Saturday, February 16, 2013

AH, WHITE MAN, HAVE YOU ANY SACRED SITES? - DENIS KEVAN

AH, WHITE MAN, HAVE YOU ANY SACRED SITES? - DENIS KEVAN

Ah, white man, I am searching for the sites, sacred to you,
Where you walk, in silent worship, and you whisper poems, too,
Where you tread, like me, in wonder, and your eyes are filled with tears,
And you see the tracks you’ve travelled down your fifty thousand years.

I am searching round Australia, I am searching, night and day,
For a site, to you so sacred that you won’t give it away
For a bit of coloured paper, say a Church you’re knocking down,
Or the Rocks, your nation’s birthplace, by the Bridge, in Sydney town.

Your cathedrals I have entered, I have seen the empty aisles
Where a few knelt down in sorrow, where were all the children’s smiles?
Big cathedrals, full of beauty, opal glass, and gleaming gold,
And an old man, in an overcoat, who had crept in from the cold.

Your schools, I drifted through them, heard the sound of swishing canes,
Heard the yell of angry teachers crushing flowers in their brains,
Heard the bark up on the rostrum where the powers had their say,
Wouldn’t children’s hearts be sacred, though they’re made, like mine, of clay?

Where’s your wonder? Where’s your worship? Where’s your sense of holy awe?
When I see those little children torn apart by fear of war,
What is sacred to you, white man, what is sacred to your clan?
Are your totems rainbow-feathered? Is there dreaming in you, man?

Sacred … sacred … sacred … gee you chuck that word about,
And when echoes answer sacred … sacred louder still you shout,
And the echoes come in patterns, and then, louder, every one
Till they meet, like waves together, and go bang! just like a gun.

Sacred … hesitating … now, a film is reeling through
My brain, and through my memory, of our sacred rendez-vous,
Of our meeting, of our parting, of my tears, as sweet as ice,
Of my numb incomprehension of a shattered paradise.

Sacred, oh so sacred, was our sacred rendez-vous,
And your ferocious anger when you found we weren’t like you,
But if I should make an act of faith, in a voice, both firm and clear,
That there’s something sacred to me, you starting drowning in your beer.

What is sacred to you, white man, what is sacred to your heart?
Is Australia just a quarry for the bauxite belts to start?
Where the forests are forgotten, and the tinkling of the bell
Of the bell-bird in the mountains, is just something more to sell?

Ah, brother, I am searching for the sites, sacred to you,
But the rivers, clear as crystal, smell like sewerfuls of spew
From the pipe and pump polluters, and the nukes that fleck the foam,
Would you let a man, with dirty boots, go walking through your home?

Sacred means that … sacred … it’s a place where spirits rise,
With the rainbow wings of sunset, on the edge of paradise,
Sacred … that’s my father, that’s my mother, that’s my son,
Sacred … where the dreaming whispers hope for everyone.

In the silence of the grottoes of Australia’s mighty land,
Stand together with the kooris, stand together, hand in hand,
Open eyes to endless beauty, and to spirits, far and near,
For Australia is my country, it is sacred to me here.

Ah, white man, I am searching for the sites, sacred to you,
Where you walk, in silent worship, and you whisper poems, too,
Where you tread, like me, in wonder, and your eyes are filled with tears,
And you see the tracks you’ve travelled down your fifty thousand years.

© Denis Kevans

SOURCE: http://thepeacefulpub.yuku.com/topic/28702

More - Russell Plunkett

More - Russell Plunkett

There is more to life - Than just a chance to live.
There is more to love - Than just a chance to give.
There is more to work - than just a chance to earn.
There is more to life - and life's your chance to learn.
From birth to death there is a need to grow.
To learn each day - something we did not know.
To think each night - when all the lights go low.
What did I do - where did I go - what did I sow.

Seed must be sown for a harvest to reap
Life's fields need tending - like a shepherd tends his sheep.
a careless day - a lesser time to know.
The fruits of life need more than chance to grow.

There is more to light - Than just the break of day.
Light is life - it should not waste away.
Sight - a gift - that in this light we see
The fruits of life - To be picked by you - by me.

Waste not the time that is your chance to taste
The joys of life the careless seem to waste.
Short lived - our turn to live this life at hand.
Think deep and make the world
Your Promised Land.