Jack Davis, was a notable Australian 20th Century playwright and poet, also an Indigenous rights campaigner. Born in Perth in 1917, Jack spent his childhood in Yarloop about 140 kilometres to the south. Jack always had a fascination with words and when he was 10 he preferred a dictionary to a story book.
After his father was killed in an accident when Jack was just out of primary school, Jack moved north in search of work. He worked as an itinerant labourer, windmill man, horse breaker, boundary rider, drover and stockman.
At 14, outraged and indignant at the treatment of Aboriginal people by white landowners, Jack began to write poetry as a means of expression. He was ... more »
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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. ...