GHOSTS OF PROGRESS
© Brenda Joy
Winner, FAW North Shore Vibrant Verse Poetry Competition 2014 NSW.
The raw sienna, bleached expanse,
the sea of sun-seared land,
is punctuated by a tiny blotch.
The road is just a line
where markers tell the time
and pullovers are used as trucking stops
whose occupants do not enhance
appearances of bland
terrain where hungry birds keep constant watch
for ‘kill’ on which to dine.
Survival is their prime
objective in a land devoid of crops.
Tell-tales of heart-break all around
denote the long-term drought,
where cattle gnaw at tufts to just survive.
Dam walls are barren mounds
and creeks are gouged-out troughs
as cotton balls of Cumulus blow by.
Resilience and grit is found
where life is all about
the struggles faced to simply keep alive.
Here fortitude abounds
where fickle Nature scoffs:
Man stays, though dreams and hopes are doomed to die.
Metallic dinosaurs make link
to monsters from the past
and emus roam where skeletons remain.
A tower tops the view
of dusty, empty streets -
a whistle-stop upon a pass-through trail.
A town that hovers on the brink
in country sparse and vast,
(potential ghost to dot the parched terrain)
as tourists pass on through
and road-train noise competes
with wind’s unending melancholic wail.