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Karri (or, Slow Arrival in Karri Country)

 

Eucalyptus diversicolour
Denmark, WA

~ Written on Noongar Country with Noongar translations informed by Pibulmun Custodian, Wayne Webb.


Remote as a god
less forest than cathedral, footfall
walking along base of Warrumbup
our tiny steps

today on the banks of Kwoorabup
there is a breathing, chest of hill rises
daylight in, daylight out
 
this place does not repel me, but I am
surface, pushing in
I am on the margins
of myself
 
Kwoorabup does not reject me, does not
embrace me
her every gesture tender, netting
shape of Warrumbup, Koorumdinup
catching curve of cloud
 
I move in tight circles, from house
to forest, to inlet and back
swan notes slide over salt
this place, injured beyond trust
will not be rushed
 
estranged, I begin to un-know myself
I am a slow migration
I am my slow migration
I watch my way in
leaf by leaf, star by star
landscapes scar and heal
 
I am a hollow chamber
there is no wind to sing me
swept clean, draughty and shifting
my body’s shell casting new shadows
 
shallow sheen of silver
graceful displacement of fish-splash
karris caught in reflection
twice beautiful
the morning mathematical
a mirror-trick of circles, lines and light
 
I can be anyone here
and no-one, emptied
and waiting, living off
winter light
 

 
 
Notes on Noongar Place Names:
Warrumbup – Weedon Hill
Kwoorabup – Denmark River
Koorumdinup – Mount Hallowell
(Source - Dual Naming Project, Shire of Denmark.)

 

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