Larapinta Loonies – A poem by Stroller Michael Gibbs about walking the Larapinta Trail

They arrived from around the globe –

a very motley crew.

Michael, John and Charlie, the three deaf men;

Megan, Tony, Henrietta, Shylie and a Vicky and Gordon too!


There was lovely Lynda

and also Sue and Pete;

And the friendly vegan Holly,

a medical researcher to meet.


‘We’re Kathleen and David,

We would like to welcome you.

But it seems you have forgotten someone,

you are one short too’.


‘Oh no, I forgot Michelle’

‘I forgot to bring her here’

said Gordon to the gathered group,

as he wiped away a tear.


They set off to the Ormiston.

A lovely little track.

Until Sue cried ‘It’s broken,

It’s more than just a crack!’


Dave to Kathleen – ‘A new record,

this would have to be.

I’ll fix it dear, don’t worry’,

he said with a bit of glee.


He bandaged up her shoe

until the boot you couldn’t see,

and then round and round, and up and up

until he reached her knee!


‘That should stop their complaints’ said David

our tour guide and host,

until breakfast arrived – said Charlie –

‘No Vegemite for toast?’


‘Hey Kathleen’. ‘Yes David’.

‘Let’s see if they can swim’

He took them up a mountain, then a waterhole,

‘Cross here’ he said with a grin.


They lost Henrietta in the icy water

when she took a fall.

The blokes got Bloodwood gall appendages,

the sizes – Very Small.


They thought –

that should fix them,

but when they got to camp

Pete jumped into the billabong,

while others got mere cramp.


So they took them up mountains

They took them down the slopes

They even took them through the hills

aflame and full of smoke.


Lynda to Megan – ‘Where’s Tony?’

‘I think inspecting a bird or Tree?’

Dave – ‘He’s inspecting another grass with John.

They’ll be the death of me!’


Meanwhile Tony to John:

‘Is that a rock grass, there, next to thee?’

‘No, it’s definitely a Woollybutt.

Rock grass must have awns of three’.


That night, said David,

respectfully to the group:

‘We’re going up Mt Sonder in the middle of the night,

so finish up your soup’.


‘Take your lights with you’

‘It’s dark up there in the pass’

‘You won’t see trees, you won’t see birds,

and you won’t see any bloody grass!’


They returned the group to Alice,

tired and well worn.

They stumbled out of the bus,

and fell upon the lawn.


They left it up to Lynda,

to finish with a nice touch:

‘Thank you David and Kathleen

We enjoyed your torture very much.’

Larapinta painting by Michael Gibbs


You can find our group-guided Larapinta Trail Walk here.

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