She laughs and whispers ‘Arrangkwe just 2 pelicans in the sky!

I drive out to Amoonguna to tell the family he

is right

I sit down with his Aunty, round the campfire, in

the night

I ask her to explain the pelicans and the meaning

of the sign

She laughs and whispers ‘Arrangkwe just 2 pelicans

in the sky!

Ali Cobby Eckermann

URUNGA SEA LIDO 2014

foto – urunga sea lido january 2014

Carefree by Samuel Wagan Watson

you’d never forget the pelicans
because it was their home too
and that occasional one who’d try and swallow your baited hook
while we cast out into an endless mould of brown and blue skin
sometimes catching our line in its enormous and clumsy wingspan
floating around the jetty constantly boasting that huge gullet
so close to the pylons covered in poinson oyster shells
that waited for the bare flesh within our gait,
inviting our bare flesh to dance
Mum worried that we’d get sick from eating them
Day saying the sewage from the caravan park
would sometimes flow near where we fished
and that they oysters bathed in it too

little buckets of a few bream
silver catch of a meal
and the persistent cats at our ankles
lapping up the smell
running up past the shop
a front window necropolis of stonefish in vegemite jars
suspended in a vault of clear alcoholic brine
still deadly in death
and us in bare feet all the time
three kids in stonefish-infested mud
playing Russian roulette –
one good pair of running shoes between us

Source:  Smoke Encrypted Whispers  by Samuel Wagan Watson Univ. of Queensland Press, 2004

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “She laughs and whispers ‘Arrangkwe just 2 pelicans in the sky!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s