© Kym Eitel

Winner, 2009 ‘Gold Nugget Award’, Charters Towers Queensland.

As a child, I would stare for hours at this painting and allow my imagination to sweep me away on a different adventure each day, dreaming about what it would be like to live in the mountains with the wild brumby herd.

A herd of brumby horses suffers nature’s brutal forces

    as tattered pennants whip the cloudy skies.

They huddle in a cluster with their tails towards the bluster.

    Their manes and forelocks lash their face and eyes.

The chestnut filly nickers, in the distance lightning flickers

    as thunderheads begin to boil and form.

The horses group together, and they brave the wicked weather,

    as far-off mountains drown beneath a storm.

It rages, wrath and splendour, watching earth below surrender.

    The thunder growls and grumbles through the hills.

The mountains and the valleys witness nature’s lightning rallies

    that scare the foals below with thrills and chills.

A streak of searing brightness then lights up the stallion’s whiteness.

    He prances to protect his worried herd.

His stature’s strong and mighty, but the silver horse is flighty.

    He’s poised for fight, adrenaline is stirred.

The wind then whines and whooshes through the crouching thorny bushes.

    The dehydrated grasses hiss with thirst.

The earth is parched and broken, but the water gods have woken

    and soon the sodden thunder clouds will burst.

The storm clouds hold on tightly, then at last, some rain falls lightly,

    a sweeping stroke from gentle artist’s brush.

A thousand ribbons shining, as the storm cloud’s silver lining

    spills softly - Mother Nature’s soothing hush.

Hear the peaceful pitter-patter as the rain drops splash and splatter

    upon the trees, the ground, the thirsty leaves.

The thunder’s now a whisper and the air is cooler, crisper,

    then the clouds let go and heavy rainfall heaves.

The flowers sway with pleasure as the heaven’s soaking treasure

    wets ev’ry rock and drenches ev’ry branch.

It’s nature’s way of washing, soon the ground below is sloshing.

    Rain gushes down, a silver avalanche.

The water flows and surges, and the horses’ primal urges

    make them gallop, hoof beats splashing in the mud.

They’re racing, twisting, playing, hear them whinnying and neighing.

    Hear the thunder as their hoof beats drum and thud.

The foals continue dancing, while the stallion guards them, prancing.

    A rainbow paints the sky with vivid blaze.

The horses look, now calmer, at the coloured panorama.

    The hilltops blush with pink and crimson glaze.

The daylight turns to shadows, as the darkness stretches, tiptoes,

    towards the sunset’s gleaming golden light.

The rainbow fades to shades of grey and sunshine slowly melts away

    as dusky twilight softens into night.

The crescent moon above is glowing, gentle breezes lightly blowing.

    The darkness forms a blanket, thick and deep.

A chandelier of stars on high.  A diamond carpet through the sky.

    Sshhh.  Silent beauty.  All the world’s asleep.