they came in fleets of sailing ships,
some free, but most in chains.
they built their towns and cleared their fields
upon these fertile plains.
and they explored on foot, on horse,
on camel, and by sea,
and found the land already home
to people proud and free.
a people with an ancient law
as old as stars above. . .
with trepidation now they watched
these men devoid of love.
they saw the shackled convict slaves
flogged half to death and worse.
they heard their howls of agony,
they heard the tyrants’ curse.
and in their time they too succumbed
defeated by the gun –
their spears could not defend them so
they had too turn and run.
the trees and mountains saw it all,
the wild bush creatures too,
koala, emu, terrapin,
snake, crow and kangaroo.
and as the land had always done
it held its magic rites,
communing with the dreamtime stars
through all the fear-filled nights.
they gathered like a zodiac
round sacred uluru,
and talked and planned and danced and sang
and made strong magic, too.
they clapped and chanted for their laws
of gentleness and peace
to put an end to slavery
and give the slaves release.
they brought down law on all of us
its spirit true and strong
for justice and equality,
cruel slavery is wrong!
for in this deep and timeless land
of landscapes harsh and wild
there is a sacred promise made
to every newborn child
for every child’s a universe
ablaze with living stars,
within this law of sacredness
we’re all great avatars.
we humans need good lives, safe homes,
our children cared for too,
health, freedom, power, a voice for all,
not only for the few.
the beasts are many and the plants
are cosmic dreamings, yes,
our planet lives and feels her lands
reacting to the stress
this law comes down upon us all,
unspoken, yet well-known –
this star-blessed earth must cherished be
it isn’t just our own.