Three months of every year
is the Aborigine Dreaming Time,
when the folk of the tribe come together
and gather around the sweet gum smoke
of the campfire
to renew their world through the Dreams,
as they have done for thousands of years.
The dijeridoo, a rudimentary wind instrument
improvised from a fallen, termite-hollowed tree branch,
often longer that a man is tall,
moans to the rhythmic crack of boomerangs
sharply struck together
and the loud clap of hand on buttock or thigh.
The dancers, always men,
their bodies streaked with fabulous designs
of coloured mud,
follow the steps that match the tale
sung by the Shaman,
repeating each movement
until the story comes to life.
What are you doing here, White Woman?
the dijeridoo’s strange, exotic voice calls to me,
and, at some level of consciousness,
I am watching the dance,
feeling the chant in my bones,
seeing you, Black Men,
borrowed from your starry nights
and the bizarre beauty of your faraway land,
brought to entertain me
on a wide stage covered with red sand,
a painted backdrop of trees,
a real wood fire
filling the huge theatre with its sweet aroma.
White woman, why are you here, in this place?
the dijeridoo asks again
with its hoarse, hypnotic voice,
and I answer to myself,
I came here
imaging modern dance,
adapted from primitive traditions.
Instead there is the muted, unmelodic call
of the dijeridoo,
the incessant clicking of the boomerangs,
the clapping hands.
The unknown sounds pull me into a parallel world.
I find myself nodding in a curious sort of half-doze
fraught with images I cannot recognize,
images that whirl before my eyes,
between me and the stage, and I think,
“How tired I feel! I am falling asleep!”
But wait, this is not sleep,
this is – trance.
I, sitting in the plush seat of a modern big-city theatre,
am entering the Dream!
I come to myself, half exalted, half musing,
Glancing around me to see
if anyone else has shared my experience.
Afterward, when I describe what happened to me,
I am told,
“Yes, yes, that is as it should be—
you entered the Dream.
We tried, but we could not...”
How privileged I am, that I might enter unaware
Into the incredible Dream Time
of an ancient people.
I have been told that the rock paintings
found deep in hidden, ancient caves,
drawn on the walls by the shamans who believed
the walls to be a mere membrane between them
and the living being of the Earth,
those pictographs placed high on ravine bulwarks
to appease/please the gods
are perhaps reflections of those same visions
I now and then have,
Those marvelous, painless explosions
of radiant patterns--
curved lightning bolts that whirl across my sight
in scintillating bursts,
blinding me with green and white and red splendour.
“Although the visions of he shaman
were possibly augmented by hallucinogenic substances,”
the lecturer explains,
“We see a resemblance to the ocular migraine
in those forms found
in many of the magical drawings.”
Why not? And if, and if...
I am Shaman, then...
Where is my magical drawing,
where is my voice, what shall be my spell-song?
I shall be Shaman-Poet,
my poetry will weave the incantations,
tell the story, mark my Dreaming Time,
pull me, entranced,
into mankind’s great Collective Unconscious,
humble me before the resplendence
of what humanity might have been,
might still become
poetryrepairs #242 17,120:
thank you for reading poetryrepairs|
please link to http://www.poetryrepairs.com/v17/120.html
All the fine arts are species of poetry--Samuel Taylor Coleridge
even as it splits it open.
The Art of Reading
Our Dancing Poet Logo! FIND GIFT BUY GIFT
No state organ: POETRYREPAIRS
accepts NO money from federal,
state, or local governments.
READERS maintain poetryrepairs
NO READING FEE FOR SUBMISSIONS. DONATIONS, while appreciated, WILL NOT INCREASE CHANCES OF BEING SELECTED.
I have many things to write unto you but
I will not write with pen and ink
--JOHN the theologian
REPAIR: resort, frequent or habitual going; concourse or confluence of people
at or in a place; making one's way; to go, betake oneself, to arrive; return to a place; to dwell; to recover, heal, or cure; to renew; to fix to original condition. -- Oxford English Dictionary
read more poetry