Australia Day in Doomadgee

Doomadgee, we write it
In our orthography
Really should be

No flag raising here
No speech or ceremony
On Australia Day
In Doomadgee

River runs warm
Kiddies swim and swarm
On Australia Day
In Doomadgee

Uncles bashing
In Australian passion
On Australia Eve
Here in Doomadgee

Broken hand, broken
Jaw, cut faces and more:
That’s Australia Day
In Doomadgee.

Adam Goodes
Too far away
This Australia Day
In Doomadgee

A busy day this
Australia Day
In the hospital
In Doomadgee

We plaster, we suture
Like there’s no future:
Future no feature 
of Australia Day,
Not here, no way, 
In Doomadgee

The end of Australia Day –
Quietness falls
In hospital halls
Of Doomadgee

But short the respite –
Quick! Elder sick,
Dying On Australia night –
Dying here in Doomadgee?

Quiet, quiet, his voice, his breath –
Small his smile at threshold of death –
Good night Australia:
System failure in Doomadgee

Beside him, quiet woman – or girl –
His guard and ward in this world
Trembles, faces an Australian day
Elderless in Doomadgee.

He slips away from teeming kin
Who hold tears and keening in;
A dreadful peace on Australia Day
And quiet, this night in Doomadgee.

5 thoughts on “Australia Day in Doomadgee

  1. I found this excellent, also, and if it’s OK with you, I’d like to share it on my Facebook page.

    What date do you think would be a far better one? I thought of Confederation, but that was 1 January, and Australians wouldn’t want to lose a public holiday!


    • Hello Yvonne the everfaithful

      Thanks for responding

      Why not?
      I suspect once I’ve put it out on the web anyone can share it any where
      And I’d feel gratified if you did so, Yvonne

      Which date?

      Maybe indigenous people could help us choose

      In some ways January 26 is just right
      But we need our national day to encompass the making of the whole composite nation

      And our celebrations to encompass all

      And to acknowledge the admired pride and pain and ambiguity



      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you darling

      I rather doubted this would please my more conservative reader

      I feared I would be read as a selfhating whitefella

      A person who is unable to celebrate his nation

      Nothing like that is true

      It is quite a complicated sentiment that prompts this post

      I put myself in the place of first Australians and imagine how they can feel hurt by our celebrating this particular calendar date as the birth of a nation

      Instead January 26 marks the first day in the dying of a land full of nations

      And 26 January cannot be a fully national event until encompasses the whole nation

      I watched the parade in the city today

      Saw how the Chinese could celebrate with dragons dance and drums their full membership of this nation

      The Indian dancers followed

      The Highland pipers and drummers in their kilts were next

      I saw no Aboriginal dance
      Heard no didgeridoo

      I could not rejoice as I long to

      I look forward to the day I take your newborn to the parade on a different date and we see all the dancers, hear all the musics




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