Anna, the grass has softly been

placed on the mother earth close to

our large sitting mat 

ready to weave our words  

I am there on one side 

and you on the other

despite vast distances we are together    

stretching from the Indian Ocean

to South Pacific Ocean  

Can you see us in the Milky Way 

preparing for this journey?  

Placed amongst the stars being 

gifted stories from the universe  

The galaxies whispering sister

secrets into our word weaving  

So that we can share word by word 

woven and bound tight bringing story


At times this world is so vast and isolating

Yet ocean currents and winds 

find a way to connect us

Charmaine, we share the same sky, the same constellations

The Southern Cross speaking us home

Home here on my volcanic rock 

among many in this South Pacific archipelago

Home over there on your vast, infinite and ancient country

Lives and oceans apart, yet bound by shared humanity

Across generations

Across genders

Across cultures

Do you too feel the wonder of infinite potential 

in our oceans, lands and skies

Against the tightening of modern life?



There have been many many moments in time

I have felt those tightening’s in the

Rhythm of daily life 

when all I want to do 

Is crawl inside the emu egg and curl up 

To catch my breath and breathe 



And perhaps be thrown high into the sky

To rest awhile with the Old people 

Float in the universe of kindness and culture 

Colonisers are not in the past and this 

Teaches us many lessons everyday 

In ways that we capture potential in the 

Palm of our hands and hold onto it tight

We are born with that which our oceans

Lands, country, and skies bring to us 

As it did to our Ancestors line before 



Seeking to hold on

to cosmological connection

a shared wonderment of our all-powerful nature

But the busy pulse of daily minutiae threatens to swallow me

Drawing me into the quicksand of social and kinship obligations

Fulfilling and overwhelming at the same time

Important for terrestrial connection, and for my pikinini (children)

Important for ancestral connection, our teven (ancestors) walk with us even today

I’m told my teven are walking with me as I prepare for a journey into the past

Where it will take me, I do not know

What I will learn, I hope to know more

Why I journey, I hope to be revealed to me ....



Walking in many worlds plays with our wiru (spirit)

And it’s not in a good way either I speak about 

It could evoke a feeling of drowning even when

On dry land breathing in the precious oxygen needed 

Or being swallowed up by daily little things clumping

together like blood cells creating havoc with emotions 

But we Yamaji have been taught to tread very carefully 

The many paths we must navigate to survive because

assimilation traps are laid in some most unexpected places 

We have been taught to recognise the footprints leading 

The wrong way and not to journey far from our Ancestors

Blood memory transferred down each generation for 

Journeys of resistance, renewal, and survival forward 

I feel this each time I taste bimba bush medicine to cleanse me



I journeyed into my ancestors’ world

And found our old world buried 

Within a new container

Binding our old world to new conventions and

Politics of modern man’s own making

Yes Charmaine, colonisers are not

Only in the past

I feel a profound urgency I cannot 

Find words for 

To find a way to tasasye 

(reconcile) the past and the


To bridge kastom spirit and daily 


There is no chart, no map to guide us 

Other than the journey mapped by

Our hearts and our sesye (respect)

For sharing the journey together

We are only half a people until we

Build this bridge 



I too journeyed across this big

Big island from one coast to 

The other of a rugged coastline

To write words from my world

And of my Ancestors within

Last night at a smoking ceremony

I felt Old People whilst far away 

from my own country back West

I saw their presence through the

Smoke rising in a straight line up.

Straight line up

Straight line up

Straight line up

I knew the Old People for this country.

Where watching over and welcoming

Us into their country space to rest awhile 

The Forrest and tall trees on the hill 

Behind the cottage remained quiet all

Night as if to let us settle in and sleep

Did this country sense we needed rest?

Especially after a big journey and dragging 

Some of the mashed up big city energy

With us along the highway like a ribbon



Where to next?

Charmaine, I listen to your country’s debate about The Voice

And I reflect on the journey we all share

To respectfully reconcile the past with the present

I wish strength and courage for all your people 

And for all people everywhere to show solidarity 

To pause from the daily minutiae and

Channel our energy to positive human connection

The colours of my Pacific Ocean and islands paint what is in our


Blues and greens for vitality and strength

Warm sunshine yellow for hope and courage

Volcanic fire for energy and moody greys for reflection

What is the colour of connection?

Connection across our seas and coasts

Connection with our teven (ancestors)

Connection to our journey into a future of proud cultural identity.



What is the colour of connection?

This is a very good question to think about

I imagine our connection colour is calming

Pulling the sea, rivers and land together like a silk ribbon

Gently floating down the river of life demanding attention

Sprayed with greens, blues, ochres, browns, reds, yellows 

And colours that don’t yet exist on the artists palette 

Until connections become true, genuine and real 

The colour of connection to our Ancestors and Old People

Can look like the long dusty red dirt road heading bush

Or the bright coral blue water highways of sea, lakes, rivers 

Into the heartlands of existences long before the arrival 

Of the colour of mundongs (Europeans aka ghosts) to alter 

Our Ancestors very being and ways of living therefore

Altering our way of being in challenging contested spaces 

Offering a Voice that was taken at and during colonisation 

A Voice that the land of the White Australia Policy cannot 

Fully come to grips with and are confused about because

Australia is not the White Australia that was feed into a

National identity of vegemite, thongs, meat pies and beer 

The White Australia Policy is akin to terra nullius a nasty 

deceiving liar of liars belonging way back in the dusty archives

Our colour of connection could begin with the Voice!

Anna, the grass remains soft and in place to continue yarning.