This week's Poetry Friday Round Up is at Chicken Spaghetti. Each week I seem to be very early or very late with my Poetry Friday contributions... it's rather obvious which one I am this week!
First, from Aboriginal poet Oodgeroo Noonuccal - also known as Kath Walker:
‘I will bring you love’, said the young lover,
‘A glad light to dance in your dark eye.
Pendants I will bring of the white bone,
And gay parrot feathers to deck your hair.’
But she only shook her head.
‘I will put a child in your arms,’ he said,
‘Will be a great headman, great rain-maker.
I will make remembered songs about you
That all the tribes in all the wandering camps
Will sing forever.’
But she was not impressed.
‘I will bring you the still moonlight on the lagoon,
And steal for you the singing of all the birds;
I will bring the stars of heaven to you,
And put the bright rainbow into your hand.’
‘No’, she said, ‘bring me tree-grubs.
[Oodgeroo Noonuccal, ‘Gifts’, in My People, p. 39]
For more Aboriginal poetry, I recommend this essay by Adam Shoemaker: The Poetry of Politics: Australian Aboriginal Verse.
And for my offering today:
New songlines stretch across an ancient land -
no sacred trails recorded in the stone,
no tales of dreaming written in the sand,
but tight strung wire announcing "this I own!
This property is under my command!"
No more the faithful quester's quiet tread
will trace creation's map in dots and string
bright beads of waterholes on story's thread,
ancestral spirits teaching through their prayer.
A corroboree of breezes left to sing
the ceremonial rules of 'taking care';
to strum the fence wires, humming as they play
for tiny feathers flitting light as air;
to wonder why the elders went away...