Spirit Dreaming

A poem by Phillip McDonald, Newstead, VIC.

Close this Cover of Aboriginal Culture Essentials

Wishing you knew more about Aboriginal culture? Search no more.

Get key foundational knowledge about Aboriginal culture in a fun and engaging way.

This is no ordinary resource: It includes a fictional story, quizzes, crosswords and even a treasure hunt.

Stop feeling bad about not knowing. Make it fun to know better.

Sold! Show me how No, thank you

In the air we breathe are born images of creation,
painted on our thoughts in the “everywhen.”
Where there are no gods,
only dreamings, and spirit beings,
in one people,
in the living mother earth,
we shall live.

Non-Aboriginal writer Phillip gives some background to the inspiration for his poem:

"The poem was written for a feature film trailer Parra Wirra. A dystopian look at Australia’s climate change future. In the trailer Aboriginal actor Jack Charles -- as an opening statement to the film -- delivers the poem in response to a white man’s’ religious indoctrination spiel.

"Two beliefs at odds, one attempting in vain to save the planet from environmental peril, the other an Indigenous belief dismissed as paganism. If the country is to be saved then [the] white man, must adopt the forgotten Aboriginal beliefs on how to live in harmony with the environment, to have any hope of preventing the earth’s median temperature passing tipping point.

"It was inspired after visiting websites devoted to exploring the connections between Christianity and Aboriginal spirituality.

"The poem was also written... [because] the English language cannot explain explicitly the ‘Dreaming’. The poem attempts to capture the essence of a living spirituality in continuum.

"The poem is my attempt to reconcile two faiths in one land. Aboriginal nature-based spirituality, and white man’s Heaven-focussed spirituality.

"To infuse a naturalist belief with a heavenly belief, and to progress the dialogue on what is contemporary Aboriginal spirituality for modern Aborigines. It is positive message for white and black cultures to focus on looking forward rather than dwelling on past negatives."

Read another one?

Cite this page

Korff, J 2021, Spirit Dreaming, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/spirit-dreaming>, retrieved 21 April 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

Join thousands of Smart Owls who know more!