Tag Archives: Gold

The Longest Walk – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Walk – RDP Saturday

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Photo: The Hull River, NT, usually a dry river, but a raging torrent if heavy rains come, behind me is Lasseter’s Cave.

 

The Longest Walk

Days of dehydrated confusion
heat boiling my blood
the camels had bolted
their pegs loosed and broken
and only the Pitjantjatjara people
knew what to do,
they led me along the Hull River
to the Tjunti soak
and put me in a cave
shaded, watered, and fed,
Old Wart watched over me
while the old women brought me food.
But that reef is calling
and I’m so fevered for gold,
barely able to stand
I set off yet again
driven, determined,
maddened,
but little did I know, though,
in my bones I sensed it,
this next short walk
would be my longest.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Note: Lasseter, who alleged that at 17 yrs he’d found a 16 km gold reef in the outback, came to grief on his expedition in 1931 to reestablish its whereabouts. His companions were away and he was alone when his camels spooked and bolted, taking the water and food with them. The local indigenous found him nearly dead, and cared for him, laying him up in a small cave on the Hull river. Weakened, he set off on foot again, walking 55 kms eastwards and collapsed and died. He was 51 yrs old.

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