Tracks

Image: Beach Track

She went to the archives stretched out in the land
Followed their tracks
Followed their scents nipping in the wind
Followed a canvas sniffing out the paint.

She sent out the brushstrokes to become picture words
Reeling in acrylic memory
Reeling in encounters with testimony
Reeling in the sites of her aunties’ significances.

She called out to the images against the grain
Installed in galleries, libraries, town halls
Murals and tracks and scents and canvas
And mouths, and songs and steps
And gestures, she danced.

She called out “Here comes the butterfly
Lamenting the suffering of the
Koori song, Murri Song, Warlpiri song, Kimberly song,
Mekeo song, Man song,
Woman song, Human song,”

She danced the revisions of her story
In layers upon layers
Of the red earth
Yellow earth, brown earth and white clay.

Image: Sky Tracks

© June Perkins, First published in Aboriginal History 30, 2006.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Tracks

  1. I love the way you put it all together, June. “Canvas sniffing out the paint” brought a hysterical picture to mind but I love the words. Another beautiful piece from the past that is still fresh.

  2. Wonderful to see your work, June. The combination of words and images – the sense of pathways embedded in the landscape and the meandering lines which, in the end, embody everything – very effective. The combination could make a very effective video poem…

  3. Elizabeth Lhuede :

    Wonderful to see your work, June. The combination of words and images – the sense of pathways embedded in the landscape and the meandering lines which, in the end, embody everything – very effective. The combination could make a very effective video poem…

    – Thanks Elizabeth for taking the time to read it, yes I should definitely try my hand at some video poems and this one would lend itself to that.

  4. (: yes that’s what we writers do (: haha I had to laugh at so you think you can dance in Australia last night, we had a judge from LA and he loved to say ‘that’s what we dancers do’ he was very articulate and verbose (: but he did have some phrases that sounded different to the Aussie judges – who have liked awesome, slammed it, nailed it, etc…

  5. this has so many layers, and invites the reader to walk along with her on the journey. Great use of active verbs, too, reeling in memories and moments, dancing revisions….

  6. That’s very profound – lots to think about. I really like the photos too. I’ve got to ask though – what do you mean by pictures against the grain? Do you mean that the galleries that contain them somehow restrict them so that their meanings are no longer vibrant and dancing? I agree with that idea but wonder where else paintings can be shown so that the world can see them. Unless of course it’s in the malls, railway stations and supermarkets – wouldn’t that be good.

  7. against the grain, pictures against the grain of thought, that challenge, provoke or come from marginalised grooups – I was thinking of writings I read years ago when an academic about writing against the grain and through of pictures against the grain… very interesting to hear how readers approach the piece thanks for that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s