A Friend Wrote a Poem

He called it Outback Dreaming. The poet recalled a visit he made to the remote outback community of Wadeye, where I was working. The visit happened in 2012.

The poet is an escaped rabbi (escaped in the sense that he has escaped the bullpit of the pulpit and now works in community welfare). His name is Ralph Genende.

Every year Glen Eira libraries conduct the My Brother Jack awards. My friend’s poem won First Prize in poetry. Rabbi Ralph previously won this prize ten years ago, the year of his visit to Wadeye. He says ‘this poem…born in the harshness…of an Aboriginal community is about the despair and the consolation of hope.’

Moving into the interior the tall grasses

wave me to a river

and there suddenly silently I awaken to a waterfall 

small and gentle it hovers in the drifting sunlight there are moments

when peace petals into our troubled lives

leaving little blossoms

in our slumbering selves tiny messengers

from the outback

memories of a distant star reminders of a faraway birth.

Ralph writes, ‘I believe in the power of poetry to refine our lives, to bring a different lens to our wounded world.’

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