Friday, 11 October 2013


One of the great things that you see when you live outside the bright lights of the city is the night sky.  It is always amazing to see just how brilliant the stars are and note the satellites moving across that great expanse of sky and if you are lucky you might see a falling star with its trail of light streaming behind it as it plummets through the universe to its demise.

I find it fascinating to think that this is exactly the same sky that we do see in our cities and towns but because of the amount of artificial light that we have created it detracts from the beauty of the night sky that you see in the bush, causing us to actually miss out on ones of nature’s most glorious spectacles.

The Yolgnu people are indigenous people inhabiting north-eastern Arnhem Land in Australia. Yolngu means “person” in their language.  They believe that when they die, they are taken by a mystical canoe, to the spirit-island in the sky, where their camp-fires can be seen burning along the edge of the great river of the Milky Way. The canoe is sent back to earth as a shooting star, letting their family know that they have arrived safely with their ancestors.

Shooting stars –
message stick
to Yolgnu family

Ancestor returned
Lights dance and blaze
lighting the night sky
in celebration.

Maureen Clifford ©
The Scribbly Bark Poet

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