Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Legend of Pannawonica Hill

Howdy peeps... not a crafty post but a nostalgic one instead.

Seeing as I am stuck at home at present with a leg and arm that won't work very well I thought I'd watch Red Dog, which we bought a while ago and haven't gotten around to watching .. Oh my what a lovely movie *sob* ~~ anyways, twice in the movie there's a snippet of Pannawonica Hill, which took me down memory lane of living up in Panna.  

This then brought to mind a poem that was in the Robe River Roundup in the early 80's.  I have a copy, but do you think I could find it?? Nope. Searched online - Mr Google was no help today. So I decided to plonk myself on the floor and go through all my photo boxes (and let me tell you 'plonking' is not easy at the moment!! - and I will not mention getting back up again!! OUCH) I got all excited - I found it! bugger it was only half and the bottom half at that...further searching I am pleased to tell found the other half. Happy Moment!! This is going in my 365 Journal so I can look back and smile at a later date (and hopefully I won't lose my 365 Journal) .... so here it is first up a photo and then the poem




The Legend of Pannawonica Hill

They call it Pannawonica, the name means 'shifting rock'
It's not a place where many dwell, or where the tourists flock.
It is in fact a mining town, with wealth and beauty ~ rare ~
It is also rich in folklore, come!, let me take you there.

Like peppermint cakes, all chocolate iced, the mesas stretch for miles
Distinctive, flat-topped mountains, almost uniform in size.
Their slopes are green with spinifex, their tops are richly brown
Without exception, each one wears a precious iron-ore crown.

'The Hill' stands off from all the rest, for this is Shifting Rock
Around which grew the legend ~ perchance it's secrets to unlock!
The river flows beneath it on it's journey to the sea,
Reflecting ghostly silhouettes from each gently swaying tree.

The gums stand silent witness to the secrets of the past
The traditions and the legends of the black man and his caste.
'The Hill' rises in magnificence, casting shadows ~ eerie, long
For this where, the legend tells, Sea Spirits still belong.

The Aborigine told its story with reverence and with awe
How the Inland Little People stole the mountain from the shore,
And how it was reclaimed again by the Spirits of the Sea,
To be pushed back to its present site where it was meant to be.

Seventy million years ago the sea enveloped all this land
Until the time that it was stirred by a strange, mysterious hand,
This massive water movement caused it slowly to recede
And the Spirit's scared mountain was at once exposed and freed.

The Little People of the Inland, when they saw the mountain rise
Stared at it in wonderment and claimed it as their prize,
They shifted it by pushing, by degrees it slowly moved
And as they inched their way along the earth was roughly grooved.

The Spirits rose in anger, to follow in their tracks
"We come" they cried in unison, "to take our mountain back"
Once more 'The Rock' was shifted, as the Inland People fled ~
This time on its journey, it forged the river bed.

The many pebbles in it's path were sanded smooth and round
And where the River Robe runs free, those pebbles, still are found!
The river banks are lined with gums, but one tree stands alone ~
The ancient ghost gum, rooted deep, in it's bed of soil and stone.

It stands, a silent sentinel, it's leafy arms out spread
Framed 'twixt brilliant blue of sky and earth's deep rusty red
It whispers to the Spirits when all is quiet and still
And shadows cast their twisted shapes, beneath the Sacred Hill.

While from the trees the cockatoos, in flocks of yellow crested white
Sometimes will rise above 'The Hill' to encircle it in flight.
Suddenly, their raucous screech is vent upon the air ~
To mingle, with the black crows' cry of harshness and despair.

It's as if they are protesting against encroachment on this place,
Warning all that it belongs to the black man and his race,
For the Spirits gave it to them, in those days of long ago
To keep in trust it's secrets ~ the legend tells it so.

For many years, these people made their camp beside 'The Hill'
And though the tribes have scattered now, its sacred to them, still
For they believe that once again it is shifting by degrees ~
A tug-o-war existing still, between the Inland and the Seas.

There's a mystery and a magic which somehow lingers there
But, within the beauty and enchantment there's a warning ~ to beware!
It is whispered, in the tree-tops, that The Rock may cast a spell
On those who would intrude upon this place ~ this place where Spirits dwell.

Milita Houlahan

I have always loved this poem, which I suppose is why I have kept a copy for 30 years!! lol. Now I will never lose it again, as it is going in my journal with a photo of 'the Hill'

I hope you enjoyed it ~ and if you haven't send Red Dog, do so soon!! It's a beautiful movie :-)

Till Next Time...

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