Small squares of green, like patchwork quilt
Hairline-crack roads, raw land, unbuilt
Treeless, burnt dry, harsh, unknown
Which native animals call home.
Uranium-rich and opal-mined
The Outback cannot be defined
With temperatures right off the charts
It tests the mettle of stout hearts.
Salt flats and river beds now dry;
Early settlers, unprepared would die
Their European skin too pale
Their gold rush dreams just worthless shale...
Some beer-froth clouds obscure the view
Scant protection for the few
Who, despite the lure of urban living
Have chosen this world unforgiving...
(on Adelaide to Brisbane flight)
(c) Poet in the woods 2017