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Clear creek water meets the muddy Daly River – Northern Territory,

Tropical far northern Australia has only two seasons – “the Wet” and “the Dry”.


The grass on the withered and burning hot plains,
It sighs with the wind from the storms,
And dances and bows to the warm driving rains;
Drinks deep – as the Monsoon it forms.

And great spreading waters they cover the plains;
The cycle of life quickly turns.
Come vast flocks of pelicans, geese, ducks and cranes;
The season of plenty returns.

The creek has been sleeping, its lifeblood ebbs low,
But now the creek’s heart skips and leaps,
As here at its source, from the plains waters flow;
From deluge a harvest it reaps.

There at its beginning a pool clear and deep,
Etched out from the plain over time,
And into this pool little waterfalls leap,
With sparkling beauty sublime.

So foaming and burbling the waters they flow,
As small fish that go with the tide
Are taken by giant barramundi below;
They close by the waterfalls glide.

Go rolling the waters with shimmering light,
Caressing the banks of the creek.
A fish chasing prey turns – its side flashes bright.
The river these waters now seek.

First rushing so madly then slowing at last,
The great muddy river they reach,
With rolling brown waters all churning and vast;
Its borders the clear waters breach.

So water once clean and bright muddies to dark,
And lost is its beauty so soon,
The creek to the river a contrast so stark,
One pure, and one debris bestrewn.

The river a chaos of eddy and foam,
And floating thereon logs and boughs.
All furrowed and flowing like watery loam
Where fins break the surface like ploughs.

And so to the sea will the waters be drawn
And thence to the clouds by the Sun.
As rain to the land as the rolling clouds spawn,
As all through The Wet, rivers run.

And so for a time will the creek pay its dues
To its master the river below,
And late in The Dry will its sustenance lose,
Then wait for Monsoon winds to blow.

Copyright © Dennis N. O’Brien, 2012

Image by Fitzy