Scattered Images in My Mind - Solitary journey of a desert poet

My journey to North of Australia

My journey starts in Geraldton.
My journey starts in Geraldton.
Leaving civilization behind.
Leaving civilization behind.
Would I be able to sleep without the comfort of  an artificial light?
Would I be able to sleep without the comfort of an artificial light?
The Geraldton lighthouse, its familiar light I will see from a long distance for a long time.
The Geraldton lighthouse, its familiar light I will see from a long distance for a long time.
The beach sand is soft and white, what about the desert sand?
The beach sand is soft and white, what about the desert sand?
The pathway to the Geraldton beach.
The pathway to the Geraldton beach.
The last view of the Geraldton beach.
The last view of the Geraldton beach.
A lizard - the first desert animal I met in Coral Bay
A lizard - the first desert animal I met in Coral Bay
The beach sand in Coral Bay is yellow and sticky, what about the sand in desert?
The beach sand in Coral Bay is yellow and sticky, what about the sand in desert?
Still close to water.
Still close to water.
The birds fly towards the water and I walk oposite way.
The birds fly towards the water and I walk oposite way.
My first feeling of desert.
My first feeling of desert.
My first camp in sand dunes.
My first camp in sand dunes.
Solitary nights are the best part of my adventure.
Solitary nights are the best part of my adventure.
Stopping by in Carnavon and meeting with the native habitant there.
Stopping by in Carnavon and meeting with the native habitant there.
Night near the Carnavon.
Night near the Carnavon.
Yardie Creek in Carnavon. There is still some water from the last raining season.
Yardie Creek in Carnavon. There is still some water from the last raining season.
Visiting the first Aboriginal secret sites.
Visiting the first Aboriginal secret sites.
I move quietly and with respect, a foreigner and intruder in native land.
I move quietly and with respect, a foreigner and intruder in native land.
The secret pool of fresh water, so priceless in this unhospitable environment.
The secret pool of fresh water, so priceless in this unhospitable environment.
I touch its silky surface when a strange noise startles me.
I touch its silky surface when a strange noise startles me.
It is just a wallaby. It is time to move on.
It is just a wallaby. It is time to move on.
Approaching Broome I see many Mangrove trees.
Approaching Broome I see many Mangrove trees.
Their roots are emerged in water and sweet water crocodiles lurk there.
Their roots are emerged in water and sweet water crocodiles lurk there.
Just like this one.
Just like this one.
Moving to Darwin.
Moving to Darwin.
Visiting Kakadu park, which is suprisingly green after the recent rainfall.
Visiting Kakadu park, which is suprisingly green after the recent rainfall.
Kakadu Park is magnificent.
Kakadu Park is magnificent.
Full of crocodiles of course.
Full of crocodiles of course.
Kakadu waterfall.
Kakadu waterfall.
The last night in Kakadu Park.
The last night in Kakadu Park.
Finally reaching the Western Desert. My adventure starts...
Finally reaching the Western Desert. My adventure starts...

A desert poet and me

I approached an old man

sitting under an ancient boab tree

'He is a magic healer',

its withered leaves whispered to me.


I saw a questing traveller

thirsty for new sights

roaming throughout the western desert,

a reflective individual

living under the austere codes

of the nomad life.


An intriguing figure,

this Aboriginal man,

who stands at the heart

of desert beliefs and rituals

yet sought out to learn English,

study poetry

and marry a well known poet

from mainstream Australia.


" It was a love match",

he said to me

with a twinkle in his eyes.

" I was born in the mid-1930s

at the remote site

of Tjamu Tjamu,

in the Gibson desert

dunefields

of Western Australia."


"When did you start

to write poetry?"

I asked.


"As a child

I roamed the desert

with my family group,

my Father was

a maparnajarra,

a magic doctor,

who taught me

to rely

on the gifts

of insight and intuition

that lie at the heart

of traditional healing,

that is full of magic words,

poetry is also about words,

words, words, words...

My wife used to say:

" When I have a poem published,

I'll feel like a poet."

Then it was.

Then she used to say:

" When I have a book published,

I'll feel like a poet."

But it did not change anything.

She was always chasing words,

it's still was just about

the next word

on the page.

She is dead now,

but her poetry lives on,

on a paper,

as you

'white people',

have a need

to write

everything down."



" I know, what you mean,"

I nodded suddenly:

" Dylan Thomas said:

'Poetry was

what makes us

laugh and cry...'

and the earliest poets,

those travelling performers,

rhapsodes, bards or troubadours,

used spoken words to entertain."


" For my people,

poetry is about

conversation,

'Narrative poems'

are possibly

the oldest type of poetry,

and are still performed

as communication

in desert communities

where many of the people

still could not read or write."


" I loved your storytelling,"

I said,

remembering the last night

in a camp,

with a crackling fire

and this poet's voice,

the only sound

in emptiness of desert.

" I loved you imagery,

the flexible rhythm

in tension and harmony..."


" While still young,

I was marked out for training

in traditional healing.

It involved solitary journeys,

encounters with spirit beings

and

the acquisition of acute

sensory powers.

I could see

distant locations

and detect body auras

of troubled patients,

use magic words

to soothe their suffering.

I see poems as a sort

of personal healing,

it's a mean

of sharing

frustrations

or joys

about the world."


" You are one of those desert men

with a strong sense of form and style.

Your striking face,

full of wrinkles

and deep lines

became well known in the media,

young budding artists

queue to visit your camp

with their modern camping equipment,

do you welcome this fame

and intrusion into your solitary life?"

I asked and watched his face turned to me

in a surprise.


" Fame brought money,

it would be pointless

to pretend

that I do not welcome

the mainstream recognition

that came my way

so late in my life."

He nodded and looked

at his worn out clothes

and a bush humpy

behind.

" And yet I am,

like all healers,

set of to one side

of my own society.

I am a helper figure,

oddly devoid of selfish feelings,

generous with my Western acolytes.

I see myself as a part of

a collective,

I am closely bound

to my community

and I myself suffer

the familiar collapse

of old desert people

caught up in the cycles

of modern community life.

He stopped talking for a while

and looked deeply into my eyes:

" What ail my people

is not traditional.

I travel far to distant towns

such as Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs,

with their drinking camps, courts and jails,

nor my healing powers,

nor my Western fame

can help my community

which is barely functioning today."



" How did you meet your wife?"

I quickly changed the subject

unable to withold his gaze.


" When still a young warrior,

I travelled across

a wide stretch of desert

to the vicinity

of Warburton mission,

where I learnt English

and was sent to Perth

to study more.

There I met and married my wife.

After some years based there,

I went back north with my wife

to the region of Patjarr rock hole,

one of the core sacred sites

of the western desert.

We helped establish

a new community there.

I was among the crew of men

who cut and graded

the long road into Patjarr

from Gunbarrel Highway.

My wife is dead,

I have no children,

the Patjarr community

is empty now."


I looked up on his sad face

and followed his gaze

across the sand.

He started to recite one of his poems,

communicating the desert life-world

full grace and poise.

So many traditional words,

in his ancient language,

so hard to understand,

on other hand,

so many words of depths,

the pure expression of his identity:

prompt, lovely, yet unresovable,

a gateway into absolutes.

They are a testament

and a mystery

at once.


I approached an old man

sitting under an ancient boab tree

'He is a magic healer',

its withered leaves whispered to me.


I saw an Australian poet

with no volume of poetry published

yet known as one,

roaming throughout the western desert,

a reflective individual

living under the austere codes

of the nomad life.


Anyone can write/say a poem.

No matter how a poem is written/said

No matter where a poem is written/said

There is one element

that is the same

EMOTION














More by this Author


Comments 43 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 6 years ago

Fascinating story/poem and nice pictures to go with it.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I really found this poem very mvoing and beautiful. And the pix are also brilliant and complement the poem so well. Very poignant and a little sad, too.

Thank you so much for sharing this gem!

Love and peace

Tony


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you guys for your kind comments, I am so happy that you find time to come and see my writings. All the best from Beata


Moulik Mistry profile image

Moulik Mistry 6 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

You have expressed yourself so beautifully in so simple words...


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my dear Moulik for sharing your precious time with me and my poems, I am very grateful for that, it gives me some reason for continuing with my writing. All the best from Beata


you suggest one profile image

you suggest one 6 years ago from NOTTINGHAM ENGLAND

what a wonderful story,to be lucky enough to converse with the true people of the earth would be magical,these people have so much to teach us,loved the pictures too,hope you are still teaching,so many need to learn,take care.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you 'you suggest one', yes, I am still teaching as writing is just my hobby and I am happy that I can touch some people this way. Thank you for your beautiful comment. All the best from Beata


Ashmi profile image

Ashmi 6 years ago from Somewhere out there

Hi B.....Love it!! Great pics too!!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Ahmi, what is a better way to honour a poet than use the poetry to do it...I am very happy you like it. All the best from Beata


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Emotion is nothing without thought or logic to a female and the opposite,I find, is true for a male...


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Possible, i never looked at it that way, but it is always good to take different perspective...thanks


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Beautiful imagery from the poem and photos.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you billyaustindillon for visiting me, happy you liked it....all the best from BEata


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Beautifully written and the photos are great. Nice work!! Peace!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you justom, peace to you as well and good luck with your own photo/writings, we are GREAT in our own individual way...all the best from BEata


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

Beata - I echo the sentiments above, great work and I'm looking forward to more..


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

There will be more, my fellow writer because we just have this big need...to write:)


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Beata Stasak. Hi. This Poem was moving, beautiful and sad.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You have a wonderful talent.

The photographs are all amazing.

Thank you for sharing it with us. :) :)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 6 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Oliversmum for your encouragement, happy that my writing is useful and enjoyable for some:)


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Beata, I like the way you incorporate the pictures with your lovely poetry. Beautiful written with heartfelt joy and sadness.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Wow... this is a wonderful poem. You are really talented person. How you made this so beautiful? At least I really entertained to read this poem, including all stunning pictures. Thanks for writing this. Good work, my friend.

Love and peace,


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Dear my new fellow hubbers, thank you for taking your time to read my writings, feel very honoured and humbled by your encouraging opinions, I am ready to write and share more:)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Beautiful poem and beautiful story. I caught the Greyhound from Perth to Darwin and visited many of the places that you have pictures of. I don't think that I will ever forget the stars in the night sky in Western Australia or how empty and big the landscape is compared to Britain


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thanks CMHypno, my grown up kids have just returned from Britain and loved it there, every place has different beauty spots...but just like you I can not get enough of the WAs' dusty, rusty and empty landscape, I hope you come back to visit us again:)


mylife=adventure profile image

mylife=adventure 5 years ago from Wisconsin

Wish I could have been there this is a magnificent story!

Stay Happy and True - Mylife


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my new follower, happy you liked it and I am sure you will get to the last wild places on our planet Earth...there are still many left and I see you have an adventurous heart:)

All the best with your adventures from Beata


Jewels profile image

Jewels 5 years ago from Australia

Wonderful read, and the pics are fantastic. I've traveled a bit of the Australian outback and love the desert spaces. The Kimberley took my breath away - so clean, pristine and I look forward to seeing more of it someday.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Jewels, I love Australian outback too:)


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 5 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Voted up, awesome and beautiful ... both for the writing and wonderful photos :-)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you Brett, for taking the less travelled route to the Great Southern Land and happy it was worthwhile:)


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

Incredible photos! And what way to describe this part of your adventure. Very exciting!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

It was a great adventure and your comment brought me back to it:)...thank you, happy you liked it...


Poetic Fool 5 years ago

Beata, this is simply amazing. I had to read through it twice and have bookmarked it so I can come back again. I love the old man's take on poetry"

" For my people,

poetry is about

conversation,"

I think he is right there. Wonderful, Beata, simply wonderful!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you my fellow poet-hubber for stopping by and happy you find your visit worthwhile, there are so many cultures...so much richness in the world but we tend to occupy the ninety percent of our time with mainstream popular cuture and yet...sometimes we need to take just few steps out of our metropolitan area and we discover new world...this is how I sometimes feel on my regular trips to outback...


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

This poem is really beautiful. I love narrative poetry, but I can never write one. Your pictures are amazing.I love nature and I enjoyed looking at your photos. Awesome voted up.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you Vellur, happy you liked it, the only poetry I can write is narrative...everyone is good at something else...at least we can share our skills, here, on hubpages:)...all the best from Beata


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

Hello Beata.

When I was in some small way connected to the entertainment industry, I was on occasion required to speak or perform before crowds of varying sizes. The greatest compliment that I could ever hope to hear was: "You're too good for this venue."

After reading and thinking about several of your pieces, I am compelled to say, "You are too good for this venue."


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

thank you, my dear fellow hubber, there is no better praise one could ever get from a fellow artist, there is a huge need in me to express this way, unfortunatelly or maybe fortunatelly only in this way I can express myself without constraint and compromises...on this venue I am free...so far...


komal chaudry 4 years ago

not bad:D


SOBIA AFZAL 4 years ago

VVVVEEEERRRRYYYY GGGOOOOOODDD:}


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you fellow hubbers, happy you liked it:)


Ironman1992 profile image

Ironman1992 4 years ago

This poem is well written, and, as you've already been told many times by the hubbers to have commented before me, you did a good job of telling the story, and using a good slection of pictures to go along with it.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you 'Ironman1992', just trying my best in sharpening my writing and photographic skills and if the creative product is useful in some way to my fellow hubbers, there is nothing more I can ask for:)

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