Ngalyod Refracted

Long time past and yesterday
the sparrows brushed the sky away
with browning wings.  The summer arch
collapsed upon the bloody soil,
and old ones dug in deep.

The billabong has rippled long
beneath your limbs, red father.
You were young and slender
when they walked
hide-sheltered feet deaf
across her back.

I am new, old one
and white as ghost gum dreaming.
Sorry-specked and sunburnt,
one foot ochre yearning,
one far cloud seeking.

Long time come, you
thunder to me
and rain-washed parrots build
you with their wings.
Blood, soil, summer sleep and
rainbows:
Dream us one.