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Raj Arumugam

rainbow snake

This story of the Rainbow Serpent is an Australian aboriginal legend and I have re-told it, with the best of intentions, for an international audience. I may have made some changes to the story and I hope my re-telling is true to the spirit of the original versions.

the rainbow snake
see it tickles
the frogs
and water fills the rivers and gullies
and waterholes;
and see the rainbow snake
see it brings forth
all life sleeping before

it is the beginning
and the earth is bare and barren
and the Rainbow Serpent
dear Ngalyod, powerful Borlung
the lovely Rainbow Serpent
she moves across the earth

and where she moves
how she creates tracks and dry courses
and huge craters;
and see how the Rainbow Serpent
she digs into the earth and emerges crashing into the air
on the other earth side of the world
and see how she throws up mountains and crags
and hills and mounds
and the Uluru and ravines;
and she calls the frogs
who come in heavy and bloated
and she tickles the frogs
and the frogs laugh
and the waters flow and the rains have come
and the dry lands are replete
with billabongs, rivers, creeks and lagoons
and the mighty oceans;
and the Rainbow Serpent is pleased
and she calls forth all
sleeping beings
and they all awake
and the Rainbow Serpent is pleased
and she provides them laws
and she disappears into another waterhole

and you can see her
you can see the Benevolent Rainbow Serpent
as she travels from one waterhole to another
as she emerges from one and she is in the sky
and you can see her
the lovely creative Rainbow Serpent in the sky
and she disappears soon enough
into another huge waterhole
somewhere on our earth

the rainbow snake
see it tickles
the frogs
and water fills the rivers and gullies
and waterholes;
and see the rainbow snake
see it brings forth
all life sleeping before

Submitted: Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Edited: Tuesday, August 04, 2009

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