The Stolen Land 

by Terry Johnson

You are on Indigenous lands swimming in Indigenous waters looking up at Indigenous skies looking down at Indigenous water creatures There is no part of this place that was not is not cared for loved 

Those who are not Indigenous to this land are Settlers 

This does not mean being a part of peaceful settlement  

It means being a part of settler-colonialism 

where invaders came and never left 

The land I was born in has been stolen, Has anybody seen it? The immigration officer asks: “Nationality  and reason for asylum?” I tell him I am looking for the thief of my land. Do you think he might be kind and return my stolen land to me? 

The land is my Mother, my Mother the Land Your bloodline aches today The secret you spoke of remains  no more 

Our hearts, they cry of dismay Our brothers before and them before that Felt the brunt of the  white man’s curse And as their blood hit the sun from the white man’s gun The spirits began to disperse 

So we turned to the land, our Mother the Land For comfort, our refuge at last But the feeling was gone,  brown children now born Not black like you gave in the past 

Please take me back my Mother, the Land The white man he’ll never accept me 

The milk that you part will soothe my heart and your spirit of place will hold me 

The enchantment of night around camp firelight With your children black faces smile broadly As they  talk of the day, in its original way and the power of the land, so Godly 

They talk of your plains and inland rains That send your waters raging And the animals that roam in their  hot desert home But your landscape is rapidly changing 

You are my Mother, my Mother, the Land. You provide me for thousands of years But now your soul, like  a rock waterhole Is drenched, not from water, but tears 

#stolen land