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outback plains,
a vast expanse stamped in silence
and the loose scent of isolation.

You cannot know how empty flatlands
enhance your mystique,
or the way your solid light stirs my soul.

There is something
about your outback syntax:
a language dipped in drought that unites

land and sky; you understand
that vacant space is your gift.
You are feral sun and spirited moon.

Colours meld with mirages
and belches of purple from distant hills.
Your pulse thumps

to a slow wasteland beat,
eyes are shaded with lashes
feathered by black crow.

Dry lightning and scattered stone
sculpt your moods.
It has come to this:

I feel your hotness,
it matches my passion
for ochre earth and funnelled wind.

Naked contours stretch
in arid ambiance as though prepared
for the crest of a sunset eclipsed in flame.

Lust is dust and haze.
We move together, skin to skin,
a warm updraft is breath in unison.

Sired by the desert,
conceived in a heatwave,
            you are me Mundi Mundi/
                                                        I am you.

Barbara De Franceschi resides in the outback town of Broken Hill. Besides three collections of poetry her work has appeared in anthologies and journals Australia wide, on-line and in other countries. As part of the Art in Health programme Barbara has served as artist-in-residence for the University Department of Rural Health.