My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed:
I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul, and awake, sticks and didj:
for I will awake the morning.
I will play the didj, O Lord, among the peoples:
its circle buzzing breathes our gratitude.
I will chip your clapping sticks among the nations:
its clicking claims your eternal praise.
For the dawn in the east rises in gold and scarlet:
robes of Easter and Pentecost overwhelm the sky.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds:
and the land is a body painted with white and ochre dreamings.
Be exalted, O God, above the southern skies:
and let your glory shine over Noongar country;
That all whom you love may be delivered:
Noongars and wedulahs, O save us by your right hand, and answer us.
(Acknowledging Professor David Frost’s version of Psalm 108 in A Prayer Book for Australia)
The ‘didj’ (didgeridoo) was technically not a part of Noongar culture before the arrival of Europeans, but they have adopted it since contact with ‘wedulahs’ (white fellas) has brought them into contact with other Indigenous groups.
My country of origin is Koreng country. I now live in Wardandi country.
Pieces of God strewn sparking
across the white-gold star-field of galaxies,
word-spells: breathings and vowels, shutters and consonants,
meaning and yearning –
God uttering creation into being.
God created the seas and all that swims and swarms in them
ii. Prayer of the Manta Ray
She stepped deeper. Her ankle was now covered. She shivered even though the sea water was warm and the sun shone. A wisp of warm breeze caressed her. “Prescience of joy,” whispered an angel, as the black disc, the manta ray, circled his way to shore. He delicately manoeuvred his sharp sting away from her tiny ankle and stroked the pale skin with his white under-body. The whole Indian Ocean came flooding into her like a gentle all-powerful tide.
As the manta ray glided back into the depths, not all the tide receded. Her body remained one with the water.
‘…the birds of the air…’
iii. Life after
I stand heart-still on bush-edge trail.
Puny next to high bunched boughs
of sage green gums. The great wedge-tail
eagle soars: all before it stoops, bows.
My eye zooms: the bird has stalled:
gravity forgot; upheld by thermal.
All potential at rest, just the air mauled
by fierce talons; wings held formal.
Then, straight down from pin-head highs
the eagle drops, wings tucked, a grey stone-streak.
The lizard struck and killed, in cold eye’s
wink. Wings wide as Passion Week.
For all of us in God’s surprise
are taken alive in Christ’s dear beak.