The Theft Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo” A statue of Captain James Cook stands in Sydney’s Hyde Park on August 25, 2017, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelled calls to change colonial-era monuments and the date of Australia Day, in attempts to better reflect the country’s indigenous past, as a ‘Stalinist’ exercise in re-writing history. A cultural debate intensified this week when prominent indigenous commentator Stan Grant dubbed the inscription “Discovered this territory 1770”, on a Sydney statue of 18th century British explorer Capitan James Cook, a “damaging myth”. / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST

“But the fear and contempt for Aboriginal people and culture, which perpetuated the lie of “Terra Nullius” for more than two centuries, is deeply institutionalised and far from quashed.” Sharon Collins

The Theft Of Truth 

His brass visage looked out to the 
east without emotion or recognition,
his eyes were dead much like his 
vision of a world his own,
a sparrows nest of lies and 
make-believe, all self-possessed,
like a smug little advert offering
heaven for a pfennig on a Sunday,
wild claims of the miraculous
wrapped in manure and given to 
a king as proof of something not
his to give or own and denying life
as it was, overlooking history before
him and claiming it was all his for 
the taking, denying breath and blood
despite the very rich history of 
plus 40,000 years of occupation
by the very real and first among us
in Gondwana, you thief of life
and meaning and all who have 
worshipped at your feet, be

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: Captain James Cook on an expedition navigated Australia’s east coast in 1770 which paved the way for British occupation. In 1776, January 26th Captain Arthur Phillip claimed sovereignty by the British crown over Australia. January 26th continues to be celebrated as “Australia Day” which remains a lie that denies the existence of Australia’s First Nations people. The High Court has ruled Terra Nullius” is indeed an obvious lie, but the process of undoing two centuries of entrenched racism is proving to be very difficult. While Cook contributed much to our understanding of the geography of the world, he also played his part in denying First Nation peoples their rightful place. Terra Nullius is Latin meaning “land belonging to no one.” Hence the lie.

Video: Midnight Oil feat. Jessica Mauboy and Tasman Keith “First Nation”


Filed under Free Verse, history, identity, Indigenous, injustice, life, Native Title, poem, quote, Racism, Stolen Generation

38 responses to “The Theft Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

  1. It was greed that sent the explorers venturing and arrogance that made them assume anything they discovered was their’s to claim. This attitude seems to remain amongst those who spout assimilation. Well written.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for the history of Australia loss of indigenous history in today’s post !

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Great verse! It was the barren cold lands, unable to sustain life for all, in europe, as well as the arrogance, greed and xenophobia that created colonialism. Nice reflection.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Wow Paul, that was soberly eye open and well crafted. I missed all of that in the history when I visited. loved this line “wild claims of the miraculous
    wrapped in manure and given to
    a king as proof of something not
    his to give or own and denying life
    as it was, overlooking history before
    him. Great song! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I recently read Peter Carey’s ‘A Long Way from Home’. The treatment of the indigenous people of Australia described in the book bears a striking and desperately sad resemblance to the treatment of the San people who originally inhabited the Western Cape.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. An enlightening post, Paul. I wonder how it came to be that England became owner of the world, need to reread history

    Liked by 3 people

  7. First Nations around the world disrespected by conquering whites. My nasty ancestors.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I liked this PV. Keep it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you for the history lesson in today’s eloquent poem and accompanying statements.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Here in the US, we had Manifest Destiny, by which the decimation of the indiginous population and theft of their homelands was preordained by God.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The Theft Of Truth – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon – ZILLAS NETWORK

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