NIGHT SHADOW – A FIBONACCI HOMAGE TO INDIGENOUS MAN
This is a poem I composed using the Fibonacci Sequence to play with the tempo. It is a rise and rise comment on the status of the Indigenous man in the Northern Territory of Australia. The number in front of the line is the number of syllables in that line of the poem. Don’t read it if you read poetry out loud (as I like to). The numbers form a Fibonacci sequence
With the current genocidal actions of Israel over Palestinians I am quickly brought back home and the parallels with Indigenous people in the Northern Territory of Australia filter through. Genocide too just gone about in a different way over time. Our way has been a more enduring story of Genocide started by a white man in a boat. The recent history for Indigenous Australians has been a sad history. This story was told to me by a guy I worked with. He had been waiting for a KFC order when a ‘long grasser’ (The pejorative for itinerant and homeless Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples in Darwin) “just walked in” and took two cokes from the self server machine. It was the strength of the Aboriginal man and the power of realising the situation that occurred at KFC was so affirming of his rights that inspired these words.
3 Shadow man
5 Waiting to be seen
8 A vision in his own country
5 Waiting to be heard
3 Shadow man
2 Hear him..
2 He’s in
3 Kay Eff See
5 Slips in, no money
8 Two cokes ‘in a cup’ from machine
13 Slips out, unquestioned, unperturbed, the black shadow man
8 Disturbed hunter gatherer man
5 And you were disturbed
3 You saw him
2 Yes you
5 How dare he walk in?
8 Just steal without blinking an eye?
13 You stole. He saw you. He spoke to you too many times
22 Your ears did not hear, he was nothing to you- Shadow man in the night walks his land without fear
13 Remember when you called his home ‘Terra Nulious’
8 You behaved so superior
5 He was the savage
2 He shared
3 Clean, cool water
5 When you were thirsty
8 Shadow man showed his water holes
13 You poisoned them. Stole his mother earth, Stole his children
21 Stole his future, ignored his culture, stripped his manhood, hunter gatherer, son, husband, dad
34 Shadow gathering, no shame. His action pushes you into your shadow. You push it back in your mind afraid to challenge. Uncomfortable?
21 Unconscious, dissociated, repressed what was once part of you, but the split caused pain
13 I am uncomfortable that he wanted a Coke
8 There are some fairly simple ways
5 To re-Integrate
3 Your shadow
Let’s take a closer view of ourselves and our separate matrix. In 1971 the American anthropologist Nancy Lurie called native North Americans heavy and harmful public drinking “the world’s oldest ongoing protest demonstration”, describing it as a “protest in order to maintain the Indian–white boundary”. and Anna Krien, in an article she wrote for the ‘Monthly’ in 2011 after observing the situation in Australia’s Northern Territory, “The nihilism that accompanies these alcohol-fuelled stories is a rejection of us, of this society…… The river of grog flows between us.” see here
The “theft” of the Cokes is not an act of nihilism its an act of anarchism and all power to KFC shadow man- next time maybe you will not only be noticed you will be applauded and someone will buy you breakfast because they will have integrated their own shadow.