Vol 15 No 3
dream world spirits
string their hammocks
between shamans’ ribs
Sanema tribesmen, bodies stained red with symbols of spirits.
Spirits of the trees, spirits of the plants, spirits of the animals,
spirits of the earth, spirits of the stars.
They gather sacred bark from secret trees
extract the juice over fire, to be dried by fire
to be pounded with magic leaves
into the snuff of visions.
Here in the hut of the elders
here in the darkness
in the bright dust filled shafts
they sing songs to their allies
blow snuff deep into each other
through pipes of grasses.
It streams from their nostrils to
chants and mantras, ritual and dance.
More snuff, and more still
and the spirits come to surround the circles of earth
and the eyes of the shamans are agape with visions.
Kirri kirri birri birri brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr
“Wind blows on the hillside like little white feathers
like butterflies over a high waterfall
like a cloud in the shape of a green armadillo”.
runs in his footsteps
a black water bird
the shaman’s ally
“An old woman will come, with a stick, and she will talk to me.
An old woman will come and she will tell me what plants to take,
what dances I must do, she will tell me how to heal our children.
Brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr brr
the shirika tree
pathway to other worlds
its blood red sap
“This healing is dangerous, but our power animals are here,
I sing to the blue lizard, I sing to the brown cricket,
I sing to the tapir, the coati mundi and the jaguar”.
The air strip is one day down stream
it has iron tools and antibiotics,
but here the old ones still speak.
Here in the clearing of the great forest
the dream world still lives in the soul of its people
the songs mingle with the call of birds
and echo amongst the columns of giant trees.
The great rose coloured clouds bring rains
build numinous visions the wind
carries the songs to its ancient heart.
eyes wide open
the spirits of the forest
stare out from its leaves
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The