Musings and photographs from a man in a little house by a river, on a little island at the bottom of the world.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

An IWB and Balanda kids

‘Every Aboriginal person that is born is musical. It is our lifestyle. You grow up learning music, and dance. It teaches you to be courageous.’ Dr Yunupingu

I walked into the room
Didn’t say a word
Fired up the IWB*
Cued up the YouTube
Dispersed the hardcopies
Up loud went the volume
Clicked start
Didn’t say a word

My class on that day
Too young to remember
But not too young to know
Then fell silent
To the pulsating beat
The clap sticks
And the didgeridoo
Had roared into life

Like myself
He was a teacher
Of the young
And that day
He reached out
To Balanda** kids
Taught them
To understand
With a song and a plea
Reached out to them
From alien, far away
To my Yolla
Whitebread cherubs

They sang along
That day, to
Those plaintive, vibrant
Words on white paper
He connected
He really did
Then they cried out
In unison
Play it again, Mr L
Play it again

And now, this day
We weep
Along with Peter and Paulx2
Archie, Troy, Kev and Dan
For he too
Has now passed on
To that Dreamtime in the sky
Beyond the Rainbow Serpent
But the song
His music
Will keep
The R spirit close

His name
To his people
Means ‘rock –
A rock that
Will stand against

And with that courage
He did
With that voice
He sang
That teacher

This land was never given up
This land was never bought and sold
The planting of the Union Jack
Never changed our law at all

Now two rivers run their course
Separated for so long
I'm dreaming of a brighter day
When the waters will be one

* Interactive White Board
** Non-indigenous Australians

'Treaty' =

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