How many feel bound to explain or excuse the howls that flay these streets, forgetting the wordless censure they apply to the same, and then shrink back from? So presumptuous to ennoble, to intuit the strains of a wilder, freer past in those audible slashes (if you go back far enough). The myths are colonial spoils like the mountains and streams, as convenient as the splitting of kinships from Country. So easy to aid and abet the relentless withholding, to shrug at the spot fires of rage that abate, or erupt beyond pity and remorse— crushing forbearance, desecrating blood mutuality. So blinkered to write off the carnage as primal disorder, not lay the charge elsewhere, when invasion or cohabitation can’t alter the Law, or erase its protections and duties. It is everything solemn, sustaining and vital, elemental to all it surrounds or imbues. It nurtures the inner environs of those who keep and are kept by the same: process and spirit united, eternal. Essential. Crying havoc with the wine in a laneway, or granting concessions to broken custodians, should be as tin whistles against that implacable clarion.
Note: An earlier version of this poem appeared in Recoil Twelve, Mulla Mulla Press, 2020
Glen Hunting is a poet, dramatist, and short story writer from Perth, Western Australia (Whadjuk Noongar boodjar), now living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), on Arrernte country. His writings have appeared in Portside Review, Recoil Twelve, Creatrix, Burrow, Dotdotdash, and elsewhere. When not writing, he works for a service provider on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.