I am a nurse who has worked in many remote …

Comment on MLA Bess Price on ‘the killing of our women, abuse of our kids’ by Nicole Nugent.

I am a nurse who has worked in many remote communities. I am white. I have always been shocked by the sadness of the women and children. What they are up against out there. I believe Bess has so much to say. I am also a writer and poet. I wrote this poem a while back, but actually had to cool it down. I couldn’t be so graphic, to what I actually see out in remote communities. This is a gentle version. And I dedicate this poem to Bess and her great efforts to save Aboriginal women and children. Keep up the good work Bess.

Rivers of Sand

Women and children are dying and crying.
Hung like a thick twisted tree branch
Sobbing under closed wet fists
Bodies lay still,
The ligatures of time, bounded
Smoke billows over the trees bands
Ochre paints the early nights red dust.
Thumping chests
Day’s end turned now, a shade of dewy grey dusk.
Grief makes a sound,
As more bones litter and seal the ground.
Gathered in a circle to mourn the innocence
A girl scorned,
A wail to the good spirits of the land
Spirits take her to the other good mothers and children,
Who fill the rivers like sand—
A violent curse, beyond the dreaming
Silenced to fear they hide behind their faces
The frankness of inner screaming
The shame,
As brutality continues to maim
The law says there is no one to blame
Guarding chests
Speared with a broom handle
Burdened with broken ribs
What next in this traditional right?
Silently resisting and a step up to fight
Laws abound grievous bodily harm,
A state of alarm
Isolated in a sea of bruised flesh and bones
A sacred land of brutal zones
Women and children lay, dying and crying
Cries for a baby
It’s all too bitterly cold.
Violence is a catastrophe and should not be given any propriety.
A violation of human rights
Trauma for future generations
It’s time to stop the heartless crimes
She speaks!
‘Callous penetrations
Spears in the thigh,
Cross bars to the head
Blood is shed
As if it’s our turn to die.
Ancient and traditional purpose beguiles.
Our scars tell the story.
There is no glory
Over two hundred years of physical and mental abuse,
Our men have lost and watched us
Taken, raped and slaughtered.
The story line changes
Abandoned to pain, anger and rage
This has surely endangered us all.
So now we sadly fall.
Women and children share screams in the night,
Connection will never be as tight.
It’s no traditional right
We stand up to the unforgiving way.
We are now impoverished,
A state of poor physical and mental health
It’s no traditional wealth
Our human rights to live free of violence must abound,
Until this happens our culture will continue to fail.
As we live upon this sickening murderous sandy trail.
Those who haven’t survived,
Go to the land for peace.
Until we are to join them,
We sign the rights to freedom
From Violence
Our law is not used to violence.
We must stand tall and plead our defense.
We must meet change, or we will be forever hopelessly rearranged.
We will find a description, and a prescription
To stop our contemporary violence
One stab wound is violent enough. One whack too.
It is too much. Enough is enough.
Violence is not healing.
This is our endless fight to be free.
The judiciary is not working,
By any black and white degree
White fellas don’t hear our screams.
White fellas don’t hear us cry.
They don’t know about us.
White fellas don’t take us into their hearts.
They don’t know us for our land
Our tears apart
No more can we stand alone.
Warrior men gone
Under this sun and moon
We fight for our natural tune.
No more can we be broken and shamed.
We are the power to our people
Our children crying
Our women dying’
In these bony Rivers of Sand

By Nicole M Nugent

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