Aboriginal Australians, Australian bush poetry, Australian Megafauna Extinction, Australian poet, Australian traditional poetry, Formal poetry, poem, poetry
From the North
In the south live the lumbering giants of the Earth.
They’ve been slumbering there since the continent’s birth.
In the north is a tide that is turning to south,
And the tide it is black, and it’s wide, and its mouth,
It hungers for meat — for the harvest of fire;
Like a wave it rolls on and it never does tire.
To the north there’s a glow like the east-rising sun,
And it glows ever brighter as each mile is won.
And the sabre-tooth looks from the mouth of his lair,
And he growls at the glow; smells the smoke in the air.
And the giant kangaroo pauses out on the plain,
But he has little sense, for he’s little of brain.
And to all the doomed giants there’s a fact that applies —
From the north will come death — from the ones who are wise.
And the giants in the south, they have nowhere to go;
They are huge, they are powerful — alas, they are slow.
They’ve been safe in the south for these millions of years;
From the north comes their end — from the north come the spears.
— D.N. O’Brien
Thanks for this! I’ve always been fascinated by the extinction of Australian mega-fauna. To think that men armed with spears and boomerangs could eliminate Megalania! It’s one of the great heroic campaigns of human existence.
Dennis N. O'Brien said:
Glad you liked it Tom. I think it probably took them a thousand years or so, and although they didn’t have bows and arrows they could throw spears with great accuracy. They also used fire a lot when hunting to drive animals to where they wanted them, and it was no doubt this use of fire that altered our vegetation. Of course the PC explanation is climate change, which makes no sense but that doesn’t matter. The coming of the first wave of aboriginals (who come to think of it, weren’t aboriginals) corresponds with the disappearance of the megafauna. I wrote a sonnet quite some time ago on the same theme, so will post it when I can find it.