What really matters
I have heard the doleful voices of the dingoes at night
and have thrilled to the whistle of an eagle at great height,
I have heard the warning call when a plover guards its nest
Have marvelled at the creaking of the gums that line the crest
of the hills where the kookaburra laughs with breathless glee
and enjoins the forest creatures to be glad that they’re free.
I have heard the spiteful jar of a crow at its road kill
and have felt the blessed comfort of sitting quite still
to listen to the soothing calls of the birds who have sung
in the bushes where the vines of the mistletoe have clung.
Having journeyed through mountains I crossed to the west
where the plains stretch ahead in an unending quest
and then sat by a campfire and saw that there are
in fact galaxies peopled with millions of stars.
I have learned about the bilbies, the copper-bellied snake
that prefer to live humbly in dry desert landscape.
I have found that the desert has a charm of its own
A quiet calm that the towns have been quick to disown.
And I think as the moon lights the land that is home
to the bilbies and possums and lizards that roam
past the creeks, in the gullies, in the desert, and the plain,
that the name of Australia will continue unstained
when we care for, respectfully guarding the same.