“I would like to begin by acknowledging and paying my respects to the Traditional Custodians of this country on which I stand today and to the traditional custodians of any country I may cross in the future. I would like to pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.”
He said that we have the luxury of being free
From the generational trauma
That his race has known.
I hear this
and my mind wants to be ‘pc’
But my heart and soul are drowning
For some of us
The veil is thinner than this.
We too know pain
often deeper than this lifetime
There is a grief
Carried in my bones forever
So profound that I fear
If I meet it fully I will die.
I would touch the bark of trees
Alien to this landscape.
Bought from the shores
Of a place, this body has never been.
Yet, The moment
I feel that bark beneath my skin
Something ancient and infinite
roars and heaves inside.
The heavy scent of earth
Rich and moist
Ignites my senses.
I yearn for clan and land…
Sometimes I focus deep into my body
Visions appear before my inner eyes
Endless stone fences trace rolling hills
Fragments and glimpses
Running Stags and burning sage…
My people are dying
Our lore, our magik, our pride…
I stood on a plateau in Arnhem Land*
And I began to cry
Not tears of grief or joy
But of recognition.
I didn’t realise until that moment
I’d been searching for all my life.
I could feel
The spirits and souls of people
Of vast generations connected to this land.
Not bound by the illusion of time.
These people are connected to nature and her cycles
Just like mine…
Their ‘non-linear’ awareness
Ebbs and flows and spirals like living nature
Far from being primitive and irrelevant
It is beyond wise.
Yes, for some of us
The veil is thinner.
And our souls are multi-coloured
Not black or white.
*Arnhem Land is a region in Australias Northern Territory and has been occupied by indigenous people for tens of thousands of years. Many indigenous Australian groups moved to settlements on their traditional lands, away from larger townships. These groups have very little Western influence culturally speaking, and Arnhem Land is arguably one of the last areas in Australia that could be seen as a completely separate country. Many of the region’s leaders have called and continue to call for a treaty that would allow the Yolngu to operate under their own traditional laws.