Published 21 January 2009 · Main Posts michael row the boat ashore: a poem for the inauguration of president obama Maxine Beneba Clarke well this river is deep & wide / hallelujah milk & honey on the other side / hallelujah when michael rowed the boat ashore crouched down over that mighty jordan roar when michael rowed the boat ashore struggling with those flimsy splintered oars when michael rowed the boat ashore / he never steered the craft into jesus’ kingdom that brown boy’s promised land we call it freedom hallelujah michael row the boat shore hallelujah when david searched to find that stone / her ankle flesh rubbed back to bone with chain when david looked to find that stone crouched among the cotton fields / down low when david chose that stone to slay / she armed the slingshot at the master’s head / & prayed sister help to trim that sail hallelujah sister help to trim that sail hallelujah so obama has entered the lion’s den / that large white house built by chained black men so obama’s entered the lion’s den but lord / can the young man tame the thing obama’s entered the lion’s den can I get a witness / lord / amen the man has entered the lion’s den & this silence has descended hallelujah michael row the boat shore hallelujah lot/s wife was asked to leave all she knew behind hallelujah & the woman thought she could but just one last glance behind hallelujah this god has a vengeance hallelujah she had to die to keep her faith alive (what an ending) well this river is chilly & cold / hallelujah chills the body but not the soul / hallelujah well this river is deep & wide / hallelujah milk & honey on the other side / hallelujah (c) Maxine Clarke 2008. I will be performing a gospel version of this poem at The Big Read Out this coming Friday 23rd Jan, Glitch Bar and Cinema, 318 St Georges Street, North Fitzroy at 8pm. Maxine Beneba Clarke Maxine Beneba Clarke is an Australian author and slam poet of Afro- Caribbean descent. Her short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the 2015 ABIA Award for Best Literary Fiction and the 2015 Indie Award for Best Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize. Her memoir, The Hate Race, her poetry collection Carrying the World, and her first children’s book, The Patchwork Bike, will be published by Hachette in late 2016. More by Maxine Beneba Clarke Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.