© M.M. (Mal) Beveridge, 2012

Winner, 2012 ‘Vibrant Verse’ Fellowship of Australian Writers, North Shore, Sydney, NSW.

On the banks and rocky outcrops and the dry old sandy bars
there’s a whisper from the dream time and an echo from the stars.
There’s a sighing in the she oaks and the weeping bottle brush,
through the ash and forest red gum where the cooling zephyrs rush
over eucalypt and wattle to the grasses of the slope,
‘til rebuffed by rising sandstone, where the silver elkhorns cope.

Neath the merlons and the crenels of the soaring battlements,
where the sheathtail cling in twilight inside cool and rocky tents,
Herbert’s wallabies are grazing and traverse across the slip
of the cracking crumbly rock face with a sure and steady grip,
til the long and piping callings of the honeyeaters flow
and the black stripes ooze from forest, to where herbs and grasses grow.

When the pretty velvet geckoes and the spotted pythons troop,
as the twilight calls the gliders in a yellow bellied swoop,
in between the forest red gums and the she oaks and the ash,
ancient Three Moon Creek winds wearing, with the weeping brush as sash,
past the yellow stamened red throats of the flow’ring kurrajong
to a stutter of its coursing, into soak and billabong.

Yet, behind the jutting faces of an earth and rock fill wall
lies a liquid aggregation that may favour few, or all.
Dark and deep beneath the water sway the ghosts of miners old,
persevering at the crushers in their endless search for gold.
In their strain against the windless, in their empty breaking toil,
are they seeking their salvation in the sacred Gooreng soil?

Do the echoes of their calling in the etchings on the stones
and the sadly writ inscriptions far abandoned from their bones
summon Angels down to wonder at the miners spectral words
as they cry out for redemption through the chatty ‘postle birds?
Do they cry to find the meaning of the myst’ry of their creek?
Is the naming of their prison in the penitence they seek?

Did a swagman on the creek bank in his musings late at night,
or a Chinaman come mining, see the trio first alight?
One moon dancing down on night beams, two reflected on the flow
and on water in the quart pot, made three times the moon aglow.
Two moons floating in reflection, one moon bordered by the sky,
three moons held an inspiration for a thirsty passer-by.

Soaring high above escarpments on the pillars of the air
wedge-tails watch the winding snake track go a-weaving from the lair
where the Rainbow Serpent wandered in the Dream Time long ago,
gouging out the gorge and creek bed, cutting through the brigalow;
through the woodland and the forest, under dim lit canopy,
Three Moon Creek flows on in legend, to the Burnett and the sea.

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