Category Archives: Indigenous

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
damned.

©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”

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

So Tricky (Really) – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

Kim at dVerse is hosting Prosery, and she has given us a D.H. Lawrence line – “We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of time.” from his poem ‘Hummingbird.’ dVerse Poets – Prosery – Telescope of Time

Photo: ya-native.com Wounded Knee protest 1973

“I think we ought to move tanks, the whole goddamned thing. Put a division in there, if necessary ….” Richard Nixon

So Tricky (Really)

Even though we look at him through the wrong end of the telescope of time doesn’t change the simple fact that he is still the same. Making him smaller doesn’t make him any less. And time is not elastic enough to change the facts, you can’t wallpaper over the truth, no matter how hard you try. No amount of forgiveness will enable forgetting. I know that those who’ve come after him have certainly made him look better, but really he’s not. To say one thing and do another, to promise what you know you will never do, never want to do, in spite of the innocent lives you trammelled, never even cared about. And for what, the vainglory of just maybe being a hero? The plumbers let you down? That wasn’t the real issue. Your smallness was your need to have power.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

The litany of Wounded Knee, Kent State, Vietnam, Cambodia, Watergate ….

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Yet You Are Blind – poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: http://www.pedestrian.tv Photo shows indigenous Australians as prisoners, shackled at Roebourn gaol, 1896. Today the rate of indigenous incarceration is high at %29 of the total prison population. There is little sign of that changing, not any change in the underlying and predisposing issue of poverty and inequality.

“Racism is a disease in society. We’re all equal. I don’t care what their colour is, or religion. Just as long as they’re human beings they’re my buddies.” Mandawy Yunupingu

Yet You Are Blind

You can see clearly
yet you are blind to
the plight of your neighbour,
stealing their humanity for the
price of their lives which paid for 
the privilege of your wilful ignorance,
paved in the blood of their dignity,
bargained for the murderous dogma
prosecuted in the name of your right
to smile on suffering and misery
as you squash their lives for the turn 
of a dollar and smug satisfaction of
the exercise of your power.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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But The Earth Laughs – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

RDP Saturday – Nation

Global Harmony.jpg

Photo: dreamstime.com

Tomorrow, January 26, is “Australia Day” a slap in the face to our Indigenous people who remember it as Invasion Day. It is supposed to be a national holiday to commemorate the founding of Australia (as a white colony) under the British realm. I would rather we celebrated our so called nationhood in line with the federation of Australia and found other ways to be more united in a commonly agreed set of values and purpose. In another sense, I am not committed to any flag, I am however, committed to people irrespective of status, colour, religion and creed. In my view flags, nationalism and patriotism are dangerous, and the proof of that is in the daily news!

 

“Mounting an expedition to actualise a Compassionate Commonwealth of all peoples … is the great spiritual challenge of our time.” Sam Keen

But The Earth Laughs

Someone planted a flag and watered it
with jingoism and platitudes that
had no real connection to anything
let alone meaning
in the truest sense of the word,
people made pious statements and swooned
as if the earth might clap with joy
at the sound of our own voices,
exulting over our claims,
but the earth laughs at us as a
parent laughs at a child who thinks it knows,
until the child grows and
poisons the soil with nationalism,
worse, it murders unity with patriotism
and life wilts before us in
borders, walls and detention
where no one is safe,
and words become blades that
wound and butcher
for the mere sense of a date
or the colour of skin,
and yet we skilfully wallpaper death
like nothing is wrong
and we raise champagne to a
beautiful monied lie,
that fiction of ownership,
that we own what we do not own
be it mountains,
or be it myths and legends.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Paul, pvcann.com

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Take Flight – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Flight – RDP Sunday

rohingya-burma.jpg

Photo: independent.co.uk

“From age 6 to 12, I lived in seven different countries, moving from one refugee camp to another, hoping we would be wanted.”  Clemantine Wamariya

 

Take Flight

Their guns,
it is always their guns,
we have no guns of our own,
Their guns are menacing,
and their words are spite and spittle,
we are suspicion incarnate,
despised and rejected we must take flight.
We are diaspora to the world,
our minds are broken down,
our hearts are ever restless for home,
but our feet seek places of hope,
and people of peace.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul, pvcann.com

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Tjukurpa

Harmony – Word of the Day

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Photo: Dry creek bed – the Hull River, Northern Territory. This particular spot is also the site of Kulpi Tjuntinya also called Lasseter’s Cave. The river is mostly dry on the surface, and runs underground. There are many soaks along its route. When it does rain heavily the water can be one third up the height of those trees, which given the width, is a mighty volume of water.

The Australian bush, long before white settlers, was well protected with the harmony of traditional law or Tjukurpa – pronounced Chookapah (following the Central and Western Desert peoples view). The law is an oral tradition handed on generation to generation and memorised. One of its central principles is respect for all the elements of nature because everthing is in relationship and everything has an effect. While the words harmony or balance are not explicit, the principles are evident in the way Australian indigenous peoples treat the land and each other.

 

In the Balance

Where once where trees lie salted plains
and dusty cattle ruts.
Camels, mines and 4x4s,
billabong and creek consumed.
Settlers coveted and misunderstood,
but the Anangu have wise ways,
and through their ancient dreaming,
there came ways of loving nature whole.

©Paul Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, Country, environment, history, Indigenous, life, mindfulness, nature, poetry, Quadrille

Less Is More

Abundant – Word of the Day

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Mate, there’s nothing out here, we’re stuffed now. On the way to Jindalee.

To the untrained eye that’s true, but to any of our local indigenous clans, there’s no reason to panic because to the familiar and trained eye, there’s an abundance of food out there, what we call bush tucker.

If you are a meat eater, then kangaroo, emu, wallaby, snakes and lizards, to name a few, are nearby. Quandongs, bush plums, mulga apples, wild orange, and more are nearby. There are also mulga seeds and wattle seeds. Plenty of insects abound, cicadas, witchetty grubs, and various caterpillars. Some sweet things like nectar, especially from the honey ant, and honey from native bees. There’s surface water in the wet season, some soaks and Gorges during summer, and if you dig there’s often water close to the surface near tree roots, and granite outcrops. Then there’s various flax and flat leaved plants you can use for making baskets and any number of containers, trees for shade and shelter, tinder for fire. To the untrained eye – there’s nothing out there. I’m no expert but to my eye and many others, there is definitely an abundance of food and life out there.

“Less is more” is a phrase from Robert Browning’s poem ‘Andrea del Sarto’ (1855). This phrase was popularised by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the principle of Minimalism in architecture in the 1940s, van der Rohe was a leading figure in the Bauhaus movement. The Aussie bush is vast but sparse, which makes me think it is a living example of Browning’s phrase, less is more.

The sparse bush is deceptive, and yet to those who know, it’s like a magnet that draws you to linger a while and indulge that other abundance – peace. To continue a theme, in the bush there is an abundance of peace, a joyful solitude, a nurturing silence. There is a generous time out in the bush, there is no competition to mark time, no stress in taking time. No wonder many of us say it is a healing space, body, mind and soul. The bush is generous, extravagant, and abundant. It teaches me to live those values. And it teaches me that less is actually more.

maples abundant
black pine a mass of needles
cherry soul-gasm

Paul,

pvcann.com

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