'stone mother tongue' by Annamaria Weldon | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

Alabaster: such a beautiful word for silence.
Neolithic Venus, was translucence eloquent
enough when stone was our mother tongue?

Yellow-throated crocus were strewn
at your feet, they fed you honey
and broad beans. Worship swelled

your breasts and fertile belly, men lived
without weapons, women were weavers
and potters crowned in cowrie shells

at death and in time their whitened bones
dyed red, with precious ochre
the blood of second life.

When survival required human milk,
herbalists were doctors and spirals holy signs,
hysteria a gift, fecundity revered

you were honoured as mother of the world
incarnate and neither clerics nor sceptics mocked
our fealty to the sacred feminine.

Annamaria Weldon

Annamaria Weldon

Annamaria Weldon

Annamaria Weldon’s writing residency with Symbiotica UWA prompted the poems, essays, and photographs of Yalgorup National Park in her last book, The Lake’s Apprentice (UWAP, 2014). She has just completed her third poetry collection, inspired by Malta’s Neolithic temple culture. She researched and wrote during several visits to her birth island, most recently as 2016 Writer in Residence at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta. Annamaria’s previous collections were The Roof Milkers (Sunline Press, 2008) and Ropes of Sand (Associated News Malta, 1984). Her poetry has been published in Australian literary journals, anthologised, broadcast on Radio National, and has been staged in several collaborative projects including contemporary dance and art installations. Her awards include the inaugural Nature Conservancy Australia Essay Prize, the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, and a shortlisting in the 2016 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.