Published 12 July 20215 August 2021 · Poetry / Main Posts 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 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.