ARCHIVE: Bronwyn Fredericks
Lids half closed
I can see a patchwork quilt
Shades of brown, green and beige
Shiny bits which glitter when the sun hits them
There are borders within the quilt
Some straight, some curved,
Maintaining and separating the colours and patterns
I lift my eyes
I hear an electronic noise
It pierces the air
Brings me to attention
The fasten seat belt sign comes on
A voice filters through the speakers
Prepare for landing
We start to descend
The pilot guides the plane down as if it is a needle
The needle threads down towards the surface of the quilt
Like the quilter is taking great care
The pilot’s eyes scan the surface for symbols
Touchdown is the point of intersection.
Hear My Cries…
Called a big fish,
These are my ancestral waters.
I belong here,
they belong to me.
Like my kin,
animals and plants,
We are all related
I washed up on the Keppel Sands Beach,
The land of the Darumbal,
where fish and water lilies
fill the billabongs and creeks,
where green frogs sing in delight when it rains.
Where humans discard what they no longer want.
I got caught by fishermen out past the islands of the
where the whoop whoop birds called
where the curlews and thicknees wooed
a large metal hook wrenched me up,
ripping open my throat,
leaving me gasping.
My eyes popped,
the speed of deep water to air.
I was discarded back,
to my ancestral waters.
2 metres long,
288kilograms in weight,
150 years old,
I died an undignified
I worry about my relatives,
within these waterways of blue,
those you call dolphins, turtles, dugongs
who are wedded to the islands
I worry about them,
dying in the same way.
I fear for my future generations.
There are too few of us left,
in our ancestral waters.
Don’t let my unnatural death go unheard.