Monthly Archive for October, 2013

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A Child Wife

Kath Walker, Aboriginal Poet

from the National Portrait Gallery

Portrait by Clif Peir

A Poem written by Kath Walker aka Oodgeroo Noonuccal
First published 1966.

A Child Wife

They gave me to an old man,
Joyless and old,
Life’s smile of promise
So soon to frown.
Inside his gunya
My childhood over,
I must sit for ever,
And the tears fall down.

It was love I longed for,
Young love like mine,
It was Dunwa wanted me,
The gay and brown.
Oh, old laws that tether me!
Oh, long years awaiting me!
And the grief comes over me,
And the tears fall down.

Happy the small birds
Mating and nesting,
Shrilling their gladness
No grief may drown.
But an old man’s gunya
Is my life for ever,
And I think of Dunwa,
And the tears fall down.

‘From The Dawn is at Hand’ Jacaranda Press 1966

A poem by Kath Walker aka Oodgeroo Noonuccal

Daisy Bindi

Slavery at Roy hill, to our shame profound,
Wages for the blacks nil all the year round,
Slavers given free hand by police consent,
Winked obligingly by Government,
But a woman warrior when aid there was none
Led her dark people till the fight was won.

Salute to the spirit fire,
Daisy of Nullagine,
Who unaided resolutely
Dared to challenge slavery.

Tall Daisy Bindi, she rode like a man,
Mustering and stockwork from when dawn began,
And long chores indoors that made life bleak
Year after weary year for nothing a week,
Till Daisy of the stout heart organized her clan
To strike for native justice and the plain rights of man.

High praise and honour to
Daisy of the Noongahs who
Fought and routed tyranny,
Dared to challenge slavery.

Oh, the boss men threatened and the boss man swore,
They called the police in to help break the law,
And dark men and women were forced and assailed,
For fighting degradation they were bashed and jailed,
But Daisy the militant no man subdued,
Who championed her people out of servitude.