Antipodes

by Michelle

Rainy weekends are conducive to writing, yet somehow I managed to plough through a bunch of accounts and acquittals last night. Phew! Ciao taxman, ciao arts administrators–call me in another six months. Now I’m free for yoga, though my shoulders ached this morning. I’m free to read, play and think and…oh yes, spend a few hours editing too.

Today’s launch of Antipodes, edited by Margaret Bradstock embodied blackfella, whitefella, (& brown) poetic responses to the settlement of Australia. It was a really special event, being well attended, with Anita Heiss in fine form. Great to hear poems which openly explore the traumas of invasion and settlement read by Judith Beveridge, Stephen Edgar, Lionel Fogarty, as well as younger poets: Ali Cobby Eckermann, Stuart Cooke and Benjamin Dodds.

Here’s a poem by Lionel Fogarty, guerilla poet, songman, whose lyricism and language disrupts the codes of Anglo-European models, with their underlying colonial assumptions.

Love

Love…walk with me
Love…waken with me
Love…is a black newborn
Camp fringe dwellers are my love
Love is not seen in cities
Love is my Father
Love is my Mother
Scrubs are hid in bush love
and we say
Love’s mine.
Love is alive and received.
Love is a kangaroo
Love is an emu
Love is the earth
Love is the love of voice
Love is my friend.
And what about us
who has no love?
Well, love smells.
Us Murris knows
It’s love in bad love.
Give us love. Give us love.
Our Dreamtiming is love.
Catch my love over a fire
Fire of love.
Culture is our love.
Culture is ourself in love.
This school don’t give love
so we black power give you love
Proud and simply
love is the love
to our lands love.
Love walk with me
Love awaken with me
Now give us the true love.

(from New & Selected, Hyland House, 1995, p51)

With Lionel Fogarty at the launch of Antipodes

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