Dust devils pirouette across the track.
Water purifiers hang uselessly from Will’s belt.
Cows search the crumbling lake floor
for drinkable pools.
Foxes gorge themselves on rotting fish.
a conspiracy of ravens harass wedge tailed eagles.
Two days of water hug Will’s torso.
He sips sparingly.
On Horizon Hill,
an inland lighthouse towers over ironbarks.
Its sandstone exoskeleton
is immune to the ravages of forest fires.
Underground it’s shaped like a bottle.
Will peers through his telephoto lens.
The lantern room is ready to illuminate the canyon.
Will follows the ridgeline
to the subterranean entrance.
The Autumn coolness within
is as soothing as silk sheets.
Will saturates his sun mask
with a splash from an underground stream.
A cap torch lights his climb to the cellar.
In the cavernous temple above,
serpentine flute songs
wrap themselves around serene dancers.
A wild xylophone solo
is accompanied by the scent of innumerable orchards.
Voices bounce from ceiling to stairs
like crazed rubber balls.
The words “I knew you’d come,”
intermingle with the riotous laughter of kookaburras.
The president of the Obscure Poet’s Club
appears to float into the cellar,
upon a fog tinged cushion of dazzling light.
Upstairs, in the cupped marble hands
of Graham H Goalposts Smith,
a rosewood lectern awaits the lone traveller.
Will climbs the ladder
inside that towering psychedelic Buddha.
Haikus, limericks and sonnets
drift from Graham’s lofty grasp.
The words hang in the air
long after the poet’s lips have ceased moving.
“LSD is superfluous here”
says the sulphur crested cockatoo
frolicking on the piano keys below.
After witnessing the statue’s eyes move,
Will isn’t so sure.
Outside, it’s forty in the shade.
A procession of profusely sweating dwarves
lug their sedan chair lounging court jester
past skeletons of drought massacred fish.
A dust storm obscures the remnants of the lake.
Inside, the celebration of the bizarre intensifies.
Bar staff masquerade as bunyips and Banksia men.
“Orthodoxy is anathema”
the ivory tinkling cockatoo yells
at a man in a Hawaiian tuxedo,
with tadpoles swimming
in his transparent platform soles.
“I know mate” he replies.