A considerable natural stream of water
flowing in a definite course, usually into
Stealthily the river snakes
a passage between grains
of desert sand beneath river gums
frugal with treasure
to tree roots underground. Refusing
to spill into bright air
it surfaces in caves
under overhanging rocks
A body of water of considerable size,
surrounded by land.
The lakebed stretches wide
iced with salt
revealing in sand hills eroded by wind
the bones of history.
Betty Johnston has stories and poems published in a number of collections – Room to Move, Illumina 2007, Minute to Midnight – and in several journals and online. She lives in Sydney, enjoys reading, writing and arithmetic (actually maths), and travelling in the outback.