By | 1 February 2022

Ancestry denial
the root of no tree
all thieves.
I, among them scratch
the time lost debris the family tree
and it leads me to County Kilkenny
where a certain decree
in 1367 AD
forced English settlers to
ditch the Gaelic
and return to English
ways of riding horses.
On Kulin land
my birth place
the colonial campaign
bolsters its relentlessness
washes it green
asks Aunty to speak for five minutes before
we orate at length about
the colonial heritage of the park
where the river
giver of all life
was rediverted
forced to subsume its network of billabongs
to make way for this here
multilevel call centre.

No doubt my blood has blood on its hands.

I cop out
focus on the Irish.

Even then boredom
the only response
to this Kilkenny discovery

Are settlers allowed that luxury?

In an age of personalisation
we’ve made our own
the Great Australian Silence

turned our network of denials
into one great channel of violence.

I return to the Birrarung.

Who travelled further in life
than water?
from blood to sky and ocean
carried everywhere
the damage we did anywhere?
as in life
in death
it will make kin of you
with fungi
rotting you regardless
of creed
whatever you did in your time here

making compost of your bones
growing grasses by your grave.

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