The river is an Old Testament god here, waiting to be tested
He sees the sins of the red gums & floods their shallow root systems.
He offers no Noah, no ark,
Even the woddle atones for its vanity, the golden potentially a burning bush.
Does it hold messages for the evolutionary mystical descents of the garden?
O’ Creator of black-crested ridges & red-bellied gullies & funnel-webbed worshipers,
Tax-collecting pelicans & lowly wombats, the humble servants of the dusty shores.
& listen to the devil at play in the winds that hiss & shout,
Amplified, spitting through tall limestone gorges.
The 10 commandments are buried in geologic sedimentary here;
History & mystery.
The dark comes quickly as the heightened horizon pulls the sun
Over the valley’s upper limits and His heaven appears;
Every star twinkle a baptism, every constellation a first communion,
Shining like angels or lighthouses do as beacons of hope for the believers to clasp
their paws and claws together at in reverent devotion.
The steep cliffs are Goliath & all passers through, all of the river god’s creatures,
Are David, without a slingshot,
Just small enough to pass on through.
Born and raised in Canada, Jennie Long is a recent Australian resident living and working in the Victorian high country. When she doesn’t have a pen in hand, Jennie likely has a paddle, endeavouring to see as much of the world from the inside a boat.