The People of the Moon Bird, by Errol West
Like dust blown across the plain are the people of the Moon Bird.
And yet there is no one to teach me the songs
That bring the Moon Bird, the fish
Or any other thing that makes me what I am.”
The Palawa, a.k.a. Tasmanian Aboriginal people were subject to a violent campaign of eradication. As early as 1852 it was described as “a systemic massacre” by author John West (no known relation to Errol) in the book History of Tasmania. While the white people who tried to eradicate them assumed their genocide a success, Palawa people remain, much like many other people and creatures people have tried to crush.
Palawa man Errol West (no known relation to Errol West the basketball player) wrote this poem about what it felt like for him.