Walking to Van Diemen's Land

Walking to Van Diemen’s Land


What must they have thought?

Those wiry men each shift

Making their way up the zigzag,

In hushed tones in all weathers

With boulders and rocks encasing the Valley

Walking to Van Diemen’s Land.


Only to shut out the light or stars

As they moved within the mountain.

Did they call on the gods to protect them?

Or make supplications to the dead

To guard over them?

The reverse journey was lighter,

Walking back from Van Diemen’s Land.


Van Diemen's Land Walk
Joan Kavanagh

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