Published in Overland Issue The 2017 Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize · Uncategorized Co-winner: My Ancestors Sachem Parkin-Owens Co-winner and Highest Placed Quandamooka Entry Each word I speak, every poem that speaks to you. The dampened cries of My Ancestors are heard too. Sky blue truths. They speak not of life and death, Rather of hope and survival. Ginda giba nariyuba (You are my young man) My Ancestors skin left wounded and filled with their ochre stories. These wounded stories brimmed my budding stainless mind. So much so they have grown to be my Childs ‘lullaby. Just to keep them alive. Ngari Dege (I am your Ancestor) My Ancestors words fall upon me like dusk upon dawn; Sovereignty and Freedom. With closed eyes I search for the origin of my hidden soul through each line; And through each line I rewrite and retell I realise, each rhyme, every poem I write, isn’t mine. They belong to the sovereign and free. My ancestors. Ginda giba nariyuba (You are my young man) Giba Jagi binji (With fire in your belly) Bujirang Jabur (Don’t be frightened boy) Ngari Dege (I am your Ancestor) Wagari Ngali (Carry me) Gana ngayi (Hear me) Gana nariba jagi (Hear my tribal spirit) Yara Yari ngiyariya bunji (Go tell your Brothers) Yara Yari ngiyariya jadin (Go tell your sisters) (Through your art) Nyinda yara ba (you go then) So here I am A mere man With a piece of paper and a pen in either hand, Hands together, not to pray but to put ink to paper, Retelling 229 more years of lullabies Gana ngayi (Hear me) I write from the heart The source of my ink Each line I write Isn’t written from what I think Rather what is held close to my heart; My Ancestors. Ngari gana nginda (I hear you) Image: Petteri Sulonen Sachem Parkin-Owens Sachem Parkin-Owens is an eighteen-year-old Aboriginal and African-American poet. His Indigenous ties come from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), where his family currently reside and have for multiple generations. He is also an African-American man from Tampa, Florida. Sachem grew up listening to stories from his grandmother, aunties, uncles, mum and dad about experiences they and his ancestors have been through. Sachem sees himself as a vessel for his peoples’ stories, meaning he feels his ancestors speak through his poetry as he writes. More by Sachem Parkin-Owens 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 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 26 May 202326 May 2023 · Fiction Fiction | garramilla/Darwin Lulu Houdini We sit in East Point Reserve and look at how the gidjaas, green ants, make globe-like homes out of the leaves — connected edges with fibrous tissue that I later learn is faithful silk. Safe inside. Why isn’t it safe outside? I pick up the plastic around this circular lake cause this is the way […] 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.