Mt Warning on the far north coast of New South Wales is the first place on the Australian mainland to receive the morning sun. It is currently closed to visitors.
Lost and afraid,
wandering the bardos,
seeking out a name,
searching for an anchor.
Mt, Warning, Captain Cook declared,
when he beheld the dawn’s first light
on Wollumbin, the cloud catcher.
The kookaburras laughed mercilessly.
Do not climb the sacred mountain
the tribal elders cried.
The tourists paid no mind.
The ancient spirits thundered.
Lightning struck the craggy peak
and the tree sentinels fell.
The tourist paths were closed.
The entrance gate locked.
Across the country the elders spoke.
You mob have take much;
our children, our stories,
our names, our dignity.
Go find your own salvation.
We cannot save you from yourselves.
What name now does the mountain have?
I no longer live beside that presence,
that anchor of the caldera,
yet I still feel its power.
crystal clear yet shrouded.
Mists obscuring the heights
the cloud catcher greets the dawn.
Here in the bardos
in this time of transition
when the known paths have closed
and names have lost their resonance,
the light on the peak
illuminates the darkness.