Rainbow Voices by Deborah Ruiz Wall

Imagining rainbow voices
under the guava tree in San Andres
at the back of my parents’ timber home,
I picture my characters enlivened
by many tongues — a make-believe world
from a child’s inner eye.
Outside, the open wild tropical field beckoned
and I ran carefree chasing dragonflies.
With my thumb and forefinger, I caught the fragile wings
of one then let it fly with my spirit to the unknown.

Many decades later, I looked up to
the blackest of sky glittering with diamonds
across the wide turquoise sea of the Kimberleys.
With two Aboriginal women elders,
I watched speechless and in awe.
That glorious moment, time stopped —
a pause after a camping trip on the night
when I was introduced to Country,
a pristine red pindan landscape
full of natural artefacts of speaking rocks
and ancient burial sacred sites of flint tools
and ancestors. Li-yan, the locals call the intimate link
after being summoned by the land
and blessed for protection: no crocodiles
nor sharks dare harm the visitor.

My surprise ‘Welcome to Country’ emerged
when a giant swordfish got entangled
in my bait, and I was made to realize
that I am on a bridge between worlds
of a fast, crazy wound-up economic machine,
an age of unbelief, and an unseen paradise waiting
to be unveiled. With a rustic stick on hand,
my elder friend untangled the string
to let the beautiful creature
return to her domain.

I wonder if the dragonfly,
the Swordfish and I in our spirit of one-ness
may one day help level the field of humanity’s
constructed difference.

From: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/62863/20131008-1035/peril.com.au/current-edition/rainbow-voices-2/index.html

Date: 2013

By: Deborah Ruiz Wall (1949- )

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