< meta charset="UTF-8"> Haibun Today: A Haibun & Tanka Prose Journal

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 4, December 2019

| contents page | next |

Marietta McGregor
Canberra, ACT, Australia


Who can read these runes? Rusty anthills. Scratchings of a spinifex wren. Long-toed wallaby tracks in scree. A goanna's s-curve flanked by clawmarks, squiggles in red sand. People have lived in this land for over 60,000 years. They have moved along songlines linking places, families and generations from north to south, east to west. They etch circles in sandstone, paint their bodies, blow ochre over their hands under rock overhangs. They know bush tomato, quandong and desert yam. Their star guides shine with dreamtime stories. The hills hold their ancestors.

rocks slicked by rain
city folk rant
about land rights

Author’s note: The Central Australian monolith Uluru is associated with the traditional route of the ancestral Mala people, and it is sacred to the Anangu Traditional Owners. The Anangu people of Uluru have always requested that visitors respect their culture and refrain from climbing the rock. In November 2017 the landmark decision was made by the Owners and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board to close the Uluru climb for good and remove all traces of it. This decision went into effect Oct. 26, 2019.