BELONGING TO THIS SPACE
Going back in time, to Warrane, Sydney Cove,
standing with the Eora watching ships unload,
seeing the white man again stake claim,
to something not his, by changing its name.
Within a few days it was obvious to see,
Terra Nullius was false, the land wasn't free.
Still Phillip had plans, a type of assimilation,
an exchange of learning, to be the foundation.
So he made Tubowgule the point of Bennelong,
no longer was heard the ceremonial song
of the water's edge, Smallpox took hold,
spreading through tribes like the common cold.
Slowly the fences spread over the land,
bush tucker locked away from native hands,
while friendly settlers offered warm bread,
laced it with poison to add to the dead.
The warriors engaged in an unwritten war,
Pemulwuy, Tedbury, countless others swore,
to fight for the life of their tribal land,
being exploited in a way they couldn't understand.
The clearing of trees, the fouling of streams,
the desertion of wildlife, unfortunately weren't dreams.
Buildings covered burial sites, middens crushed for lime,
the bora rings lost forever, all in such a short time.
Standing at Warrane, imagining pre-settlement days,
the respect and understanding for Mother Nature's ways,
the connection to the land, the knowing of our place,
as one of the many species, belonging to this space.