Coat Of Country - Poem by Danny Draper
Coat of country, lore and dust
In mouth on tongue, nose and hair
On skin it danced and slept by fire
By blood initiated, fought and died.
Bones in earth that cradled kin
Rivers pulsed in flood and drought
Forest shadows dark skin tread
Seasons parched in eons furl.
Essence wends a serpent path
Forms malevolent spirit mischief
Warning laws imprinted landscape
Bind the living and dead to earth.
Cloak or snow the possum skin
Heirloom warmth the winter melt
Fish traps riverine village held
Sedentary coat of time.
Songs on wind and ancestral yore
Names unspoken deeds o'er and on
Breathe in the leaves sip the sun
Enwrap all wisps of endless years.
Carved and painted danced the dust
Music spun gossamer songs
Stories woven mouth to mouth
Oral tapestry generations thread.
Hands as shawl nurture land
Sustain a need dynamic fulcrum
Country clothed in timeless lore
Indefatigable blood in ochre.
Dispossessed 2 seconds to 12
Resourceful friends ignored
Knowledge stripped asunder
Disrobed of law and hills.
Injustice rings still clear today
Invasion tattered a sacred fabric
Colonization a palimpsest or erasure
Survivors learn rise and lead.
Urban Earth rejects soiled hands
Or is far removed from her basic laws
First people's disconnected even
Colonials are exiles dispossessed.
Only one future that is all
Assume the mantle reconnect
A blended family as one donning the
Coat of country, lore and dust.
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