Eland

by Elizabeth Trew

eland gives life, rain and the rising sun
we bless eland’s body and spirit
we paint eland’s creation

Eland rock paintings remain in the mountain.
An artist pecks out the herdlines and paints with a tailhair
the ochres of earth onto sandstone

eland flesh fills our bellies
blood and milk bring us rain
we dance eland’s creation

A shaman stumbles, starts his trance
to be eland’s spirit in death. A Bushwoman shakes
her shelled ankles to bless the red cow on her rockface

On the grass mountain wind lifts my hat
cloud hides the long flank as eland leap out
the astonished bull bracing

the herd buckling
while I jump a wild dance
beside whisking tails, melting eyes

as rain falls
sunwet antelope glisten on rock
fleeting on

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