She comes in darkness to the mountain,
with all the colours of a dragon’s wing.
She delights in the moon, and the stars are bright
and around her the night starts to sing.
Forest echoes with the calls of the dark
and the moan of old stones in the fire.
Bandicoots rustle in the small plants
and above the trees, bats fly high.
Hear singing and chanting, arising and falling,
now close, now far, now near.
Fire blazes like the great lava heart of earth
red and yellow; so bright and clear.
Sensations and memories, sound and skin
jostle and intertwine
with stories and sharing and the prayer of breath,
a circle of hearts that beat with mine.
Sweat drying in the chill night air
as the moon sails behind a cloud.
And then the invocations to the Other World,
some are whispered, some said loud.
Every journey has its totem, this night
is it tree-snake hiss or black-cockatoo cry?
Or koala calling? Or is it a human
asking “Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?”
A spirit comes to play in the fire’s bed
and sparks dance upwards into the dark
to join the stars and for just one breath:
heaven and earth are no longer apart.