It’s Not All Black and White

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

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.


From childhood

I would touch the trunks of trees

Alien to this landscape.

Brought 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

Fills my senses.

I feel a strange yet familiar yearning for clan and land…


Sometimes I feel so deeply into my body

That visions appear before my inner eyes

Endless stone fences trace rolling hills

Fragments and flashes

Of Running Stags and burning sage…

In a land teeming with spirits, still free and wild.


And then

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.


A feeling

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 collective 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.

We don’t just see things on the surface

And our souls are multi-coloured







“I would like to acknowledge and pay 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 and to the journeys of my ancestors that I carry in my own blood and bones.

*Arnhem Land is a region in Australia’s 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.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. johncoyote says:

    I am a tree hugger myself. I am 1/2 Ojibwa and I believe. We must love and protect nature. We need her, more than she needs us. A outstanding poem.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. johncoyote says:

        You are welcome dear Rebecca.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. johncoyote says:

    Reblogged this on johncoyote and commented:
    Powerful and worthwhile poetry shared.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE gives insight into many essentials–racism, respect for Peoples and traditions, respect for ecology… So beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne… I read your short story ‘When life is still’ I am moved by your exquisite capacity for insight and empathy 🙂


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