blood mud salt - with Maitland Schnaars

The sound of dry leaves and twigs brushing dusty black boots, crunch of wafer thin slivers of dry red mud.

The ancient crack and rumble. Red-rock fists of god and stars. And echoes of songs of giants gone. Gone. Gone…

Red earth moist and thick like congealed blood.

Maps in our veins of blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt.

Blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt. I see, I feel the blood, the mud, the salty tears of the land. Cracks crisscross the landscape as far as the eye can see. Flat, dry, parched, broken by an occasional mound of earth thrown up long ago.

Her waxing moon watching your every step. Waits for her seven sisters. Blood and mud and salt and sky. And sky.

Weather beaten and pitted smooth, rough figures of iron.

We are made of iron.

Silence, silence, silence.

Dragging mountains from holes. On endless trains to ships.

Sudden crunch of sundried salt pockets.

Feet sinking slightly into the blood, mud, salt, creating imprints with salty neon outlines.

We are all made of iron.

I see the bones of long past clawing their way out of the earth towards the pale bleached blue of the sky overhead.

There is a cautious sound here. Under the silence of salt and rock.

What is the sound of silence?

Without the sea this is an open prison. An iron prison. A fly-in fly-out airport carpark. In hi-vis, beards and blackened eyes we slump and sing. We are made of iron.

I feel the sound of the wind as it brushes past my ears. Birds drift across the endless blood, mud, salt.

blood, mud, salt, once bones of trees of stories, of oil and drying faces and fire and bodies.

I am alone with my thoughts.

Fragments of lives left in the grains. Unable to grasp the lake with sunburnt fingers.

Little holes of minute life forms pockmark the blood, mud, salt. Like little holes in my memory, little pockets of blackness.

The universe inverting itself, this smelter of charcoal, of iron songs and mining camp food.

I look forward never back.

Some nights I dance the seven sisters from long-dead playlists.

A fly is constantly buzzing around me, demanding my attention. Is it the same one?

Blood, mud, salt tinged with blackness.

Blood, mud, salt etched into glass.

Piles of iron grey disrupt the endless uniformity of the blood, mud, salt.

With huge white sticks we run at the old thin figures, listen to the black ore bleed from the haze of hills.

I hear them crows again off in the distance. They are still watching me.

We paint each other on beaches, a zinc masterpiece.

Grass pushes up through the shattered red rock.

Like an iron memory

I am not moving now.

The sound of silence is a flat, dry rock-face. Of blood pumping in your temple.

I am motionless on this mound protruding out of the blood, mud, salt. There are trees upon it, some bleached white, some iron grey. Their many skeletal arms stretching forth towards the heavens, frozen in their final death screams. They contrast strongly with the green tufts of grass, occasional wildflower and trees that are still alive and home to the birds and shelter to the animals whose droppings litter the ground.

There’s a white trail of thin cloud across the sky that touches my face. We drink it.

As I remove my boots, jagged edges of rock dig into my feet, not hurting, just bringing awareness.

A lilting song, sung from boats once. Echoes of thin, tall shadows.

As I stand naked as the day I came into this world, I listen.

Can I hear it?


Sometimes I think I can or is it merely my imagination?


Growing up a person of two worlds, a part of both, but belonging to neither. Their voices constantly collide within me so that I hear nothing, but silence.

And the softest voice tells me sweet stories of buckets of shells, and rock and mud and salt. And nothing but silence.

But here and now standing on this mound rising up out of the blood, mud, salt, I hear but one voice.

Blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt stories.

And it is a relief.

Clean white sheets

I can breathe.

Crystal. Silence

My head is empty.

Willy-willy at the edges of this country, where the salt-lake melts at the horizon.

Except for the never ending blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt, blood, mud, salt.

This slowest, most vast place of blood, of mud, of salt, and blood, and mud, and salt.

blood, mud, salt.