Field notebook excerpt: a day of particular import




The image above is from one of my field notebooks. It’s a poem I scrawled on a Frida Kahlo sticky-note while flying in a little Cessna, from camp to a nearby mining town, on the day Kevin Rudd said “sorry.” That was five years ago today. I still have very mixed feelings on the subject. (Aboriginal children are still being taken from their families at an alarming rate – still – in Australia, today.)



‘The plane turns on a wing,

aroun’ to the east,

over and away

from the mangroves.


The sound of the engine straining

(we’re still climbing),

and today

there is mist below,

above the open green plain,

between rivers.


I can see neither buffalo

nor crocodile.

But I search,

and feel

excitedly sad.


This is


“sorry” day.








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Filed under Ethnography, Poetry turnstile

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