Daily Poem: Then and Now ~ Kath Walker/Oodgeroo Noonuccal

June 14, 2017 | Filed Under Poem for Hela | No Comments

Then and Now
~ Kath Walker/Oodgeroo Noonuccal

In my dreams I hear my tribe
Laughing as they hunt and swim
But dreams are shattered by rushing car,
By grinding tram and hissing train
And I see no more my tribe of old
As I walk alone in the teeming town.

I have seen corroboree
Where a factory belches smoke;
Here where they have memorial park
One time lubras dug for yams;
One time our dark children played
There where the railways yards are now,
And where I remember the didgeridoo
Calling us to dance and play,
Offices now, neon lights now,
Bank and shop and advertisement now,
Traffic and trade of the busy town.

No more woomera, no more boomerang,
No more playabout, no more the old ways.
Children of nature we were then,
No clocks hurrying crowds to toil.
Now I am civilized and work in the white way,
Now I have dress, now I have shoes:
‘Isn’t she lucky to have a good job!’
Better when I had only a dillybag.
Better when I had nothing but happiness.

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