A Plea

Written 2011

My hand, my pen, write to condemn.
In ink, not blood, my words accuse.
You plunder us of dignity.
You take away our right to choose.

With promises you bought our spirits,
You bought our dreamtime with your beads,
With guns and bullets stole our country,
Ravished us and watched us bleed.

We did not possess the country.
It owned us; it owned us whole.
When you stole our country from us,
You stole our dead and living souls.

Now in captivity they languish,
Locked in chains of petrol fumes,
Trapped in squalor mid your plenty,
Lost to hope and lost to dreams.

We have lost our ancient dreamtime,
Lost our pride in what we were.
The past is lost, but grant us history.
Return it to us as our lore.

Give us back our just inheritance.
Give us back our right to choose.
The future cannot be as past was,
But give us what its promise holds.

Our ancestors cry out for ransom.
Our children need a hope, a future,
Need respect that we can’t give them
While we languish in despair.

Raise us from this dead existence.
Hold out a brother’s loving hand –
Not a hand-out, but a hand-up.
Give us back our souls, our land.

We disagree among ourselves.
We argue over what is wise,
But you do, too. You disagree.
Eventually you compromise.

Allow us equal right to choose.
Allow us democratic right
To debate, decide among us.
Don’t interfere. Might is not right.

Do not decide what things are best for us.
Don’t dictate what we should do.
Give back our pride. Let us decide
How to marry old with new.

Let US plan and work our future
In the ways we want to go.
Give us back our souls, our dignity.
What is best for us, WE know.

Slowly, slowly, we’ll adapt,
Learn the things we must discard,
And the things we must adapt to
To survive this modern world.

But we need our souls, our dignity,
Need to honour our own past.
We need you, too, to honour it,
To honour truth ere truth is lost.