Dig your hand in deep, touch hardened clay
feel the spread of stamped ground firm and flat
trace the circles we now call bora
feel the guiding stones lining a pathway
for young men on the way to initiation  
hear the clamouring voices underground
the thud of footsteps around the clearing                                            
Our rings remain in the most unlikely places
Look on the edge of any town for two arenas
left unattended, overgrown, as if discarded
‘discovered’ by settlers, farmers taking the land
reused as showgrounds, race tracks, sale-yards
Scratch below any suburban cricket pitch, ask
who shaped the hill, rounded the boundary line
Trams once looped the great bora at Koojee, now
crowds come to picnic on the same scabby lawn
Each summer, sunbakers overflow from the beach
complain, find the land too hard, too flat, unaware
of the years of stamping, dancing under their feet
Of Bidigal corroborees, feasting with the Gadigal                                           
sharing the whale stranded in the bay
There are no Council signs to warn newcomers
no stone to claim the small ring close to the shore
for secret initiation rites screened from the clans
ritual ochres scattered by wind and time
Lines of white clay now mark a different space                                                                               
the perfect circle squared off to shape a football field
for young men to measure their skill and pride
Sift the sand at Maroubra, sticky tar, concrete slabs
will rise, left over from the old “Speedway” ring
built for night crowds with a craze for speed, cars
motor bikes challenge death at every turn
Scratch deeper, like memory our stories will surface
tales of Eora People living in time with nature
lores, ancient wisdom holding their world in place             
The Merooborah flattened dunes, built mounds
 a giant bowl well back from the beach
to shape a rim, mirror the Sky Bora in space
Each year they lit fires to welcome the Dhawaral
waited for the right time to catch the Creator Spirit
the Rainbow Serpent spinning dust, an orbit of stars
lighting celestial patterns in the winter darkness.
Koojee: Coogee
Bidgigal, Gadigal, Merooborah: clans of the Eora
Sky Bora: a replica of an earth bora, visible in August, South-East Australia
Eora, Dharawal: tribes of the Sydney region