I watched the brolgas dance,
Dip, leap, bow and flirt
their way through courtship,
the dam bank their stage
as feet stamped primal rhythm.

Grey wings spread, red heads toss
as long legs perform elegant choreography,
uninhibited courtiers
broadcasting their intentions.

Loyal companions, they mate for life,
their dance a necessary
embellishment to order,
re-affirmation of commitment.

Aboriginal tribesmen spiritualise
the steps in closed corroborees,
shadow dancing around open fires,
a zoetrope of flickering motion.

The brolgas dance on,
each generation moves further inland,
following the shrinking wetlands.
Natures artistry in free concert.
By Frances McKay

Copyright © – Frances Mackay 2004