Stories from ‘The Dreaming Sites’

Emily Kame Kngwarreye
loved colour with a passion
with acrylic paint to canvas
like it was going out of fashion
and in eight years to an end of life
she captured there ‘the dreaming’
three thousand plus enlightenments
and each with hidden meaning

The expression of an elder
of the Anmatyerre people
it matters not our ignorance
and understanding feeble
For unless we were indigenous
we could not hope here to confide
so as it is these myriad paintings
to most of us their meanings hide

Yet still we are presented
with her legacy of style
enriched beyond mere words
which we could conjure in a while
for here is simple beauty
captured with sincerity
presented for enrichment
where we see what each will see

©Jemverse

[Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910-1996) was introduced to acrylic paint in her late 70s. For the next eight years she painted over 3000 canvases, approximately one each day. As an elder of the indigenous Anmatyerre people in the Utopia region of central Australia, Kngwarreye was a custodian of the women’s ‘dreaming sites’. Each of her paintings captured an artistic expression of this role containing stories that only those who have been initiated through Anmatyerre ceremony can know or understand. The rest of us non-indigenous people can only imagine].

Photo – Emily Kame Kngwarreye painting ‘Earth’s Creation 1’ in the Utopia region of Central Australia in 1994

Awakening

Still dark when I wake
to stumble from slumber
the light yet a good while away
Cold water to waken
from dreams I’d mistaken
for what was the start of the day

©Jemverse

Photo – Wattpad (via Google)

Back in Sublime

So, when days tantalise
and it’s still a bit cold
‘Cos the warmth hasn’t yet come our way
And March sees some colour
with early Spring there
Evident on each sunny day

My thoughts turn to summer
and dream a few dreams
with a nod to that halcyon time
For the promise is there
very close on the air
when I will be back in sublime

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Moments of sublime

I went walking on a hilltop
though I wasn’t really there
And then I was beside the sea
with toes in water bare

I went climbing on a mountain
though it was I think a dream
As really I was looking back
at places I had been

Photos captured on my Mac
of memories in time
Providing for nostalgia
for moments of sublime

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

We dream of yellow (revisited)

4 of 6 in the Jemverse ‘Yellow’ series

In the gun-metal grey of midwinter
When cold grips vice-like
and, huddled in blankets
we stay cocooned in the warmth
of a fruitcake and hot tea afternoon
and dream of yellow

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

We dream of yellow was originally published on Jemverse on 14 December 2015

Finding your sublime

Yes, I know it’s winter out there
and it’s miserable and wet
But with your imagination
A little summer I can get
It’s really not that difficult
your mind’s eye is what you need
and a willingness to just let go
and listen as agreed
Close your eyes and see the scene
a meadow full of flowers
Bathed in golden sunlight
for hours and hours and hours
You’re wandering there, but by and by
you lie down beneath a tree
and simply watch the world go by
A fine picture, you’ll agree
And the beauty of this journey
is that you can go there any time
Just close your eyes and drift away
and find your own sublime

©Jemverse

The whimsy of treasured memories

Closeted in the cupboards of minds
and kept for a rainy day
memories of the halcyon times
Dreams are filed away

Days from childhood, days from youth
retained to often share
many things taken save for these
All kept and treasured there

A sacrosanct trove of happiness
as the years pass swiftly by
brought out and dusted down when we
with whimsy breathe a sigh

©Jemverse

Sleep

Burning quietly in the night
a single flame flickered
reminding me in its yellow glow
of a distant place
where memories linger
soft in the warm whimsy
of a cathartic embrace.
And, cocooned in this
delicious sequence
the dove-cote doors of sleep
carried me gently away

©Jemverse

We dream of yellow

In the gun-metal grey of midwinter
When cold grips vice-like
and, huddled in blankets
we stay cocooned in the warmth
of a fruitcake and hot tea afternoon
and dream of yellow

©Jemverse

Silence

Silence sang a song
with no words I could hear
Someone said there was an echo
although not anywhere near
It was somewhere out there
across the water at night
quiet and mysterious
and out of my sight

Silence sang a song
but the melody was lost
it might have once been there
but now gone to my cost
For I could no longer hear it
with that sweetest refrain
and though the silence is golden
I’d love to feel it again

©Jemverse

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