Tag Archives: northern territory

Curtin Springs (part 7 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

As time locked as the ancient land
This 60’s outpost confronts our senses.
Iron spears of gate supports, steel boomerang
Announces to all this place.
White painted tires hold rugged desert plants.
Hands held to mouths cover snickers and smiles.
The old building of stone and brick
People within hidden in the old times.
We read the papers on the walls
And wonder how, in a century new begun
Such unpoetic humour can tickle us still
Its brazen bad taste a shock for the new.
A place not of this land
And yet part of a time now gone.
We drive away
And wonder will it last
Or sink into the sands
And become part of another time.

Tim Alderman
(C) 2001

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Sunset #2 (part 20 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

Rock in ancient sacred land
Ubirr by name
Lost in endless time.
One side, seasonal floodplain
Other grasslands green.
A golden disc sinks slowly
Toward the distant horizon line
Reflected by water
Coloured by clouds
That float like distant shores.
We sink down on knees
Adoration of natures might
Quiet surrounds us as we watch
The sunset become the dark
The dark that is night.
The stars appear from the disappearing rays
We turn quietly for home
A silence most profound
The sun is gone

Tim Alderman
(C)2001

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Trephina Gorge (part 3 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

Trephina Gorge is just outside Alice Springs, and is part of the MacDonnell Ranges. Most famous feature is Corroboree Rock

 

Contrasts of startling, vivid colour
Pure white sand of dry river bed
Awaiting the annual rains,
Ochre red of mountain ranges,
Forced up long centuries past.
Bluest of blue sky
Sets a background of breathtaking beauty,
And starkly outlined against all the colours,
A lonely ghost gum sheds its meagre shade, Leafless now
As it fights the unremitting heat.
Footprints in the dry sand bed
Tell of wanderers of times new.
The red dust holds tight the secrets
Of time long ago
Of a people who held
This sacred land to their breast
And gleaned from it
A spirituality of Dreamtime wonder and legend
That we will never touch.

Tim Alderman
(C) 2002

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Ochre Mound (part 4 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

Uluru is the most overwhelming and the most spiritual place I have ever visited. To climb it was not only a great privilege, but a spiritual journey of humbling proportions.

In the morning light I see it rise
High above the desert in its red glory.
Smooth as glass, glazed like finest pottery
It speaks of eons past, of other wars and rituals
Of times long ago, now quickly gone.
Its base of sacred places where none but the initiated may go
Of waved rocks and spirit art telling tales of rich domains
Of animals, plants and water to feed the many tribes
Who worship here still in the silence, and long ago dreaming.
Heat shimmer in the sun, blackened stains from waterfalls
That form during the rains.
We stand, waiting as if for a sign to climb this holy place
A chain our guide, a line at our feet.
We hesitate, fear can be our greatest guide
To claim only in our memories a vision of this holiness,
We bend and touch with our hands.
A great spiritual journey is about to begin.
We climb.

Tim Alderman
(C( 2001

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The Ghan (part 1 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

When I travelled on The Ghan, it went from Sydney, then to Adelaide, then on to Alice Springs. Now it goes from Adelaide to Darwin. To travel First Class on The Ghan is to be treated like royalty.

Dreamtime painted ribbon of steel
Flashing through the cold desert night.
Silver rails to destinations known, yet unknown
It snakes its way ever forward.
Past fields of golden Canola flower,
Purple ‘curse’ borders the ribbons of steel.
Night falls as sunset orb sinks low over blue bays
Spreading orange rays to meet the desert red.
We lie to sleep, yet peek through speeding landscapes
Ghostly outlines of trees and abodes,
Speeding us ever onward to sacred places, sacred times.
Our journey nears its end,
The heart of this great land awaits
To overawe us with its wonders.

Tim Alderman
Copyright ©2001

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Kata Tjuta (part 5 of ‘The Northern Territory Suite’)

Often inappropriately called The Olga’s, this natural formation is the ONLY break in the flat landscape from the top of Uluru.

Older than time
These rounded mounds
Virgin breasts thrust forth from the Earth.
Scattered red rubble lines the canyon floor
Huge boulders of Red and white conglomerate
Like leftovers
From some Alien war.
A trampled path of recent times
Through a small belt of green
To a small, warm water pool
Left after the rains
We turn
And through the horseshoe shape
Of the entrance to this sacred place
We glimpse forever beyond
A vast desert landscape
That goes on
And on and on.

Tim Alderman
(C) 2002

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Karlwekarlwe/Karlu Karlu (part 12 of the ‘Northern Territory Suite’)

*Also known as the Devil’s Marbles

Dreamtime landscape
Ancient red marbles.
A game that giants played
Or a joke by the devil himself
According to modern name.
Piled atop one another
Or scattered in the surrounding desert sands
They stand
A testament to natures great work
Three times my height they tower
Glazed like ochre mound
Cleft in two some sit
Sliced by a giants knife
Or a bolt of lightening from the
Time worn skies above
We gasp, are awed
That nature in all its brutality
Can cause beauty to be wrought.

Tim Alderman
(C) 2001

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