Thursday, 5 April 2012

New South Wales

After Gurrumul

The sunset is a grief for us,
a crying without release.  We watch
the goldengrey cool waves roll
and see in them those others who’ve been
here with us.

Oh, my father!  What a longing
is at the fishing rock where we
scattered your ashes once.  Quiet, though,
your mother’s old kitchen.  These cliffs have seen
so many tides come and go.

Oh, grandfather!  This ocean
will sing your name when people
have long since ceased to fear
your furrowed brow, your flashing pride,
your knowledge of their past.

The paths that link our houses
tell of histories without number.
Each corner, each tree, each anthill is
what we’ve learned at her knee,
the saltwind teacher.

My lineage holds me close here:
can you feel it?  It brings me
a wealth of tears each time I catch
the late sun glistening on that
restless old sea.

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