Published in Overland Issue 204 Spring 2011 Main Posts Toyota Dreaming Brenda Saunders At sunrise, the mine lifts in stark surprise reveals a skyline shaped by giant graders Kimberley hills stepped like ancient ziggurats Machines that sifted precious ore are silent now. Giant loaders have left the tailings heaped in piles: pink dust powders the sky Young Gidja men speed in new cars, scatter the tribes with ideas of progress. New stories cut deep, cover the tracks of the ancestors Fumes from Toyota utes spread particles of doubt among the people. A new smell fills the air. Black roads smooth a bumpy ride * The old ones do not understand this need to change. Re-create the ancient stories for the sake of a diamond mine They sing the Ngarranggami Dreaming Point to rocks. Three women turned to stone warn of the sacred Barramundi’s journey – dance the legend shaped by a magic fish who leaps the narrow gorge: brushing her pink and golden scales on her way upstream Women ‘Smoke’ the bosses crowding onto totem ground. Men who come from far away burrow like ants beneath the secret places * Argyle have come to build a tunnel, excavate the hollow caves, searching for hidden seams Their hope studded with diamonds – plan to blast the Gap, fill the sacred springs with broken rock, drive the workers into a pit, offering danger money The tribes can see the value, the power in red shale: they sift their Country’s losses against solid gains. Working for ‘the Company’ lured by the shine of a crystal trinket harder than stone. Buried treasure of the River Spirit gleams forever in the white man’s dreams Gidja: traditional owners Ngarranggami: the sacred Barramundi Smoke: Smoking ceremony the Gap: Barramundi gap the Company: Argyle Diamond Brenda Saunders is a Sydney writer and artist of Aboriginal and British descent. Her poetry and reviews have been published in selected anthologies and on the web. She has read at several poetry events and her work was recently featured on ‘Awaye’ and ‘Poetica’ on ABC Radio National. © Brenda Saunders Overland 204−spring 2011, p. 123 Like this piece? Subscribe! Brenda Saunders Brenda Saunders is a poet and visual artist of Aboriginal and British descent. She has published three collections of poetry and her work has appeared in major anthologies and journals, including Australian Poetry Journal, Overland, Southerly, and Best Australian Poems in 2013 and 2015 (Black Inc). She has received numerous prizes including the Mick Dark Varuna Environmental Writers’ Fellowship, the Banjo Patterson Poetry Prize, and was a finalist in the prestigious Aesthetica Prize (UK) and the International Vice-Chancellors Poetry Prize (University of Canberra). She is a member of DiVerse Poets who write and perform their ekphrastic poetry in Sydney art galleries. More by Brenda Saunders 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 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?