Sunday, 18 August 2019

Displacement



He stands, right hand holds the shaft
of a spear – solid as a tree rooted in dirt –
left foot
communes with his right knee, he
stares out across unfolded years,
searches for the home
lost beneath the brutal feet of sheep and cows.

She sits beside the meandering river
her feet – weathered by sand and sun –
cleansed,
mind full of white-water churnings, she
stares deep into the days
before she was removed,
brought to this station of cattle and blowflies.

They once came and parted like the waves,
stood silent – eyes shining, opals of the land –
or sang together;
before strangers came, they
shared food and painted sacred sites,
strangers changed everything
with disease and lies.

Now the young
begin to gather – celebrate in smoke and paint –
find their memories,
their wisdom unearthed by feet thumping land, they
fight the tyranny of histories
written on the bones
of their displaced ancestors.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

A white man dreaming while sitting on his front porch:

 
Rivers snake across the ground
as sun catches the water, scales reflect,
sear the eye; behind the closed lids
footprints of luminous red sand,
above the curved tin roof, hidden by day
stars the same and different, known figures
turned upside down, scrutinize.

From the branded and beloved familiar,
plants transplanted into mulched soil,
blue cottage flowers sway, fruit trees, fruit flies,
bruised, fallen rose petals, the quiet suckle of aphid –  
loaded shotgun demands attention, hungry
for twitch of rabbit and fox – if you have to kill
better it’s the carcass of an animal you comprehend.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The stone people:



This land is made of stones,
stones along its shores
washed by the ocean, stones
that listen to the waves,
that cry with the gulls
and understand the journey of sand.

Stones guarding the mountains,
stones playing in the fields,
large stones with white swirls,
small grey stones;
even the heart of the Land is a stone,
the greatest stone of all, it pulses
from sunrise to sunset,
a red stone that shares the land with all.

The stones of this land are alive,
Understand the serpent
that is river winding beside them,
stretch with the tree and grass,
run with roo and emu;
this Land’s stones breath and feel.

This land is so old the stones
have learnt to be, formed a lasting friendship
with the people of the land,
with the animals also.
The stones of this land have heard the songs
and learnt to sing,
a deep beautiful stone voice
that weaves peace into everything.

The people who came to this land
in wooden ships
and canvas sails,
who came with cotton and wool,
with steel and wheat,
did not pause to listen to the stones.

The new people who came across the sea,
proud in their accomplishments
ignored even the greatest stone of all,
treated it as a sideshow.

The people who came
could not hear
for in their chests they carried
their own small stones.

Those stones,
so recently arrived,
had not yet learned to hear
and were unable to feel.

The stones of this Land
sing still,
hope with the Land
that the people with stones in their chests
will one day hear
and learn to understand.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

crazy white fella

Time…
Time was
Time changed

A slow drift of embers
Changed into a yellow ant fire –
Repeated scurry
Crazy hunger to locate
The next source of dinner

Time…
Time was
Time to return

Loop back – a river’s meander
To send the ants back to their homeland,
Leave this land free
Of their greed and hunger.

Time…
Time was
Time is

Never to return,
The meandering river hoops too far
Turns into the billabong;
A circle that does not flow.
A slow decay.

Time…
Sixty-five thousand years of time
Two hundred and thirty-one years of time

Crazy white fella time,
The rush towards
Never the pause to look around;
A clutch
Never to unfold.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Don't fence Me In

Uncivilized, uncouth, the wild men
run aimlessly through the bush;
the dark skinned, the lazy, the near naked beasts
barely human;
the sloth, the heathen, the devourer, the mere hunter-gatherer,
the precursor, the dwindling line, the mistake,
the demon, the inbred, the buffoon, the dead;

many dead
slayed with bullet and germ, houses to burn,
livelihood to ruin, women to rape, children to take.

The Sacred Land
stolen;

survivors watch
as civilized newcomers do untold damage
to a land the darkies had known for more years
than the well-bred had ever known their ancestral homes.

An unfenced land,
free of war.

An adjusted land;
well worn, hitched when necessary,
cleaned and set aside regularly,
taken care off the way the civilized man
takes care of his favourite shirt.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Danny Fahey's Writing: the interview to study librarianship at Melbourne ...

Danny Fahey's Writing: the interview to study librarianship at Melbourne ...:   I had decided – or had it been decided for me, luckily it was 1977 so any decision was free, contextually. ...

the interview to study librarianship at Melbourne University 1977:

 
I had decided – or had it been decided
for me,
luckily it was 1977 so any decision was free,
contextually.

I wore my favourite shirt,
white cotton, only four buttons to the neck
overly large, unflappably flappy –
it was even clean.

jeans, I think, basically
in 1975
it was always jeans,
I think.

I entered the formal entrance,
two huge doors, wooden, designed
to intimidate and they worked
I had never been in a building with two doors;

doesn’t that say a lot about the doors I had,
and had still to cross,
then followed a sign – it read interviews this way
and the arrow to the right.

I followed, dutifully
and found four students hardly older
than I was seated, erectly, behind a large table,
the table adorned with a white table cloth –

it matched my shirt
unfortunately, except whiter
newer, and suited to that room
and time.

“Sit,” said one. I sat,
and the interview began –
I blame my voice
not its timbre,
its deep, beautiful resonance, a bassoon of a voice;

rather its ability
to locate me specifically
and in that room, on that chair,
it did so perfectly.

I could hear their voices and noted mine
my hair too, long, obviously washed,
overly so,
and combed to perfection –

not theirs,
allowed to just be, hanging loose,
they had no attention
to details to worry about.

as I spoke
I felt the chair moving further and further away
a speech in a long shot – the reverse zoom,
table, corridor – two double doors, outside;

“thank you, we’ll let you know,’
but we already did. Them and me,
my voice and theirs, my hair and theirs,
everything in that room knew –

even the room itself knew – and especially
the portraits knew;
it may be free but I was not
gaining entry.