the body of an ancestor spirit
First of all apologies. Apologies to every aboriginal person whose eyes I have avoided because I could not bear your pain, I could not bear what my people have done, are still doing, to your people. I am sorry. Even when I was a child I knew the great wells of sadness in your eyes and how they can change in an instant to humour, the depth of love there, the depth of grief. And I am sorry.
I grew up on Country. I don’t know whose Country, just that I loved it. It fed my body and my bones grew.
in miles of bush
the dark haired child
on thin legs
Interesting that, though I knew nothing of aboriginal culture at the time, I knew there were places I should not go and places that welcomed my small female body with mother’s arms.
Dad showed me bora rings once. They were circles and paths edged with white stones amid the thin shade of lanky bush trees. We stood amongst them, where once ceremonies were performed, feet danced the earth, songs and clapsticks filled the air.
just the whine of flies
The whole area was dotted with stones. One could miss the bora rings. Dad said he and my brothers had ridden past for years not seeing. Perhaps the spirit of the land had accepted them enough to open their eyes.
The aboriginal people say the Dreamtime (creation) is not only some distant past, it is also now. Creation is still happening. It is why they must dance the totems of the animals, plants, birds, and earth. They must sing the paths of ancestor beings.
from black feet
Apparently the songlines cross the country. If one knows the song, one would never get lost on that unmapped path even though they extend thousands of kilometres across land never seen. And they must be sung.
I hope there is a songline from where I live now in South Australia to the North Queensland country of my youth because my heart sings the songs of both places and sometimes my eyes are sad for the other.
rolling hills and farmlands
my heart in the rocky places
of my youth