Saturday, 20 December 2014


Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet

Just as they did in days long gone they crossed the desert hot
and dry,  treeless and flat as well – an earthbound living hell
bordered by oceans mighty waves that beat against the cliffs
relentlessly with no respite as history does tell.
It seems that every day there is a pilgrimage of sorts
 but rare to see an Afghan cameleer to Mecca pray.
Two long grey snakes crawl side by side across the dark red sands,
grey nomads in their hundreds on the track –vans bounce and  sway.

 Their journeys end is very far from here, on this big plain
the road,  by headlights lit sometimes – the night sky lit by star.
They’ve no need of a stable or a place to rest their heads
but a roadhouse lights are welcome and a cold beer at the bar.
In shadows ‘neath the towering cliffs and powerful ocean waves
below, in waters frothed with cream a whale hoves into sight
to frolic with the seals that cluster all along the shore
she’s come back to her birthing place to birth, this Southern  Right .

And from the north Anangu came across Yalata land
to camp high on the Bunda Cliffs as they had always done
to honour the dream serpent and to give praise to the Mother
for her blessings and her bounty and her gifts shared with each one.
Above the southern skies put on a beautiful display,
bright nebulae mere wisps of light – star nurseries in the sky,
a band of light in darkness shining bright – The Milky Way.
Below, the Right whale birthed her calf – the oceans heard her cry.

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