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September 2010

Scene4 Magazine - Cathedrals and Caves - shemanic journey with aboriginal elder | Griselda Steiner | September 2010 -

by Griselda Steiner

My Lady
Blacker than the blackest night
Hopped like a giant kangaroo across
The Australian desert
Flying, dancing, crackling
To the rocky coast
And flung me into the cold green sea
She laughed as we floated on
Choppy waves

We swam to the continental rift
A seam deep under sea
That once pulled the land down under
And left wounded veins of fire
Under Northwest country
That scorched the earth
Burnt bush and forests
Wind turned into a firewall
Killing animals and downing homes
The embers mixed with sand
That had ground the bones of ancestors
Into a yellow dust
That stormed across cities
Covering roofs, clinging to windshields, filling crevices
With millennia's memories

Her husband,
Star Man, a tall aborigine,
Offered to take me
To the farthest reaches of the cosmos
That he flung like a cloth
From his dilly bag
Onto the sand

But tired of space walks
And greetings from the departed
I preferred to camp
In a tent of skins
Where my Lady – Beautiful, Beautiful
Built a fire in a cauldron of rocks
Chanting old songs – legends of her tribe
World stories from a sky view
Walk-abouts on a map of trails
Of mountains, trees and streams

A tribal band of hunting men
Came running in the night
Painted white dots, scripture on skin canvas
Made them gleaming skeletons in the dark
Ghost dancing, passed down from father to son
Both twisted and wise
From the earliest human family

In our dream time 
I, evading urban highways,
Slept in a hallowed cave
And My Lady - Beautiful, Beautiful
Dreamt of a cathedral's

Steep spired symmetry
Jutting into the gray sky
Opening portals of rays
Casting latticed shadows
On the granite façade

When she opened the massive doors
My Lady flew across the nave
Up the buttressed vaulted ceilings
To the Rose Window
High above the altar

Rainbow Snake, creation's guardian
Tunnel of living skin
Double helix of the generations
Coiled in repose
The glass pastel petals flowered
On the Eastern wall
Becoming a compass of light
On a cascade of stalactite pipes

Hollow limestone bells
Ring in an arbor of white silk and wax
Candles and chalices
Ceremonies and liturgy before the Cross
A lone remnant 
Facing baptismal wells of unclaimed names
And pews of congregations
In a vast portal of faith

Lined with galleries of statutes of saints
Blue robed martyrs surveying offering boxes
Icons of blessings, promising miracles
Flanked by votive candles ochre flames
Flickering on painted deities crowned with halos
Animals birthing, men hunting, fishes swimming,
Turtles growing, mother and child
On the cave walls
Where dyed hands clasped the stones
That hid an earth-mined catacomb
Nature's secret crypt of buried bones
Priest Star Man's abode

My Lady,
Buzzing like a giant bee
Landed on the altar's consecrated decanters
Drank the sweet red wine and
Swooned under the table

When the sun broke on the land

Rocks carved in the Dreamtime
Sleep near strip mines on
Coasts where oil's refined
When the rocks are split
The ancient spirits
Earthquakes, lightening, winds and waves
Seek revenge

But when the quakes quiet, the fires cool and the air stilled
What remains are Sacred Sanctuaries,
Cathedrals and Caves


©2010 Griselda Steiner
©2010 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Griselda Steiner has written book reviews, drama and poetry published in Scene4. Her new book on Kindle, Amazon.Com's Wireless Book Reading Service, is My Take ... Your Take (Cultural Reflections).
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives


Scene4 Magazine - Arts and Media

September 2010

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