter, especially the names of the plants and that sandstone furniture! What a view, and your haiku was a surprise.


  4. That is exactly the kind of situation that makes me anxious, nature’s indifference, the isolation, then the wow when the scene opens out, the prize at the end.
    Your haiku is wild approaching timidly, so fragile.


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