Numinbah Valley in Spring

By | 1 February 2016

In the Yugambeh there exist three genders: male, female, and a gender used specifically to refer to trees.

Twenty thousand moons shone here upon the People
and twenty thousand more before that
showed themselves crystal in the rushing streams
flanked with green lichened giants, beloved brothers
our other selves who have endured so much

Now the People are few here, and pale
white men came six seconds ago with their bibles and noise
the People left, bleeding
we left, torn from our mother’s arms to be made white

Our tallest selves on this mountain remain, strong and beautiful
Our tallest selves use the wind to speak, asking
Why are we lonely?
Where have our families gone?

Here, I answer, singing them a new song
jarjum yanbelillah mobo
the children of the People will return
goorie jinungilellah numinbah jagan mobo
your other selves will be standing alongside you again tomorrow
we will not cry long; we will not salt the earth of our grandmothers
be happy in your waiting Tall Ones
we are coming
we are coming
we are coming

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