A poem by Samuel McKechnie, New South Wales.
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Bars… Of heart Of mind Of steel Alone Unable to Feel Grandfather the Wind Grandmother the Rain, Their lilting cadence, gentle Dialect of spirit becoming Torrid surge Of anger, of sorrow Magnified in reverberating Echo through hollow void Of cell And soul. Sunken eyes ‘Neath heavy brow, Summon half-forgotten apparitions Look hard, just may See Father the Saltwater Mother the Red-dust, He the strong She the elegant, He who shapes by grains She who bears, sustains Sodden heat, humid embrace Held by country, swathed in grace No longer! Nay, no longer Hear Brother the Turtle Sister the Dugong, Weeping saltwater Sing lament of flesh and bone, Of lost men Removed from sanctuary And briny womb Of refuge, only bricks And mortar here And bars… Of heart Of mind Of steel
Samuel is a young Torres Strait and Wiradjuri man. Thank you Samuel for sending me this poem!
- What tells this poem about the relationship of Aboriginal people to their land?
- Feel the emotions expressed in this poem. What are they? What caused them?
- Research incarceration rates among Aboriginal men. How relates this poem to those statistics?