A Snowy Mountain Fantasy

© Tom McIlveen

Winner, 2014 ‘Broken Ski Award’, Perisher Peak Festival, Perisher NSW.

Have you ever been invited to an oceanfront location,
and then wished you’d gone to Jindabyne instead?
I had found myself entangled in some seasonal migration,
with a looming sense of cold impending dread.

It was meant to be a haven on the blue Pacific Ocean –
but was little more than water, rock and sand.
I was feeling disconcerted by the deafening commotion,
when I drifted off to Winter Wonderland.

I was dreaming of a bungalow, beneath the Snowy Mountains,
with a freshly fallen covering of snow.
Where the icy jewelled waters from the glaciated fountains
were cascading into crystal pools below.

From the top of Kosciusko, I could almost see forever –
from the ocean to the western slopes and plains
where the dusty brown horizons, of the distant Never-Never,
waited patiently for purging winter rains.

On the wings of wedge-tailed eagles, I was soaring in my slumber
over Crackenback and down the Alpine Way…
to the valley of Khancoban and the town of Tumbarumba
where the skies are never cloudy, dull or grey.

On our way to Woomargama and the lake at Yarrawonga,
we had crossed the Murray’s golden banks of sand,
where the river drifted freely into Albury-Wodonga…
to the heart of sacred Wiradjuri land.

Through the eyes of wedge-tailed eagles, I could see the pristine waters,
where the Rainbow Serpent dozed upon the shore.
He was dreaming of Baiame and his dedicated daughters,
who had roamed this land in primal days of yore.

I could see their forms projected on the Snowy Mountain ranges,
which were covered in a silent shroud of snow;
as Baiame gazed in wonder at the catastrophic changes
to the Snowy River flowing down below.

It was waning as it trickled down across the eastern ridges,
where it once had flowed consistently and free;
while the western Murrumbidgee, with its channelled pipes and bridges,
was diverted from its journey to the sea.

In the silence of the mountains, I could hear Baiame urging
me to join him in another timeless sphere…
in a distant fourth dimension, where my spirit was converging
with an image that began to disappear.

I awoke from blissful slumber with my senses now returning
and commotion still resounding in my brain…
and reflected for a moment, with an all-consuming yearning –
how I’d love to share the Dreamtime once again!

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