Text of the Poem

(Poetry for Students)

That time of drought the embered air 
Burned to the roots of timber and grass. 
The crackling lime-scrub would not bear 
and Mooni Creek was sand that year. 
The dingoes' cry was strange to hear.

I heard the dingoes cry
in the whipstick scrub on the Thirty-mile Dry.
I saw the wagtail take his fill
perching in the seething skull.
I saw the eel wither where he curled
in the last blood-drop of a spent world.

I heard the bone whisper in the hide
of the big red horse that lay where he died.
Prop that horse up, make him stand,
hoofs turned down in the bitter sand
make him stand at the gate of the Thirty-mile Dry.
Turn this way and you will die—
and strange and loud was the dingoes' cry.