Daily prompt: The Black Stump


There’s this place in Australia called The Black Stump. It’s not within cooee of anywhere else and it’s not marked on a map, but we all know which side of it we are.

Because when you get out past it, it’s like this.

This is forever country
where I am speck of nothing in the middle of nowhere
with saltbush and lizards to hear me pass
and only crows in an endless, empty sky
to see my life reduced to a scribble of dust
between vanished horizons.

Are you out there, God?


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14 Responses to Daily prompt: The Black Stump

  1. That’s an incredible atmospheric poem.
    Is there something wrong with me, that I would like to step past that black stump, and know how it feels?

  2. Wow. I think we have a place like that between Vast Emptiness, Wyoming and Abject Void, Nevada. Beautiful poem.

  3. luckyjc007 says:

    Very good! Yes, we do know which side we are on. 🙂

  4. New Zealand also has a black stump, but I don’t know if it’s a real place or not. Years ago, it was common to hear phrases like, “the best deal this side of the black stump”

  5. Frank Prem says:

    Brilliant bit of verse Helen.

    Loved reading it.



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