The Star Tribes by Fred Biggs

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Look, among the boughs. Those stars are men.
There’s Ngintu, with his dogs, who guards the skins
of Everlasting Water in the sky.
And there’s the Crow-man, carrying on his back
the wounded Hawk-man. There’s the serpent, Thurroo,
glistening in the leaves. There’s Kapeetah,
the Moon-man, sitting in his mia-mia.

And there’s those Seven Sisters, travelling
across the sky. They make the real cold frost.
You hear them when you’re camped out on the plains.
They look down from the sky and see your fire
and ‘Mai, mai, mai,’ they’d sing out as they run
across the sky. And, when you wake, you find
your swag, the camp, the plains, all white with frost.

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)

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