Consideration of Black Deaths (story)

by Lionel Fogarty

Lionel Fogarty

‘No treaty will give us our laws: it can be broken’
Two brothers were killed up here
didn't even have a chance to live
yes they lived short yet long
cos we never forget them
Two sisters up here are dead
by rape and knife cuts
They were drunk with white men
Yes it's not all their fault
yes don't blame the white-eyes
It's the societies dat the
rich pigs control.
The sheets and blankets of the cells
are a danger to us
The disposable razor are a danger to us.
Now correctional man in times
you have broken the law
how was it when you didn't know
our custom and cultures
you didn't know my tribe
my people's land needs
you didn't feel for us yet
you moved on me with a
untrue law and rules
Yes my correctional man
what happen to the brothers up at Rocky
did you know they were sad
and dat Lawton was sentenced on a white law
Now he was found hanging
from a sheet, now how come
the wired net was not
over the window hey correctional man?
You have ended him as a black man death over life
he needed in his family
Yes, I didn't know him face to face
but I felt his anger as a Murri
Like Robert Hopkins, it does all mean something
he was found wrist slashed and hanging too
yet he wrote to all who are proud to be abos
you hear his voice singing these words
‘How many more blacks must die before the white man will understand’
To be back with the family in jail is hard.
Yet they know there is a way out of every ways.
Now in jail Murri men and women needs a black law
so they can come to live a better life and give more
to their community.
The royal commission will come and go I say,
but why is there still deaths of my people.
Well they sit and discuss here and there,
that's OK, yet why not support a more push
to get an aboriginal prison based on helping get good jobs
and culture working in the prisons.
The commission does a lot of good work,
yet it's in the custody of the same white lawless society
that oppresses us.
Yes go into the watch houses and find the evidence,
but remember the back hurt my Murri will feel when you leave.
J. Pilot may have been stopped,
by having a doctor on the job at the jail.
And dat young girl locked up in a cold room
will she be given a fair law to look into,
of why this happened.
I say aborigines are scared of evil spirits
dat white man and
women ways
so for a start you put us in there to rot
and rotten it is.
Yes we've broken your laws and this is wrong to you.
Well we are native people denied too long our rights
to a cultural law of our own.
We believe in the light of good
we are honest until we are found black death in custody.
210 years we are in the custody of white people.
Even our homes, land, sky and air your law hurt us
make us sad when we are glad
give us grog and we take it to the limit,
like punching up in a fight between ourselves
yes we do kill one another
yes we do undo our race,
but this is helped by your work in keeping white power alive.
I am like the wind too, we change.
But you have left my people in a unchangeable way.
They see it's fit to break and enter your white homes.
Roll your man for money, even some black men say to themselves,
let's rape this white woman for they are white with a past of sin.
Now I don't want my people to just hurt white people for the fun of it.
But do it in a school, educated speaking, writing rap, dat will
kill them with the truth, rape their minds
tell pure in Murri thinking.
leave their bodies for they undo themselves.
you Murri prisoner in there now
must fight with minds at ease
cool, calm, and knowing we care, love and think of you all.
First the representing of Murris must be Murris
get rid of migglou who are there
like this Premier Goss.
Not doing much for Murri culture, law and land rights
is a sell out brother
he is just a white man dressed to kill the real justice of all land
owned by black law
without the white law interfering.
Now we have a black top man in this department of black affairs.
You see Murri, anyone goes and work for white controlled place
have to be coated paint of black but think white.
Now Les Melzer don't say overturn
you are just patronising our own people,
cos if you wanta do something, get all white out of there
and say this a Murri revolutionary takeover
but you Les are paid by white Ann Warner.
Get it Murri Prisoners
it's a fight everywhere.
Our people are more confused than ever.
You see, the prison you in is our prison
yet we have the opportunities
anyway let's get all Murri to stop this hanging
or trying it out of the life we need to build.
Like you I'm lonely too
I feel like killing himself too,
but I don't want some white law find me out of my mind or insane
I feel, think I will do myself in,
Yes, kill, die get out of this too,
for like my other brother and sister I must do it.
Where's the sheet and blankets and razor and anything else?
Then a sound came over my room
‘Here it's nigger boy’
‘Here it's abo boy’
It was the correctional officer and a police officer say
‘Look he's drunk, mate lock him up with no mattress or blankets’.
Lucky I woke up, this was not a dream,
and thinking my bed it's the 1990s
and still my Murri die up here in QLD.
Well I'm off to see you soon
and tell you,
you're not to blame for what you've tried to take your life.
We all have attempted suicide since whites came to our homes.
We've hurt, cried and died.
Yet we have lived a life happy.
My Murri prison will be a prison of learning to get ways
of not returning to prison.
The dark love is not seen but I see you all.
The large wall I seen
but I have been through it.
My love for you as dying prisoner is living to free you
our fight for your cultural freedom is not over yet.
But I'm here not free to their law.
Yet free under the Murri law.
Sure we got to work out our Murri law, work alongside Murri law.
Yes dat must be done with you all
dead and alive even unborn
The prejudice is real in the schools
so it's real in the prison
The racisms are rebated and born
all the time with this country,
cos of the many people who
are dumb affair scared and uneducated
The stress is great in all Murri
family cos not enough talk action
of all Murri to our culture and
giving a way to fight the
love losted in years.
Yes many more is to be said
but one Murri will have a
mind broken down to the ground
if we say what really is happen.
But we must do it.
Self-determination is part of all
Murri family spirits. We will get
our heritage in the canoe
and sail on the beautiful life.
Yes prepare now man in jail
the time has come to your time
yet when you get out, it's back
to the same thing alcohol, drugs
and hurting each other. Yes, know
is hard to cool the lack of boredom
but you must try.
Our identity most us know
but do we arrest the ones dat
disobey the little you gave to life.
Brother you were out there
in front of the demo but what
did it give you freedom or to go
back in for more.
When one die in jail all of us die outside.
When one dies out here, you live to fight
so no-one die on the inside.
Yes commissioner you're white
The Murri prisoners are short in life
but long in spirits.

From: 
New and Selected Poems





Last updated January 14, 2019