Wednesday, August 18, 2010



She came to tell me
her country will be the first
to sink into the sea.

She came to tell me
she has a vision: she will
record its disappearance.

She came to tell me
she was suffering from
dislocation, drowning

she came to tell me
in her thoughts and sense
of loss, real loss of country.

She came to tell me
she now saw there was a way
to make this loss her story.

She came to tell me
"I will transform" my people's
displacement wounds.

She came to tell me
our listening for what's possible
made the difference she needed.

I said, "Thank you for being
here, and telling me. Your country
is the future of humanity. I'm inspired."

Some of the houses I've occupied
are gone, developed or gotten rid of
to destroy colonisation by alien

creatures, some of my houses
have been replaced by the swell
of unrenewable energy, the modern

substitute for hearth and home,
island and shared territory,
roots and stability, growth processes.

I ask myself: what if the Barmah Forest
vanished and  my childhood disappeared
in the waves of a future I can't recognise?

Would I really come to tell you
I'm on a mission to preserve its memory?
I think I would be too erased to speak.

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