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Minyerri (now marked for fracking)

October 2023, no. 458

Minyerri (now marked for fracking)

October 2023, no. 458

Old Pelican sits by the billabong, he scratches his white hair sighing.
Long time olden time, he says, this little girl goanna place.
Wark wark crow listens, whistling duck swimming.
Them whitemen come from South African Cold Storage Company.
Reckon want Alawa land, clearim for cattle, might be 1929.
‘My mum born that year,’ I whisper. Hot and sweaty.
Want blackfella gone. Clearim up.
Big mob whitefella on horseback yarraman come, ammo crossed chest, you know..
Like big Europe war. Lotta rifle. Enfield I reckon. Youai Enfield.
Make grandfather, father, all fella chop up wood, big mob. Chop.
Chain im up on dis tree, see metal ring, for chain. Tree got pink flower. Pretty one.
‘I see it uncle.’ I sit quiet in the orange dust, eyes down, fingers clasped. 
Them whitefella shootim all, like they nothin, burn im up. Womens run, run with little ones.
But they ride im down. Hit im, kill im. Knock im down with stirrup.
With stick, not wantim waste bullet, smash im against rock, see red there.
‘I see, I mumble,’ staring at the crawling white ants.
Me save by coolomon, just little fella sleepin.
‘Sorry Uncle’. Youai. Dis place like that.

Julie Janson

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Comment (1)

  • Terribly sad, terribly true - beautiful, moving. Jude
    Posted by Judith smith
    01 October 2023

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