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By William C. Clarke

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Noise, quarrelling, clamour

Uluru, how deep do you go under the earth? For what do you wait to slough off this time of spectacle, to devour this foolish, this so unsacred hour? A Momentary Stay 37 ‘Poor land may be rich country’ — Aldo Leopold, ‘Country’, A Sand County Almanac, 1949 Poor land may be rich country, opulent with hints of life, a haiku instant when a snake’s skin glimmers, spans of weather, history’s palimpsest, whispering casuarinas casting plays of shade upon a boulder-shouldered shore, a place, momentarily a peace.

A Momentary Stay 35 Uluru Weather-furrowed animal, old as time, subtly shifting your skin’s transient hues into colours beyond their usual names, neither orange nor ochre, not sienna, close to crimson, near purple, almost blue when wet with rain the leaping waterfalls spew streams of white foam hiding algal black stains, commemoration of rains long past. You shed scales of stone that tumbled hulking down your huge flanks like herds of dinosaurs collapsing in their extinction, opening rugged emptiness to mythic vision, stories dreamed, holiness transforming space to place now needing protection against infidels rudely overrunning you clutching their possessing-mad devices.

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