*Red-bellied Black Snake photos from iHerp Australia; Kookaburra photos by S.Judge
Kookaburra in the branches, Black Snake under the house, teaching what it means to have too much fire in my earth.
Power is the strength of roots to hold a mighty tree steady in the ground;
The heavy patience of stone bodies shaped slowly, enduring lifetimes while faster beings rise and fall.
Power is birth, the determination to hatch –
Infant kookaburra, snake and seed pushing forth from protective shells to taste the life of their story worlds beyond.
But there is too much fire in my earth.
A fierce Kookaburra eye gazes into wounds of pride and passion that suck the wetness from the lands of my power,
Charring stability into crumbling ash.
Once, She Who Is Me danced barefoot spells upon the rocky bones of Earth, sticking out of the ground like ancient elbows,
Bluish stone cool beneath each ecstatic step.
Then one day, too much sun fell on the Witch’s earth, beating down hard against those old granite faces,
Beings of stillness unable to move forward into the shade.
Scorching foundations feel hot, burning the soles and souls of feet that struggle to keep roots in the cracked ground.
Tree people thirst, whither…nothing grows easily here where feeling is locked beneath parched, compact earth.
Too much fire in my earth…
Fear petrifies – paralysis of material matter in immaterial thoughts that matter: “I don’t matter” hurts to touch.
The thought slithers by in Black Snake – maligned, reviled for darkness misunderstood
When sadness drips poison into the soul.
“I don’t matter” is aggressive like a frightened snake cornered, startled, provoked,
The temptation to succumb ancient, a venom birthed not in fang, but tears: beads of hot fire that polish
Obsidian scaled cheeks, stinging serpentine eyes with the knowledge of good and evil that he could never ignore.
Justice and goodness live in the heart of Snake, in his quiet romance with the light and warmth of the sun
That ignites the shimmer of iridescent opal in black scales, a reminder of his kin, ancestral creators of
The wet earth and lush waters of this land-body.
But fear of his fire renders Snake evil, wronging him more than he wrongs others.
Can you be the way you are and still really matter when fear brings decapitating shovels down upon your head?
Or when snarling jaws bark and bite criticising curiosity of your strangeness, so that your body bleeds?
What if we cut off the head of the Rainbow Snake, fed the colours of creation to fear? Unthinkable!
Yet shy Snake, quietly going along his business with belly pressed to Earth, feels the sting of not mattering.
Snake respected rises from roots, descends from branches, to offer the forbidden fruit of Earth’s deep power…
But like an ebony rope, the Snake whose torment does not matter ties the Witch to what’s at stake,
Coiling around her body, biting into her flesh, binding her with powerlessness as hungry flames eat her alive
Upon arid earth numbed by drought.
But there is still a Kookaburra in my earth.
Perched in the power to ignite, with flicking tail, fire stories of equally aggressive healing for the injured, angry Snake.
Watching, still and vigilant like mountains, Kookaburra bears witness to the agony of
Thirsting lands, fearful Snakes, burning Witches…and knows with her power to move sacred fire into holy water
That this drought is ready to break, ready for her to laugh up storms and combust dry lands,
Coaxing new growth out of the resistance of impenetrable seeds.
With mouth open to taste the heat of beliefs that burn, Kookaburra listens to tears of surrender
That spill venomous pain from weeping fangs as Snake cries for relief from his own suffocating skin –
Too damaged to be shed this time.
Witch burning in my earth…
She Who Is Me has forgotten what matters, forgotten her own power and how to dance barefoot,
As soft flesh and lungs burn to death in choking smoke and Snake’s biting embrace.
Yet still, somehow, she whispers “don’t be afraid,” into his terrified, tormented heart, “I see you, you matter to me.”
From the dark eyes of feared and fearful Snake, desperation leaks in rivers running
From overthinking head to unheard tail as his body surrenders to the kindness of a Witch who can love her own flaws,
And to the power of Kookaburra healing.
The Kookaburra in my earth bursts into flames of action, diving into hot fires to snatch up Black Snake
With a graceful force that tears unrelenting fangs from flesh.
Unrelenting fangs soothed by the release of letting go: “Hush now, Black Snake…
All is going to be okay now, dear Black Snake; no need to fight now, beloved Black Snake.”
Bonds that constrict and restrict the slow burning Witch uncoil as Snake releases the deadly bite of wounds unhealed,
Blood flowing free from infected bruises of “I don’t matter…”
Releasing the Witch into her sovereignty, her liberty, her power to create nourishment from surrendered pain.
Kookaburra swallows Snake whole, poison and all feeding her body to become tomorrow’s kookaburra babies.
Each wounding bite leaves memory scars that guide future healing, hatching into story worlds that know
One day the strong children of Snake may cool Kookaburra fires too…
Bodies nourishing bodies forever.
But for now, with rolling mirth laughing from heart to chest to wings of water, Kookaburra calls storms of feeling
Into the dry, burnt earth – raining down the passion of what matters, who matters,
To bring life back into my power, back into the body lands of my earth.
Kookaburra in my branches, Black Snake under my house…
Teaching what it means to matter.