19 February 2021

#19 - Wagtail

(Russell J Turner)

 Earth-diver creation myths are found throughout the Pacific Rim and beyond. This piece is a mash-up of various tales of the Ainu people

The ocean lies upon a giant trout

whose movements cause the earthquakes and the tides

A film of oil covers it about

and rises up in fire to form the skies

Five-coloured clouds are spinning on the mist

as gods and demons roil in the dark

The sun and moon emerging in a kiss

that clarifies the heavens with a spark

Then wagtail dives, from out of history,

to find the flotsam scattered on the deep

to make the islands out of sticks and mud

Then wagtail thrives, in all its mystery,

to wake creation from a dreamless sleep

to build a floating world for flesh and blood


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