By Tais Rose Wae

29 July, 2021

Tais Rose Wae is Running Dog’s poet in residence for July and August 2021.

Each month, a poet produces new work, which is distributed via Running Dog’s monthly newsletter—Stray. If you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter.

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We gather the kindling

                 our kin

 the tree-branch-leaf-litter

for flame famish,

sit beneath

the smoke the stars

                                    –   unclothe the constellations

                                                  of their newer names   –

and listen for

the    s   p   a   c   e    between


Many hands many

                              hearts working

            gather to carry this bowl

of tree of river red gum

or something else

                                        small and soft and

                                             also sacred,

all carved branch birthmarked

with two snakes

            watching their young hatch

            watching their world be reborn


                                    Follow the curve of vertebrae

                        and scald and meeting place,

                                    hold it to the rhythm

                                                of your chest

                                                            and let it mimic that of

                                                the land beneath your feet,

                                    carry it with care with sovereignty

            to the stone to the river

            gather the water

                        that carries you


  Soak the leaves green

       don’t leave here

                                    without offering more than you take

                                    without treading lightly       lovingly


So gather

not it not oil not earth,

it is not yours not ours,

work with not against and

work to make new smoke

make song make sacred


Light the fire

bathe and birth            be birthed in the blue of both

            so we can gather listen watch feel

for the stories shared

                                    for Dreamings dreamt

and wisdom woven, kept alight kept alive



                        we gather

                                                 g a t h e r e d.