beating a hardpan drum.
Cicadas warble a scorched-earth vibrato,
rushing skyward, the long-dry undone.
on verandah iron and brass. While the red dusts
of torment yawn and drink deeply,
thirsty as fire-kissed grass.
flick ears laid unseasonably low.
Drought threatens to claim what Tigers have not.
Limp tails tell tales of woe.
raise limp hands, tattered and burned.
A chorus begins, Magpie trills and woodwind;
life to the outback returned.
from their wild tumbles and dips.
A long-absent lover, in the final refrain,
bestows a moist kiss on parched lips.
by Ryan Stone
* Tigers -> the venomous Australian Tiger Snake
Click here for audio
First published in Of Words and Water 2014