Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Day With Namarali And His Mates

A Day Namarali and His Mates

It was no hotel California or other 5 star show,set up on the beach above tidal reach,
Out where the dead men go.
The day had started rather early and quite soon we were smok’n,
‘round Namarali’s stoney comrades in the white sands we were pok’n,
Albert told the stories of owls and bits of feather some boys had plucked,
We stood by the petrified warriors, who were stoney faced and looked quite “stucked”.
With a bit of imagination, we listened in disbelief,
Of how for the love of a women all the warriors came to grief,
Seems that a mob or two of blackfellas fought it out here in the sand,
Then were somehow turned into rocky monuments, which wasn’t quite what they’d planned,
With the tide in-coming quickly, the ceremonial fire moved up the beach,
We were offered a deal on some artwork, with prices somewhat out of reach,
They seemed a deal at two grand a piece, but sales were rather slow,
When a sudden surge of salty water put the fire out and it was time to go.
Our faces daubed with ochre, a smoky branch was waved,
And off we went all cleansed and pure, from all dark business saved,
Donny’s mob had done a great job, we thanked them shaking hands,
Then embarked for other places, as the warriors drowned in the sands.

Cruising down the coastline we saw a distant passing whale,
As onward to the next beach camp our boat did slowly sail,
While plans were made and changed again to suit the time, the tide, and lunch,
We sat ‘round the decks confused, a happy but hungry bunch,
The camp tonight was on a sandy beach, we hoped for something tree’d,
A grove of palms, or some sort of shade, from the sun and heat we’d need,
Before our lunch we scrambled up a steep track, fit for a mountain goat,
Looking down on the sea below where the boat and the captain float,
The Wanjinas in their rocky caves were amazed at what they saw,
And wondered how we’d got this far, the old, tired, in-firmed and sore.
Returning to the boat at last, bone dry and cultured out,
“We’re off before the tide recedes, get your lunch down” was the Masters shout,
Time and tide wait for no man, as long ago we learned,
And he landed us on a sandy beach, only after the tide had turned.
Again we humped the swags uphill, ankle deep in sand and looked,
For the place in this wonderful paradise that the Captain said he’d booked,
There was no relief from the sun’s hot rays, into some shadows we were retreat’n,
And sat huddled hot, tired, and spent, buggered, bruised, and beaten.

In the good book I recall, I think, that in seven days he rested,
We’ve been going nine days now and been feted, fed, and tested,
The trip will finish fat too soon, we’ve enjoyed the Kimberley adventure,
Twelve days under this Captain though has been some sort of nautical indenture,
No more camps on the beach for us, we’ll now sleep on the rolling sea,
While a curlew sits on a nest of eggs, in the sand far from you and me.

Ian Bidstrup

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