Thursday, September 10, 2015

Poem by Jack Davis: the Writers

 Jack Davis
The Writers

They say
we are the makers of history
we inspire others
to laugh and to cry and to kill
They say
we are the sages
we write the pages
and out of the figment
of what they imagine
men come steel clad
over the brow of the hill.

Jack Davis  (1917-2000) was a distinguished Noongar playwright, poet, author and campaigner for Aboriginal rights and is arguably Western Australia's finest poet. 

Other blog pieces featuring his poetry are here.

His poetry calls out to us to remember the unwritten and forgotten history of Western Australia (and Australia).

Davis's poem
John Pat  is perhaps WA's most renowned poem and was written about the death in 1983 in a Roebourne police cell of John Pat, a 16 year old Aboriginal boy who died of head injuries caused in a disturbance between Aboriginal people and Police.

Four police were charged with manslaughter but acquitted. John Pat's death was the catalyst for the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

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