In the Kimberley’s broken gorges, a wondrous ancient land,
A group of friends sally forth, a conundrum in command,
Without the old people present can deep power still stand?
We begin on a wide river, round rocks as big as houses,
Beside pure flowing water, always there to refresh us,
Vivid sky, blood scarps, stunning colours surround us,
Tall paperbarks shade, sticky spinifex entangles us.
Days pass, silver falls appear and embrace us,
Sacred pools secrete art shelters that immerse and inspire us.
Standing stones guard gorge high points – who came before us?
Night falls and camp firelight anchors our souls,
Shining moon bathes our bodies in her ghostly glow,
At dawn, the land’s spirit rises softly to greet us; we feel whole.
– Gib Wettenhall, 2018
By the fireside, on my belly, black cat purring,
playing piano, softly drumming with her paws;
Oh, how happy cat and I are, twined together, by the fireside,
dreaming sweetly in winter’s claws.
On the YouTube, three trillion pussies,
kittens pouncing, twirling pretty,
leaping cutely on skeins of wool.
In the garden, line of blue wrens, hopping lightly,
flitting gaily, fanning out in morning cool;
Black cat watching, tail a’twitching, leaping deadly,
blue wren down.
Up every tree and peak, o’er plains and deserts vast,
cat ninjas, 20 millions, lurking hidden,
Snuffing Aussie fauna, oh so fast.
Made in heaven, part feline grace, part beauty sleek;
Behold before us, purrfect killer, creating chaos
– especially among those small and meek.
– Gib Wettenhall
We switch panels to store, as we unfurl solar sails
And lay the songline down.
We sing with joy when we reach the reef and the fish shoal is found.
We spear the fish, sail the songline back
To the beach where a hot fire glows
We sing to the fish of how our lives are twined as we pass damper to and fro.
The cats are gone, cane toads no more
The valley’s soil is soft
The shepherds herd their mobs of roos through glades of thigh high grass
And everywhere the wetlands spread and wild birds wheel aloft.
We sing on the zeppelin as it orients for home
Following power plant ruins below
It’s ten years now since the last coal was dug…
It’s back to the future we go.
– Gib Wettenhall