On the Murrumbidgee River by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

Murrumbidgee River

On the Murrumbidgee River
by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

Through sacred lands
the waters of the Murrumbidgee
course in crimson sheets
thousand year old River Red Gums
mirrored in its depths.

A wedge of magpie geese
spear through the skies
brown bitterns and freckled ducks
jostle with white-faced herons
wading among schools
of bream and golden perch.

The primordial river glides
in a Dreamtime reverie
dusted with ludwigia blooms
and high up in the coolibah trees
the koalas’ eyes follow
the edge of the canoe
foaming lace through water.

First published in Plum Tree Tavern (July 15, 2020)

PHOTO: Murrumbidgee River, Australia. Photo by smarttravelapp.com


NOTE: Murrumbidgee River is the second longest river in Australia, flowing over 900 miles through the state of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, which includes nature reserves.

PHOTO: Black-winged stilts, Murrumbidgee River wetlands (Australia) . Photo by Mike Todd/DPIE, all rights reserved. 

On the Murrumbidgee river

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In the days before lockdown, I used to spend a lot of time painting en plein air.  This poem was inspired by one of my painting trips. Above is the painting.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad is an artist, poet, and pianist of Indian heritage. She was raised in the Middle East. She started writing poetry at the age of seven. In 1990, during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, she was a war refugee in Operation Desert Storm. She holds a Masters in English, and is a member of The North Shore Poetry Project. Her recent works have been published in Neologism Poetry, The Ekphrastic Review, Nigerian Voices Anthology, Poetica Review, and several other print and online international literary journals and anthologies. Her poem “Mizpah,” about a mother who hopes for the return of her son who was taken as a prisoner of war, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Glass House Poetry Awards 2020. She is the co-editor of the Australian literary journal Authora Australis. She regularly performs her poetry and exhibits her art at shows in Sydney.

One thought on “On the Murrumbidgee River by Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad

  1. Love this poem and the photos, particularly the photo of the painting. Thanks to the editor for supplying the links to unfamiliar words to this reader.


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