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Nginha-gulia nyiang – These words

This poem is written partially in Wiradjuri.

 

These words cry out and I hear them – learn to mould
and shape them like clay.
There should have been a time for such words.
for this word - “Nginha Nyiang”
And a word for such time Guwayu

How clunky these are as I first stumble over them.
Grappling like child I should have been when I first
felt them – “Winungah Dilinyi”, Sang them – “Babiyi”,
Spoke them – “yayi”  

Now my clumsy tongue struggles over each new
syllable my country “Ngurambang” gives me.

Each one I want to devour like the sweetest thing.
“Wiluray Bang Gula-dhayi” I ever tasted.
I want to suck every shred of the marrow
Dundumbirra” from each solid sound.
I want to swallow it whole “Darra-Marra
to know to what it is to eat for the first time
I want to feel like the child born to these words
“Gudha Dhurrinya Nginha Nyiang”

Go to Jeanine Leane's profile to read more poems