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Ngurrparringu (Forgotten)

In Pintupi-Luritja English in italics
(with assistance from Lavinia Heffernan)

 

Irriti ngurra Warumpila ngayulu nyinapayi. Pulinguru walpangku ngyunya yunpa pampunu.

 A long time ago, I lived on the land of my people, Warumpi. From the mountains, the wind would blow and caress my face.

Tjinguru irrititja tjilpi tjuta ngayunywanpa ngurrangka nyinangu?
Walpawana tjilpilu warranu tjukurrpa. Waltja tjutatjarra. walpaya kulinu … watjilpa wiyangku.

Maybe just like me, a long time ago, the old men sat on that same land of Warumpi. And felt the same wind on their face, while singing our Tjukurrpa (dreaming) songs. Surrounded by their families, listening to the wind, and not sad for home and country.

Kunyi! Wiyalpi ngayulu walpa tjamunyatjarra yutitja kulini. Ngurra kutjupangka ngayulu nyinarra ngurrparringu.

Sadly, I don’t hear the wind of my grandfathers’ clearly anymore. I live in a different people’s land. I have forgotten.

Kala tjinguru ngayulu tjilpirringkula ngurrakutu yankuku. Walpa kulitjaku,
tjukurrpa warranytjaku, waltja tjutangku nyakunytjaku,  tjamuku tjukurrpa kulinytjaku. Wiya watjilarritjaku.

But maybe I’ll become an old man, and return to the place of my ancestors, to hear the wind, to sing our Tjukurrpa, to be surrounded by families, to hear my grandfathers Tjukurrpa, and to not be sad for home and country anymore.

Go to Matthew Heffernan's profile to read more poems