(header photographs by Harry Waite 1912-2011)

The Myth of the Sacred Brumby






How I can identify with Morag Ryder! Who among us hasn’t followed a trail of some plastic or other object inappropriately tied to the outside of someone’s pack (“hiker!” – the walker’s of the 30’s & 40’s would scream) jagging on overhanging branches and other obstacles, progressively torn apart and littering the ground? I know I have. And so often it is the fragments of a closed cell sleeping mattress that was deemed to take up too much space inside the pack; much less frequently seen these days with the advent of inflatable thermorests and the like.
The Blue Plastic Man

He is the greatest traveller Australia’s ever seen
No matter where you go, he’s already been
From Jagungal to Guouogang and out to Mt Prichard
At Carey’s Peak and Gingra Creek, he’s left his calling card
Little bits of –
Blue Plastic.

From Deadhorse Gap to Frenchmans Cap and on the Crosscut Saw
On Ti Willa or Mother Woila and even Mount Baw Baw
When you’re standing up on Tyan Pic or on the Viking high
All scattered on the ground, you’ll see the evidence lie
Little bits of –
Blue Plastic.

He must be getting tattered now, all the bits he’s left behind
Hung on every twig and bush, but he doesn’t seem to mind
For still he travels everywhere, up every hill and creek
Down the great Shoalhaven, or on Yerranderie Peak
Leaving little bits of –
Blue Plastic.

One day we’ll travel to the moon, explore the craters there
Bianchini, Piccolomini and Copernicus so fair
He’ll still be just ahead of you, wherever you may turn
No footprints in the dust, but you’ll know he’s been and gone
By the little bits of –

Morag Ryder
The Sydney Bushwalker”
April 1993