Published 12 July 20215 August 2021 · Main Posts / Poetry Poetry | Heal Country Dakota Feirer If I wrote a letter to my Country, how would it read? Dear Bundjalung Jugun, Or Dear Yuwinj Dhari? Will she forgive you and me for discrepancies of the anthropocene lately? Because it took too many ancestors before you and I to arrive. And wisdom belongs not to me, but to the old man that plants a tree, Of which its shade he’ll never sit underneath. I only speak truth and of no new philosophy, And I’m growing tired of repeating the words Heal Country. When today we live in a place where one Dark Emu can’t walk through a plain of murnong & burning circles – – without dying of thirst but first stripped naked & told he’s not Biribaan, Not worthy of calling himself emu. When today for one of us to choose her, over power & money, Or to choose truth, over paradigms lined with lies. We dismember their name and body, and refute their claim to sovereignty. Whatever that word may mean. Days will go by and the words Heal Country will still echo, Few who choose to linger in this echo will find themselves alone, ‘Til the next Blak week swings around, Or the next Blak trend snatches the nation’s attention. Where Country made me there’s a ceremony ground piling with dead leaves, So much I lit a cultural fire at my doorstep, so my feet wouldn’t bleed. And if this colony is a house, it’s doorstep is where I sleep. I keep checking it’s mailbox to find this letter to my Country, Stamped in red ink: Return to Sender. Or, maybe I’ll just print my heart on a letter, Stamped in red ochre: Return to Ancestor. Dakota Feirer Dakota Feirer is a Bundjalung-Gumbayngirr man based in Dharawal and Yuin country on the south coast. Since graduating from an honours degree at the University of Wollongong, Dakota has consulted for NITV, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and AIATSIS. He is carving a path as an independent researcher, educator and advocate for cultural sovereignty and progressive warriorhood. More by Dakota Feirer 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 May 202326 May 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Two poems by Ouyang Yu Ouyang Yu You have to do it badly. If it is poetry, even more so, because there is no because. If you write like you were the best in the world, you are the worst because you pretend too hard. Too harsh, too. Why do you want to be the best? Is that because you are a lack or there is a lack in you that you feel like filling up all the time? Even when you are named the best, does that mean anything?