Published in Overland Issue 250 Autumn 2023 · Poetry / Judith Wright Poetry Prize Camperdown grief junk Yeena Kirkbright In wombhole I meet feathered oracle, cross-legged and knowin’ tells me I know nothin’ of time. “Listen ’ere Sis, don’t waste it it’s slippin’ by while yous humans fuck everythin’ up” Languorin’ now by springtime wound swimmin’ where the light enters, warns me when sun lays horizontal on graves dusk heavy her coeval nebula will then be callin’ home. Before flight takes her, sends me down to Aunty Wandaiyalle by South Wall where we could be ibis stalkin’ through misty antediluvian newspaper headlines yellin’ but nobody listenin’ Women Of So-called ‘Nation’ Most Unsafe In Own Homes 2022 This ’er now time where violent men be fresh not fettered by polite free-market-gentlemanry still as if only yesterday ’im did not sin as if gods had not forsaken all and gifted ’im incentives to be satan incentives to be takin ’em women and fashionin’ wives of ’em make slaves of love and motherhood sculpt warrior sons of rape in own image At Cooee Corner tawnied Perry starts tellin’ me at so-called start of time, the poet commences his most laborious work yet curatin’ that ancient lie in gibberish that mud-fucked biblical tome now weighs heavy through the ages laid cross-breast first white child born in place renamed Baulkham Hills, still cryin’ tears for years for knowin’ black girl’s body stolen stretched tight by rope and tree for cryin’ too much left to be dead in mornin’ “Them are sandstone body” he says, “them are granite tears no guilt enough for wipin’, repentance be a loomin’” Earth (noun) /əːθ/ 1. a cupped-palm-shaped reminder coffin and body no matter size or colour return to nothing. I find black, blue butcher George rat rat rat break nuttin’ graves see him sorrow-laden, ask Uncle if somethin’ I should carry “Nah darlin’ daughter, it’s just this Christian burial there’s still a hope I’ll soon be restin’ home might be change a comin’” I meet Magpie Mogo by Master Mitchell Massacre’s mausoleum shit’s still tended by Institute of Surveyors NSW Division What a fuckin’ pioneer of terra nullius of land mob be intimate with each grain of sand used mob to survey what ’im couldn’t and killed ’em when ’em wouldn’t “True” he says, “that there delicious entropy craftin’ masterpiece of planet and homo sapiens another Dark Ages of own makin’ steppin’ up for audition just for yous creatures of extinction while monarchs take standing ovations a moment’s silence, please, for two centuries of oppression” At twilight, me check wombhole and she, augury, be gone our feathered and oracled universe now far away cryin’ out in elemental labour, heavy breathin’ heat and life into new black and whitefulla hear her cacklin’ song “that was fuckin’ interestin’” Yeena Kirkbright Yeena Kirkbright is a Wiradjuri woman living on Gadigal Land, who grew up on Country in Central West NSW. She uses poetry to document her personal journey, exploring gender, identity, place, cultural displacement, and decolonisation. More by Yeena Kirkbright › 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 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Games Heather Taylor-Johnson Days pinch and lately I’ve noticed every time I look in the mirror I’m squinting—maybe it’s a grimace. Without trying I’ve mastered the façade of a Besser block threatened by a mallet, by which I mean maybe the world won’t kill me but it’ll definitely hurt and I’ve got to be ready. First published in Overland Issue 228 31 August 20236 September 2023 · Poetry Verbing the apocalypse: Alison Croggon’s Rilke Josie/Jocelyn Suzanne ‘This again?’ and ‘why now? Why not years ago?’ are the two questions raised in each new translation of a non-English piece of Western Canon. There’s an understanding—of course a poetic cycle like the Duino Elegies is incomplete in English, there are endless new readings—and a simultaneous sense of wounded pride/suspicion: what was missing the last time around? What were you concealing from me? What are you concealing now?