An Unwelcome Reality

Last week a small group of concerned people in Perth peacefully occupied the Headquarters of Buru Energy who are planning to Frack for unconventional gas across the Kimberley. This was in partnership with the Pacific Climate Warriors, 30 Pacific Islanders who had arrived in Australia to call for the halt of new coal and gas projects.

I’ll write more about this later but for now wanted to share a poem we read out during the event:

An Unwelcome Reality – Sailosi Toganivalu

In the face of a changing world
Where do you stand?
In the inevitability of our cultural extinction
What will you do?

Could you imagine yourself a refugee?
Assimilated into another nation
Just because yours lies hidden beneath the waves
Could you bear the harshness of asphalt under your bare feet –
And not the intimacy of sand shifting in the sun?

Can you imagine our children speaking foreign tongues –
But not the one spoken in these isles for thousands of years?
Our cultural heritage steeped in custom and tradition
Relegated to the dusty shelves of museums
Soon to be forgotten with the passing of time

The idea that our islands are sinking seems a farce
But the harsh reality seems closer than we had earlier thought
They’re giving us 50 years to move on to survive
Five decades to farewell our sacred groves
Five decades to mourn our dead long gone
Five decades to watch our land occupied over four thousand years ago disappear
50 years of heartache and pain
To set our house in order before we leave
This is our unwelcome reality

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