Rich Beyond All Measure

Winner - 2016 Copper Croc Written Poetry Award - Themed Section "Wild and Wonderful Australia"

This poem was inspired by a comment I heard on TV from an ex-pat Australian who said that wherever she is in the world, when she dreams at night the skies in her dreams are Australian skies. I have had the same experience - and that was the starting point for this poem, in which I reminisce about all the things I've seen during our travels across this wide and wonderful land.

Rich Beyond All Measure
(c) Shelley Hansen 2016

I have watched the Winter beauty of a Thargomindah sunrise
as it washes rosy brush strokes on the silhouette of dawn.
I have listened to the kookaburra herald forth with laughter,
calling out that "all is well" as he proclaims another morn.

I have wandered in the highlands in the frosty breath of morning
and rejoiced in the survival of a fragile alpine bloom.
I have seen the tiny fairy wrens negotiate the bluster
of a chilly breeze – without a thought of danger, threat or doom.

I have glimpsed a wedge-tailed eagle in the Nullarbor?s remoteness
and the emu cross the desert plain with locomotive gait.
I have seen the resting kangaroo and pirouette of brolgas
as the morning glory barrels in across the Torres Strait.

I have watched the grey galahs perform their circus troupe manoeuvres
while the sulphur-crested cockatoos screech loudly to complain,
and the cheeky rainbow lorikeets and timid pale rosellas
graze on waving flowered grasses brought to life by sudden rain.

I have traced the captive rainbow of a Queensland boulder opal
in the seam of vibrant colour that invades its ironstone heart.
I have touched the glassy surface of a thunder egg, smooth-polished
to belie the birthing cradle that became its fiery start.

I have been to Fraser Island with its endless sandy beaches
where the lakes are fed by hidden springs from sources deep and cold.
I have felt the ground grow cool beneath my feet in verdant forests
where the tree ferns thrive by crystal streams and soft green moss takes hold.

I have stood atop a mountain in majestic border ranges
where the vista of the valley seems a thousand miles below.
I have heard the tinsel tinkle of the enigmatic bellbird
as it shares performance spotlight with an omnipresent crow.

I have seen the silver sparkle of the swirling cascade's tumble
as it plummets from the precipice to smite the weathered rocks.
I have seen the seagulls swooping to anticipate a feeding
while escorting fishing trawlers heading homeward to the docks.

I have felt the icy ocean winds that sweep the southern shoreline
where the albatross soars gracefully above the white-tipped waves.
I have paused on Sarah Island as a sobering reminder
of the past that shaped our heritage, preserved in crumbled graves.

I have seen the Rock of Uluru grow purple in a sunset
when the curtained sky is swathed in grey, without a hint of red.
I have stood by Kata Tjuta in the shimmer-haze of noonday
as the silence of the Dreamtime floats serenely overhead.

I have seen a midnight star-scape on the plains of South Australia
and beheld a full eclipsing moon arise at Broken Hill.
I have seen the splendid morning star's reflection in the water
as it meets the far horizon in the pristine pre-dawn chill.

I have loved the wild and wonderful uniqueness that surrounds me,
and I know that if I leave these shores, wherever I may roam
I am rich beyond all measure as I dream in vibrant colour
of the bluest skies on earth, above this land that I call home!

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