Bidjara Dreaming (poem)

By Leroy Wilson
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Leroy Wilson

(i) initiation

deep indigo earth flavoured ochre
varnished soft black skin on coarse
organic sandstone. spear and boomerang

stencils accompany the array of
body parts in the story. coals carried
from main camp are placed on dry

eucalypt leaves, concealing gidyea
burners at the foundation. hunting parties
return with spoils and offer invaluable

admonition to the children. knowledge
which will no doubt be needed during
their upcoming initiation ceremony.

apology and appreciation rituals begin.
carcasses are skinned and marinated
by flame. fresh burning flesh tempts

the spirits that walk here. children eat
first. boys serve men. boys will soon
be men. men will soon be boys…again.

(ii) harmony

she cuts her teeth on the shadow

of a weeping willow. hot dry

winds blow across the western plain

engulfing fresh carcasses. a ceremony

commences. children pay their respect

through dance. women through song.

clever old men capture a sound

of the didgeridoo and clap stick.

simple exchange of gifts. tribute to

the sacrifice. eternally grateful. Bones

tend to the fire. flame channels the spirit.

a young girl bears witness to the cycle.

(iii) natures terror

old spirit woman interoperates the breeze
for the seeds; it only blows from there in

times of distress – let this be a warning.
anxious fauna have commenced migration

to peaks of fortune; oblivious while resting on
heaven’s pillow – light headed, the air is thin.

acute senses provide warning of the turbulent
hysteria approaching; old woman apprehends

the message stick – their skates pierce the ice.
time is a prison, the breeze a catapult but

the walls hold strong; there is no escaping
the invading army – no prisoners, no spoils.

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