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I wrote this poem in the early '90s on exercise with the Army in outback central Australia whilst I was sitting waiting in my Landrover 110. 

The Australian outback is a harsh environment and that, to me, is a large part of the appeal. How animals and vegetation survive in such a climate is incredible, but they do...

If you ever get the chance to be alone in such a place, I totally recommend you take the opportunity even if it is for a short time because the experience is truly wondrous and unexplainable. 

Isolation in places like outback Australia or the Sahara Desert (I've spent a lot of time in both) can really open one's mind to the sheer greatness of nature. Why this happens, I think, is the enabled focus due to the lack of surrounding distractions. 

Then when you are back home wondering through the backyard garden it's easier to appreciate what beauty we have right under our noses.  

Looking Through My Windscreen

The sun now hits the canvas roof

The heat is trapped inside

The wind speaks a dry throat whistle 

Like words, it couldn't find

The horizon gives a sunset pink

Soft dust rises high

A falcon circles overhead 

As if wanting me to die

The grass is wilted a golden brown

It braves the sun all-day

A leaning tree looks like a head bowed in sheer dismay

A mountain sits crossed legged 

Overlooking all his land

From wildflowers a vivid violet 

To the orange desert sand. 

By Mark Valencia

I have great news to share with you!

You may remember the first poem I published here on this website called Kapooka - well, in the description of that poem I mentioned how I had lost my poetry book and therefore all the poems I had written over the years. However, I'm pleased to announce that Nina (my wife) was doing some spring cleaning last week and she found it! 

My old poetry book was hidden in the bottom of a large container underneath a bunch of photo albums and documents. And, when Nina found it, she ran into my study to excitedly share the news. 

Honestly, I had made peace with the loss of my poem collection (after all it's only words I guess) but finding them was a great moment of happiness and relief. 

So, over the next 12 months, I will publish these poems one by one to share with you and the interwebs... If anything else, this digital collection will be insurance against me losing my book again. 

Furthermore, many of my poems are still written on the original paper (often scrap pieces scribed in pencil) and over the years some are becoming hard to read so it's necessary I transcribe them anyway. 

Happy days...  

Mark Valencia

Mark is the Founder of Self Sufficient Me - you can read more on our About Page and subscribe to his YouTube Channel here.

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