August 21, 2009

Nana Ollerenshaw


Out here the highway starts with reassurance
but soon will dump its drivers on rough dirt,
washboard roads to unfenced silence,
an aftermath of dust.
Passing drivers lift a finger
knowing this red country can
destroy, a landscape simplified
to sky, earth, air and fire
but no water—the braided rivers run with sand.
The road leads on deeper into myth
towards fear in bareness, heat,
flat in all the compass points
so when a destination comes,
presents a campground, toilets, gorge,
the green of hidden water, palms,
a tiny spill of people, who've also driven here,
it's like redemption.


Nana Ollerenshaw grew up in Connecticut, married an Australian and moved to Australia in 1965. She changed from school teaching to nursing in 1988, and currently lives in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.

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