poetry in motion

MY STORY IS YOUR STORY – Alice Eather

My Story Is Your Story – Poem by Alice Eather

Djiya wiba yinyirra
Ngana Maningrida yo
Djiya wiba yinyirra

People ask me for my story
but my story is your story

My feet are in the dirt
and the dirt it speaks in dust
and the trees they speak in leaves
like the people speak in trust
and the water speaks in waves
and the dust is in the wind
so the Country covers my skin
and this skin covers this body

And this body has a message in this chest that carries messages from my ancestors on what to do against a threat

And these messages come to me in dreams
and I’ve collected so many now
they’re asking me to speak

People ask me for my story
but I thought my story was your story

When I see a map of Country
I see land, sea and family

When they see a map of Country
they see mining fantasies

When I see the sea-beds
I see sacred sites

When they see the sea-beds
they see dollar signs

When I see exploration permit 266
I see them trying to reduce my country into three digits

When I see Yirridja and Dhuwa Country
I see everything that is our Moiety

When they see Yirridja and Dhuwa Country
They see the future of the oil and gas industry

When I see the tides rise and fall
Kabalala karapa kakaja
I can read the storms

When they see the tides rise and fall
They just want to find out
what’s under it all

It’s funny how they want to dig deep
but act so shallow

So I say
Koma!
Ngika!
No!

Saltwater people say
Koma!
Ngika!
No!

Wùnal Clan say
Koma!
Ngika!
No!

People ask me for my story
but my story is your story

When you cry
Don’t you cry the ocean?
When you sweat
Don’t you sweat the ocean?
When you drink
Don’t you drink the rivers and the rain
And when you wash
Don’t you wash into that ocean
so the cycle can start again?

When we cry
We cry the ocean
When we sweat
We sweat the ocean
When we drink
We drink the rivers and the rain
and we wash into that ocean
so the cycle can start again.

Published on 24 Nov 2014

Support the Protect Arhem Land Campaign:
https://www.facebook.com/ProtectArnhe…
Written and Performed by Alice Eather
Filmed and Assisted by Luka Lesson
Additional Footage and Edit by Toby Finlayson
Audio Mixing by Joel Westlake
Filmed on Kabalko Island and in Maningrida, West Arnhem Land, N.T.

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