I Got 'Lations'

A poem by John M Wenitong, Queensland

Close this Cover of Aboriginal Culture Essentials

Wishing you knew more about Aboriginal culture? Search no more.

Get key foundational knowledge about Aboriginal culture in a fun and engaging way.

This is no ordinary resource: It includes a fictional story, quizzes, crosswords and even a treasure hunt.

Stop feeling bad about not knowing. Make it fun to know better.

Sold! Show me how No, thank you

Every where I go don't matter if it's rain or snow
In every town that passing by I never have to wonder why
I always got a place to stay don't matter it bin night or day
I can always grab a bit of floor and never no-one shows the door

Some mates I know say I can be a boor that can make my spirit raw
But my lations always take me in and they say not to would be sin
So if you see me coming to knock your door
You can be sure I'm just rest needy and probly kin

They all say hey bros what-cha doing where-ya going
Where-ya bin do you know Aunty Esther Uncle Ivan they're my kin
So you're Mum's related to my little brother's din
Which way now and how's your Mudda and how the hell ya bin

All over Auss and the rest of the world dem lations have traversed
So proud and black and brown they are and that's not the worst
They nice and not and tall and fair and fat and thick and thin
But they always usually say g'day country and then they ask me in

They'll meet you and greet you and give you bed
No matter in Auss where you find your head
There's always room to rest said head
On floor on carpet a car or shed and even in a double bed

I also meet my lations down at the local railway stations
In shopping fairs and barber chairs and pubs and food to go
They're everywhere I go ya know
And they always want to Joe ya know

Come sit rest them bones my cuz lets have a little chat
Can you tell me bout my sis and where that lost cous is at
And who's bin doin what to whom heard uncle got that gout
Who got fat who's in jail who got God and who is getting out

Thus I never have had to worry about
A place to rest or be found without
Such love in action word and deed
My lations fill some innate human need

I wouldn't give them up for quids you know
This family tree so patient long and true it flows
Ages of family proud and black stretch back on into time
All the way back through yesteryear right up to me and mine

Thanks John for sending me this poem!

Homework: Reflect on the poem

  • What are John's "lations"?
  • Make a list of the words unknown to you and find out what they mean! Where do they come from?
  • Which aspects of Aboriginal life reflects John's poem?

Read another one?

Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, I Got 'Lations', <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/poems/i-got-lations>, retrieved 20 July 2024

Creative Spirits is a starting point for everyone to learn about Aboriginal culture. Please use primary sources for academic work.

Join thousands of Smart Owls who know more!