Venie Environmental Poetry Prize

Clear and Ancient Shadow by Danielle Baldock

Long through time we have known you
Our hearts beating fast against yours
For you the slow pulsing beat
Of land and mountain and stone goes on
Slow but sure, you are anchored upon this land
And so we have chosen you
The marks of red earth and human hand
The ochre is crushed now, moistened
We place our hands high
Blow the red pigments upon it like blood
And there, on your grey skin
Is the clear and ancient shadow of our being
Red-fingered we stand beside you
Matching our paths to yours
Walking across the centuries
We are bonded, we and you, to the land
And the trees and the sky
Our lives beating in time with yours
Slow moths to your constant flame
We come and go, are born and die
Yet here we leave our essence
Worn deep into the skin of rocks
Reflecting deep into the sky
And rock and people we will endure
And if we do not, slight and swift
And dancing as we are
You will remember for us
Our hands are marked upon you
For as long as rock and sky and land endure.

You can hear Danielle reading her poem:


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