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DAVIS, Jack


To the Others


You once smiled a friendly smile,

Said we were kin to one another,

Thus with guile for a short while

Became to me a brother.

Then you swamped my way of gladness,

Took my children from my side,

Snapped shut the law book, oh my sadness

At Yirrakalas’ plea denied.

So, I remember Lake George hills,

The thin stick bones of people.

Sudden death, and greed that kills,

That gave you church and steeple.

I cry again for Warrarra men,

Gone from kith and kind,

And I wondered when I would find a pen

To probe your freckled mind.

I mourned again for the Murray tribe,

Gone too without a trace.

I thought of the soldier’s diatribe,

The smile on the governor’s face.

You murdered me with rope, with gun

The massacre of my enclave,

You buried me deep on McLarty’s run

Flung into a common grave.

You propped me up with Christ, red tape,

Tobacco, grog and fears,

Then disease and lordly rape

Through the brutish years.

Now you primly say you’re justified,

And sing of a nation’s glory,

But I think of a people crucified -

The real Australian story.


Let go

Let go of my hand

Let me be what I want to be

Let go of my hand

The sands of time Are trickling before me

I have not yet Achieved

what I want to be

Let go of my hand

I want to stand alone

In a sea of words

Pluck out the phrases

Soar like a bird

I want to stand on a mountain

Wait for the dawn

Yet be aware of

The approaching storm

I want to fashion a rainbow

That arcs through the sky

And iron out the dilemmas

Between you & I


First Flight


Yawning prodigiously I disconnected my lifeline.

While destiny voiced safety instructions

(- as we will be flying over water -)

I recollected clearly

the diving board at the old swimming pool.

Now at nine hundred and ninety k’s an hour

I counted heads in front of me,

blonds baldies brunettes blue rinses,

all targets of vulnerability.

A red eye winked

and spelt out terms for my survival,

so I re-strapped myself

into my last probable contact with synthetics.

I heard a dry choked-off scream,

not mine but

rubber protesting against bitumen,

a cool feminine voice

(- I hope you have enjoyed -)

and as we taxied in

I realised I was no longer a novice

but a calm suave veteran of the air.

Especially so

now that I was safe upon the ground.