poems from "Aboriginal Woman" album

 All poems copyright Theresa Creed

(album production notes after poems)

 

Aboriginal Woman 


Through time immemorial she stepped through

Aboriginal woman brought with her the gifts

Of laughter, healing, joy, dancing and singing, love

Support for her family, lore women

Making new pathways new dreamings

Bring the old into the new

She travelled and sang new and old songs

Over the lands of her people

And she planted the seeds of life

And trees

Like her mother and her mother before her

She looked after the old and frail 

The mountains and the waters wandered

Free again

She called to the four corners of the earth

Wisdom, knowledge and understanding

She is Aboriginal woman

Mother earth

Mother nature



Yita time


Dancing all in one rhythmical beat

While they kick up the sand with their feet

With markings of their totems

Painted on their bodies

While dancing to imitate animals

With one voice the chants go on

And the sound of the yigi yigi

Loud and strong

Magical movements in timing and rhyme

As the clap sticks pierce the airwaves

With its heartbeat

The fire lights up the whole place

And the trees standing by

Illuminating everything and everyone

Its yita time



Connected to this land


When I think of a mighty people

I’m so glad they made it through

for us to have a go at being free and equal too

Cause I seen us mob dance and fight and

It’s all the same you see

When you’re connected to this land

Black Panthers fought for equal rights 

And opportunities

The Kalkadoons fought to the last

For our children to be free

For education stop the invasion

A representation on our behalf

They’re already here 

When you’re connected to this land

And all the time we’re in the news

Telling of unfortunate blues

But we are the corroboree

For our children to see

And why we are still here

We was here all the time

When you’re connected to this land



We who know love


All of the old ways

All the stories and yarns

Around the campfire

The laughter and memories

Of freedom echoes

The abandonness of oneself

To the universal lore

And remaining only small and fragile

In the dreaming of it all

But the spirit shines bright

For my people to see a bran nu day

Where hunger and sorrow

Hatred and shame no longer reigns

But where contentment

Through contentment

Through our dreaming can sustain

Moving into time

Because time has no boundaries

Steppin through scenarios

That’s yet to be witnessed

The sorrow of our peoples’ voice

Is crying the strength to go on

Cause we who know love keep it strong



They took you away


I remember the pain 

When they took you away

It was like yesterday

Purla purla

My baby my baby

I ran till you was gone

Out of my sight

What could I do

The government said it was right

That you had to go

How could I know

What could I do

I couldn’t help you

I waited for you to return

Year after year

Then it all became clear

That you won’t come back to me

Don’t maybe one day you might be free



The Stolen


Why do they need to take the babies away

They need milk from their mother’s soo-soo

They can’t walk or talk or work

What kind of love have you got planned for them

They need their mommies and daddies

To make them strong

What kind of love have you got planned for them

Stolen lives stolen love

Stolen land stolen wages

All of us standing in line

Waiting for our pay

Just the same as any other day

We all got turned away

To walk home empty handed

Stomach achin for food

And the kids too

Should we call the police

What for they will only lock us up

How come we got nothing to show for it 

All day long we been slavin our guts out

Tryin to earn some pay

Station owner say you don’t talk 

Back to the whitefella or you 

Won’t see another day

Years gone by

And I still wonder why

All my parents and grandparents

Uncles and aunties

Got treated this way

Slavin their guts out

With nothing left to show for it

Cause everything was stolen

Yes it was all taken away

And no one got any pay

No one got any pay 



Dormitory days


We all got sent to Palm Island

On the boat we sailed the seas

All little kids and babies

To a land that’s wild not free

Put in to dormitories

What was our sin

Why this Jesus make us pay

For being no good blacks they say

All the nuns make us work

From sunup to sundown

And obey their rules every day

Then marry us off in their way

With wedding dress belong to church

A long way home

Mum must be worried

Took me from my beautiful place

Until I didn’t recognise a face

And yearned for the loving

From my mother and my people

They put me in the lockup for talking in my own lingo

Shave my hair and made me sweep the streets

And wear a bag dress

Just for saying hello to my lations

When will I be free when will someone come for me



Olden times


Aboriginal woman of the olden times

Faithful and true

Your ghost walks the city

With tired old shoes

While they hate you through and through

As you mingle and go about your business

Hypocrites and blank stares is all you get

Not even the rest rooms will allow you there

And from well wishers

They say the park is where you should stay

So they can keep track of us little blacks

As they pollute everything they find

And when they’re through

They’ll pollute your mind

And take advantage of you

When you are drunk



From long ago 


Don’t put the Aboriginal woman down

She has her failures

But she has her triumphs too

She sits on her bed in her quiet time

Wondering and praying for her children’s happiness

And she cries with her heart the yearning

Of love that flows like a river for her children

We won’t stand to being put down

We will always climb another mountain

Because our will to survive is strong

Scrapin the guts of life for the last inch of breath

Two hundred years on and we still bear the scars of liberty stolen

At the hands of so many who would

Take from her her share

And leave her face down on the ground

Lookin for answers but not getting any

Despite all this her spirit soars to sustain her flesh

Her mind her powers

She listens with her heart to the voices

From the depths of despair 

And finds a place for them

While she reasons with her creator

She hits her target every time

She is Aboriginal women from long ago  



Tears from the river


Don’t harden your heart anymore

Let the children be free

So they can remember

And have time to heal

The history book said nothing but lies

We who have been here from the beginning

Tainted by the hurtful ways

Of an insane set of rules

Our lore was not for the faint hearted

And is still not today

But a transformed heart

Washed by the tears

From the river of our mother’s love



Old tree


You stand there year after year

Sheltering everything from the rain

And you never complain

Your roots have been all trained

To withstand all the pain

Of the bitumen on your legs and toes

As only you knows

Your branches stretch out in all directions

You’ve been there since you conception

Is that freedom for you

Or do you remember a time

When the children used to climb

As they played around you

Massaging your branches with your feet

Did it make you feel real sweet

And the water as it flowed over your toes

Gently caressingly refreshing

Sounds of birds chirping loud

And freedom from the load 

as your roots get squashed

Under the road



The passing


The curlew cries his wailing

But Jesus said in my fathers house are many mansions

Time is forever and yet not enough

It was too soon you had to go

Three knocks on the door

Sets your spirits to soar

With the wind, free at last

From earthly restrictions

While the angel of death spreads out 

Its long black arms wide open

O death where is your victory

O grave where is your sting

We are passed from death to another life another dimension

To be with our other loved ones

Who passed on before 

While teardrops fall like diamonds

I’ll see you in my dreams

I’ll talk with you and walk with you

You’re not that far away

Brightest star in the sky tonight

Till we meet again

While the body sleeps

The spirit is alive

While dreams of muddy waters

Haunts me

Some people say the milky ways

Is where we will go

Red roses brings news that a loved one’s time is here too. 



Modern day hunter gatherer 


The modern day hunter gatherer

Make sure you come equipped with

The rights to be in possession of

Equipped with the knowledge of

Transparency spirituality

Ancient capabilities

Materials

The modern day hunter gatherer

Make sure you come equipped



Kalkadoons 


The church and all its glory tried to change our story

The pie in the sky they say

To make us forget who we are

The rightful custodians of this land

The land that is belong to our ancestors

And passed on to our descendants

Is it too much for them to see past their hellish racism

A beautiful Aboriginal family free

So while they burn with hellish racism quoting chapters

After chapters about how they care for you

Their intent is your end Aboriginal man woman child

Your law must stand firm while they try to unlearn you

Cause you the Kalkadoons that name just sends you

The native police came to make an end to your race

Then they took you from your land to another place

But we have survived all the migaloos ways

As we rise again

The mighty kalkadoons

The mighty kalkadoons

And now we have doctors lawyers singers dancers

The old ways are still the new

We travel to distant places

And meet many different faces

But we still know who we are

The kalkadoon from the Kalkadunga nation

Sovereign and free

The mighty kalkadoons

The mighty kalkadoons



Homeland movement


Looking around the next bend

Anxiously waiting for news

From relatives and friends

To see where we come from

Who’s our mob

Lands that’s ours and more time to share

All the jigsaw puzzles fall into place

When we find out our time and space

Hearing of the old ways the old people

The old days

And wishing we were there so we can share

In the knowledge wisdom and understanding

And putting it all together

For future generations to see

So that we can all be free



  

Production notes


This album of spoken word and music began as a draft manuscript for a book. However Theresa’s poetry is much more powerful in her own voice than in text on paper or a screen.  Theresa has a background in dance, theatre and music and her poetry is a continuation of that stage tradition. She is also part of the ancient Aboriginal tradition of oral story telling and ceremony and her poetry continues that tradition too.   An audio recording just seemed to be a better idea than a book.


Theresa first started performing poetry at gatherings of the Kurilpa Poets in West End, where we met the guitarist Matthew Barnes who performs there.  We recognised his respect for the blues and invited him to collaborate with Theresa in the recording project. We told Matthew we did not want any background muzak to the poems but rather a dynamic improvisational conversation with the spoken words – and he delivered.  He performed magic in sensitively interpreting Theresa’s poems.  Matthew played acoustic guitar, electric guitar and lap steel guitar on the album.


Recording occurred swiftly and painlessly thanks to the expertise, hospitality and respect of Gareth David at Tall Poppy studios  who recorded and mixed the album. Tall Poppy helped out with the artwork too.  The cover art on the album is a portrait of Theresa  entitled “Pitta Pita Prayer” painted by John Tracey in 2005.


Sean Treacy, producer

On behalf of another MC Creed situation.