Cullen Bullen

By | 1 May 2021

The bus takes the old road from Lithgow
past signs to Capertee, Wallerawang
Tarana, Ben Bullen

Places echoing tribal words, their meaning
lost, misspelt by settlers moving onto Country

I follow the road to ‘Invincible Colliery’, pace
the high fence, count the stakes on the cyclone wire
Ignore warnings of ‘Danger’ and ‘Keep Out’

This working mine has cut a swathe for miles
worked underground till the last seam is spent
Up close, I find a hill sliced in two, the cliff-face
left gaping red

Remember fragments passed down. Generations
of hillside burials, ground slaked
with the blood of Ancestors after ‘the Round Up’

Their stories buried deep as denial

Now I read of new plans for an open-cut, posted
by ‘the Company’
With tunnels closed, the giant scrapers will scour
remnant rock for coking coal
until the last tree and gully are stripped away

Google has nothing to say about the clans
on Cullen Bullen
fleeing men on horses

Instead, we read of adventurers
Prospectors searching for treasure
Rivers of gold, here for the taking. Settlers
farmers taming the land with sheep

The web reports on wealthy Developers, building
roads over hunting tracks
Woodland cleared to mine the black rock
in the name of progress

Has nothing to say on our history, the First People
living, thriving here, who left without a trace
Driven off Country, lost in plain sight.

This entry was posted in 101: NO THEME 10 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.