Poems

Gumbaynggirr

Gumbaynggirr by Travis Blair

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“Gather round me children
There’s a story I’ll tell you,
A story about our heritage
A place where we go for a chew.
 
This place once looked so different
Mangrove trees and river gums,
An abundance of fishing                                                                                              
I encouraged friends to come.
 
We’d go fishing for Flathead
With our bottle lines and dough
Trying our skills not to tangle
Our lines but we’d have a go.
 
As we fished the sun shone
We shared our stories and dreams
Hoping our children would continue
Our tradition and what it means.
 
The white man thought it was better
Destroying my family’s sacred place
Removing all trees and making it a park
And calling it a “community space”.
 
How can it be a community space?
When the families have left
The place lonely and uninviting,
It hurts inside my chest.
 
How can my children learn about
Their culture and family?
The laws of survival, the Dreaming
And becoming more manly.
 
The white man they say “sorry” yet
I still feel sadness and sorrow
I have let down my ancestors
But yet we’ll still live with it tomorrow.
 
So listen carefully my children
Don’t be afraid to stand up and fight
Just like what “Eddie Mabo” did
So that all will be right.

Thank you Travis for sending in your poem!

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Gumbaynggirr, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/gumbaynggirr>, retrieved 21 October 2019

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