JOSEF LESSER

 

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.

 

 

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