The Brolga’s Dance

Jim Macnamara

Dance around me Brolga, dance.
Your beauty captivates and intrigues.
Stalking the plains in full view,
yet unseen; unknown; unapproachable.
Weave your mystery, trace your patterns,
silhouetted shapes under the sky.

Dance around me Brolga, dance.
Replenish my soul seeking art and
craving culture in the wilderness.
I watch you dance, so near, so far,
revealing only glimpses of yourself,
then retreating into enigma, lost in silence.

Yet I know you Brolga, and your dance.
I met your spirit in the desert
that I traversed on my journey here.
I looked into your soul, saw your dance
which many think your destiny and desire,
is not enough. An illusion. A shadow play.

Your eyes revealed you yearn to fly.
The dance was only preparation.
A primeval instinct pulls – no, possesses you.
And now it possesses me. It binds us.
A thousand years of preparation,
a journey only just begun.

Fly Brolga, fly. Stretch your wings.
Let your spirit soar, set it free.
Don’t look down. Don’t look back.
I will guard your plains, protect your nest,
Provide a haven to harbour, be your rock,
And dance when you return.

This poem was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2002 Bauhinia Literary Awards Open Poetry Competition conducted by Central Queensland University and published in Idiom 23 Vol 15, April 2003.


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• Jim Macnamara presents refereed paper at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2008 conference, Wellington New Zealand