Tag Archives: red centre

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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