Nullarbor Song

Stream of consciousness words written on the Indian Pacific travelling across the Nullarbor Plain in Australia whilst having the jazz classic Bitches Brew by Miles Davis on heavy rotation, along with his other works Big Fun, Live Evil & On the Corner. The journey began in Perth, Western Australia taking in stops at Kalgoorlie and Cook along the way before arriving two days later in Adelaide, South Australia.

Guess Nullarbor Song has in mind the original inhabitants of the land of Australia, those peoples who had lived there for over 60,000 years and seamlessly blended in with its foreboding environment, who knew its dangers and wonders intimately. Made it a sacred landscape. Sure it also touches upon the activities of those people who have been in command of things for just over the last 200 years – the white man – but it most certainly does not seek to elevate their relentless exploitation of Australia’s natural resources, something which has been undertaken with unceasing greed and vigour. No, Nullarbor Song is not for them; let them stay in their mansions, let them fly above us in the private planes and corporate jets, let them sail around the continent in their luxury yachts and eventually at the end of their lives let them go far, far away from us.

land of the empty bowls
on a curve side track
unknown hills of the once holy
days of the graze
how did this land ever get to be?
ancient perplexity
perplexity of the ancients
in the settin’ sun
sandy soil
multi-coloured earth foil
bush scrub blue
in a church less land
no religion
no junk

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Indian Pacific: Cook & The Nullarbor Plain to Adelaide

The third of a three part account of a journey undertaken with my father on the Indian Pacific from Perth in Western Australia to Adelaide in South Australia visiting places along the way such as Kalgoorlie, Cook and the Nullarbor Plain.

Eventually of course a town did appear after the endless miles of plains but it was not really a town in the normal sense of the word, just the remains of one. Not really the remains of one of truth be told, but the remains of a small settlement of people who had once lived there in the middle of the vast emptiness of the Nullarbor Plain. Yes, we had arrived in Cook! It was around 11 when Dad and I got off the train and we had about 20 – 30 minutes to explore the place for ourselves, although to be honest you could have seen all there was to see in about 5 minutes flat. But that was not the point; it just felt so good to be able to stretch our legs and to walk on the earth of the Nullarbor. There was something about the freshness of the air blowing in through Cook and the silence of the plains which was fascinating by way of the sense of immensity the whole scene engendered. Mid morning and now the sun was high and bright, the sky was a brilliant blue and as we walked away from the Indian-Pacific I turned around in order to see for the first time just how long it was and realized that if Cook had had an actual station the Indian Pacific would stretched way out the other end of it.

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Indian Pacific: Kalgoorlie & The Nullarbor Plain

The second of a three part account of a journey undertaken with my father on the Indian Pacific from Perth in Western Australia to Adelaide in South Australia visiting places along the way such as Kalgoorlie, Cook and the Nullarbor Plain.

We had left the hinterlands of Perth and the Swan Valley a long way to the west behind us. It was now only small towns we were passing through as we made our way further inland, further into the interior. There were many farms which were clearly quite huge, we were right in the middle of the wheat belt after all, and slowly but surely the land was beginning to appear more untamed and less inhabited. At one point we passed a series of strange colored pools and lakes, probably caused by mineral deposits, and there was a beauty about their appearance which in the late afternoon sunlight was both haunting and mesmeric. The quality of my thoughts changed as well, and as if reflecting the lands we were riding through they were becoming less crowded. At this stage there was a sense which I can only describe as slate wiped clean; no religion here to speak of, people in this part of the world were too busy, too far away from anywhere to worry about things like that.

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