A Hundred Gourds 3:1 December 2013
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Marilyn Humbert - Australia

Karlu Karlu *

Chill July bounces between ruddy, round granite boulders balancing atop of each other. Some are split in two neat halves, others are scattered in heaps among upright blackened sticks, green spinifex and slippery white boles of ghost gums.

regal in dry grass
jewelled in red rock
this ancient land
by a master craftsman

Sunset: a palette of pink and orange streaks is overcome by tar-black night speckled with zillions of pinhead lights. A full moon rises to glare on our campsite.

dingo’s howl
this still, clear night
and I drift
on its constant note

Sleep is tainted. Haunted by the ghosts of Karlu Karlu.

in my dreams
flames and grasses sway
to bush curlews’ cry -
a mourning song
for the forsaken people

* Karlu Karlu – the Devils Marbles, an Indigenous sacred site in Northern Territory Australia.

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