'on the road with buck' by Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta | States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two

one day I was drivin’ with Buck Brown along the coast

an’ we was talkin’ about white coes on our land

‘til the talk got real intense an’ I wouldn’t wanna boast

but we worked it all out from the start right to the end

now it’s easy enough to see, well it is to you an’ me

why white fellas do their thing wrong way ‘round

their old men made a structure with God being he

so that men had all the power on the ground

then they made their people’s minds fit the Christian mould

an’ they made a lot’ve boats to sail the seas

so they set to sail the seas in search of land an’ gold

to plunder other lands an’ never pay the fees

so they did an’ found the gold, an’ took our lands on the way

for that’s the evil sort’ve system we now know

an’ they came with hungry death an’ blooded silver as their pay

to rape our mother for a new nation to build an’ grow

an’ they took our tribal land rights ‘cause they said we wasn’t here

an’ the land grab was a killing thing with us against the flow

‘til they beat us an’ confined us and filled us full of fear

with a story of terra nullius we was crippled with nowhere else t’ go

it’s a lie we know for sure in it’s Christian sort of thing

‘an they educate themselves in the lies the priest has told

but they believe it as a glory from the spirit of their king

for his power is protected by the lies that came from old

now it’s easy enough to see, well it is to you an’ me

that the old men’s system has bled them dry

as we look they embrace it ‘cause it’s strong for them t’ be

an’ it gives them power over land they make to die

for the lie they still ignore is our terror with a price

a terra nullius sort’ve thing that can’t see black

for their embrace holds them tight as if it were a vice

an’ they believe it’s the only way to hold us back

for the thing that holds their thinking is a system made by them

like a bottle full of history an’ a story full’ve mud

for it hides their crimes against us to be sure we can’t condemn

their values of indulgence an’ the money smeared with blood

an’ it holds them to a cost beyond their minds of what they do

with endless rape of our great mother an’ the plunder of our lands

so yuh see bro they still educate they’re right in what they do

while they defend themselves against our cries an’ our demands

an’ they’re taking lots of our mob with ‘em as they climb their ivory tower

‘til together they’re like waves scrambling madly on the shoals

while we watch them jump an’ tumble for white money an’ its power

for this power gives ‘em status while the whitey’s own their souls

so there it is Ole Coe ‘an we know their greed won’t do ‘em good

for our great mother will take control in a sorry end

so we do what we do until our spirits are understood

for there’s no way we’re joining this mob ‘round the bend

we got a job that ain’t got space for the way these fellas head

it’s a picture don’t yuh reckon, with a sad and bitter show

an’ the devil these fellas pray to will come to claim the dead

but our Great Mother is the power that’ll take ‘em when they go.

yeah bro, it’s easy enough to see, well it is to you an’ me

why white fellas do their thing wrong way ‘round

but when their devil goes a running they’ll really come t’ see

the final price will be their end an’ no tears from us will flow.

so take heed ole coe that we do our thing in a strong an’ pure way

an’ we always live the way she made for us to grow

an’ hold no sorrow an’ shed no tears for the way they end their day

‘cause we told ‘em for two hundred years, but they didn’t wanna know.

Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta


Note: Ole Coe – a vernacular from Aboriginal English meaning ‘old cove’, and evolved into general language during the early 1900s, and is still used today.

Jim Everett-puralia meenmatta

Jim Everett-puralia meenmatta

Jim Everett-puralia meenamatta was born at Flinders Island, Tasmania in 1942. He is from the clan plangermairreenner of the Ben Lomond people, a clan of the Cape Portland nation in north-east Tasmania. His working life includes fifteen years at sea as a fisherman and merchant seaman, the Australian Regular Army for three years, and over fifty years formal involvement in the Aboriginal Struggle. He has a long history in the public service in Aboriginal Affairs, and has visited many remote Aboriginal communities across Australia. Jim began writing poetry at an early age. He wrote his first play, We Are Survivors, in 1984, and produced, directed, and acted in it. His written works now include plays, political and academic papers, and short stories. Jim has produced and been associate producer in many documentary films. He is published in many major anthologies. Jim lives on Cape Barren Island writing and maintaining involvement in cultural arts nationally.

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