'Crocodile' by Edwin Lee Mulligan | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

Once upon a time the crocodile was a human being. And then one day, one particular day his heart became hard and when his heart became harder, his flesh became hard and when his flesh became harder his skin became hard, and when his skin became harder it transformed into the scales on his back, deeply cut wounds that have never been healed.

He developed a taste for blood, he ripped open his stomach in a sacrifice. His own blood became cries of pain, floating debris of the past drifting on murky waters. He built towns and cities as a bandage to cover his wounds, leaving only a bloodstain to reveal his past. And then the crocodile says, ‘All Kingdoms are built by blood’.

The crocodile is a great hunter, a hunter of souls. Having the characteristics of a human being he is no different from a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And in the nature of the wolf he too walks on all fours.

Beware of murky waters and beware what lies below. There is a cunning creature that needs more than water to drink and more than a bandage to cover his scaly skin.

Edwin Lee Mulligan


‘Crocodile’ was commissioned for the dance theatre production Cut the Sky (2015) by Marrugeku.