A journey of one thousand miles begins with the first step …
- Laozi, Tao Te Ching


A long hike begins with a heavy pack clipped and a light tread
Trek on your morning shadow and bear always off track onto roo pads
Feral grass hides rock you stumble into golden webs between wattle
Vibram soles tramp iambs like ripples into Precambrian sand
Spring-loaded poles tap metamorphic Morse on sloping slabs of schist
Fingers read the Braille of punctuated spinifex above gaiter line
This aridity cracks heels into quartzite blocks the walk never ends
Sweat falls in ascent of orogenic upthrusts to eroding bluffs
Topping out at ridge crest you drop pack and rock-hop your vows renewed
In the constriction of cliffing contours you plunge pool to rocky pool
Frogs leap packs floating hypothermic slot chasm you cry for billy
Where time is measured in shadows bivvy deep down beneath emu night
All this moving on packing and un- but of your past no trace remains


Not the Larapinta Trail