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!