THE RAINBOW SERPENT
(In many Australian Aboriginal legends the “Rainbow Serpent”
is respected as the creator of all life, plants, rivers, rocks and hills.
The Serpent is both creator and destroyer.)
I am the colour of your cool evening,
of the warm wind winding between
the knots and bends of your worn bones,
the colour red of the sand between
your toes of the red kangaroo
of the sun before stories of dreamtime
draping in red the soul of Uluru.
I am your mother your father your child
from yesterday and your children to-morrow.
I run beside you fleeting as the dingo,
hunt for food with your boomerang,
spear with sharp eye the murray cod
fat mullet fish and barrumundi.
Listen for my voice in the roar
of the falling water the laugh
of the kookaburra the croak of the frog.
Hear my spirit inside the didgeridoo
where I blew through the hollow wood
satiated termites who now roam blind
as stars across your southern sky,
relay the stories from your elders to the young
how the brolga changed into a bird
to dance into the spirit of the land,
how koala lost his tail and all around
is dreaming. Possum dreaming caterpillar
dreaming lizard and echidna, all the fish
birds animals reptiles man woman and child,
for in the dreaming remember is the magic
of life the magic of sticks burning fire,
healing the unwell wrenching tears
from the clouds and the chant of yilpinji,
secret women’s business sacred and secret
as the cry of creation from the bullroarer
slicing the air in the valley of men.
All this I give and all this I can destroy.
Uluru: Aboriginal sacred site where it all began
Yilpinji: Womens secret love magic.