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January 14, 2015 “Once a Utopia”, Dylan Peisley

I look around at this beautiful place

Once a utopia for the Aboriginal race.

But where music, dance and songs once blared

Now in misery, only sad and lifeless eyes stared.

 

Such a proud race, resilient and strong

White fullas came, and it all went wrong.

Standing up tall, they called it colonisation;

All it really meant was to steal the Aboriginal nation.

 

As I looked around at once-strong men.

Their hands still and faces crestfallen.

I knew it was time, the truthful story I would write

About whites and blacks and that bloody fight.

 

You see those cunning old whites, they’ll have you believe

That their Christianity and welfare provided a reprieve.

They rescued those savages to save their souls,

“You couldn’t find God down those water holes.”

 

So they rounded up the little ones, all fair and bonny,

Said: “Forget your names you are now Faith, Hope  and Conny.

All that you’ve learnt will no longer serve;

A Christian education is what you deserve
.”

 

A traditional word no longer spoke

Otherwise it would enrage the white folk.

“Where is my mummy?” “We’ll hear no more of that!”

With the whip or cane, came a sharp whack
.

 

You see, these white fullas, do-gooders, you could say,

Were protective by government, they could do as they may.

Stealing the babies straight from mothers’ breasts,

All the while saying, “We know best”.

 

Scrubbing and cleaning forever their chores;

Forget hunting and playing like kids outdoors.

Working and serving, earning their keep;

None of life’s spoils would they reap.

 

So now that the hourglass still spills its sand,

I focus my eyes on an old woman’s hands.

So wrinkly, so old weathered and worn,

I begin to wonder what it was like when she was born.

 

But I look into her eyes, deep into her soul,

And I can see many stories yet to be told.

Of sadness and grief, loss and depression;

nothing that would be fixed with a counselling session.

 

I take her hand, all weathered and worn.

And we talk about the days her babies were born.

Her eyes light up, they find their glimmer;

And for a while the anger, rage and sadness simmer
.

 

This old woman has lived her whole life

under white man’s rule and never caused any strife.

Yet still today, no justice is done;

She sits in her chair and waits for the one
.

 

That one day soon her babies will return;

Of their whereabouts she may learn.

Of how they grew up, all bonny and fair

To tell them that all these years she did care
.

 

“Whatever those missionaries said, just ignore

When they took you, pain oozed from every pore.

I wanted you, my babies, I searched every day

Asked the white folk for help. ‘No,’ they would say
.

 

“Many a times i was told you were better off white

and that finding you was a useless plight.

So with flour and blanket off I would go

Hoping in my heart that you would know.

 

“Now here you are child, in front of me

All grown, well dressed and smiling proudly.”

Your eyes fill with tears, you feel in your heart

That this moment in our relationship is just the start.

Dylan Peisley
is a Year 10 student at Prince Alfred College, SA.