Long ago a brown alighted story was told
As a boy, looked up on the hall walls
water flowed to his eyes
for Starlight was carrying snake in his shirt
and around the fires a tall man
frightened the mobs that black eyes promised
that night at giant tree, way up
bushes crept in the ant hill
was the wild blackfella
from up north, they said.
Soldier cained him down at the waterhole
but as they bent to dip, sip
behind their backs, old man Waterflow
flew clear, magic
undoing the shackles, without keys
or sounds of saw
saw … nah … you didn’t saw him.
He’s old Waterflow, even I’m too young
to remember everything.
Yet clever than pictures them show off
boonah: peace maker
making fun of old Boonah
sitting outside waiting for dreaming
to come to reality.
After that somebody broke into the store.
Oh, the police were everywhere
at every door, roof, in laws
Where’s this and that, you know.
So they find out where him came from
by looking at the tracks.
He’s headed for the caves
just near the Milky Way.
Happy in strength, we took off
but the hills hid this tribal
bull-roarer: a flat piece of wood, a few inches to a foot in length, fastened at one end to a string. When swung around in the air, it sets up sound waves, thus producing a whirring or howling sound likened to those of animals or spirits.
bull-roaring feather foot
under Jimmy’s Scrub
place up deep
where you have to leave smoke
if you want to hunt there
If you don’t, you’ll get slewed …
On earth our people are happy
but we couldn’t find that food.
Musta been up the Reservoir
or expecting a life to run over near Yellow Bar cave
But we bin told, one man got badly porcupine.
Bring him home and not supposed to.
So him get sick, all life time
like green bands touch Murri legs
that’s why you don’t swim too late
at this creek created.
A spoiled boy one afternoon, went repeating
the bell bird singing.
And he went and went
and sent to Green Swamp, back of the grid.
Then as eels were caught
Aunties sang out, this the biggest
I’ve ever seen.
Come boys get more wood, we’ll stay
here all night.
So sat waiting, a bit dark, tired light
the lines pulling in slowly
for fish seem to be in message
but two-headed creature appeared
legs chucked back
fires went out
the fish swarm back
we raced home.
All cold that night, back of the bend
you can see
this middle age woman, long black hair
walk past our Nanna Rosie’s place
up to the graveyards
but she flows
corroboree: large tribal gathering featuring singing and dancing, often of religious significance
Just near the bunya tree
and many a moons came shone in our minds
watching Dimmydum and Kingy doing corroboree
in front of the children.
A light story past thru windows
on to you all
remember more …