‘The People’s Justice’ and ‘Heavenly Queen by the Maribyrnong’
by Soreti Kadir and Lian Low

 

The People’s Justice

by Soreti Kadir

 

My people have always known justice through song

My people have always known justice through song

When feet started pounding the ground to resist the coming rampage

the Songstress stood by closely

if you choose to see what most see

which is mostly

misperception

“Why are you busy with those sounds? How will they sway parliament and the crown?”

But my people have always known justice through song

When war comes we sing strength into the masses

When lose is known we sing spirits back home

When confusion comes melodies male way for sureness

When victory is known we stamp our feet on the earth returning it’s mud and fire

We sing praise into the moment

And sorrow out of memories

Misdirected is not what we are

Divert the distraction

Parliament only holds a fraction of the power it parades

The people’s song is know charade

We know justice through it

Do you want me to prove it?

 

 

Heavenly Queen by the Maribyrnong

by Lian Low

 

Home

The Chinese, my father’s ancestors sailed into the Straits of Melaka and settled into the Malay peninsula,

They prayed to Datuk Gong, his altar hidden in forests and crannies

Gave him offerings, they wanted to make peace with the spirits of the land,

Where I now live, call home

Heavenly Queen Mazu gazes steadily over the Maribyrnong / bidding seafarers safe

 

On the lands of the Kulin Nations / I pay my respect to elders past, present and future /

In solidarity, with all First Nations Australians

Whose sovereign rights, ancient wisdoms and stories were never ceded

 

 

Australia is Melbourne is Glen Waverley 

Australia is Melbourne is Glen Waverley is my new home. Where the moisture is sucked dry, where I can trace a cartography of where Malaysia ends and Australia begins on the contour of my papery skin; but connection to place is beyond physicality, I had yet to uncover.

 

Connection to place is about a love for the familiar, tracing a memory, and finding that sweet spot where you just know you’re home. Wherever home is. Whatever home means.

 

In 1991, I’d moved continents, settled into Kulin Nations country the year before terra nullius ended, and hope for a new nation was stymied, stunted, bludgeoned by the fury of anti-political correctness campaigns. Howard. Hanson. Racist rhetoric.

 

Australia is Melbourne is Glen Waverley is my new home.   Connection to place is about a love for the familiar, tracing a memory, and finding that sweet spot where you just know you’re home. Wherever home is. Whatever home means.

 

 

The Heavenly Queen

When I craved love, I would look to the heavens, hoping to catch a glimpse of paradise in the sky

Stars twinkling like fireflies

Melbourne’s overripe moon glowing an outer space gold

I looked, onwards and upwards

For that invisible road to Heaven’s Door

Hoping the Doors would burst open to show my destiny

Little did I know that Paradise lay at Footscray’s riverbank.

 

Grounded along the Maribyrnong,

Oblivious to industry, machinery and heavy traffic

Glimpsed by thousands as they sped across train tracks

The sixteen metre Heavenly Queen’s gaze is serene as she looks past black swans, cormorants, swamp hens, red-rumped parrots, marbled geckos and Pobblebonk frogs

Her gaze drifts towards Footscray Road, floating past the Yarra, until her wide- open eyes contemplates the Bass Strait.

In her fingers, a small ball of light,

Beacon to shore.

 

Patron of seafarers, demon destroyer, rainmaker and healer

One legend tells that Queen Mazu’s origin was humble

Not yet 18, with supernatural powers

She fell in a trance when her fishermen father and brothers were caught at sea

Their lives about to be loss in a storm

She manifest in spirit, guided them to shore

But before all were safe,

Her mother broke the trance and her father died at sea.

 

Up close, Queen Mazu’s gold paint is chipping,

And the lake surrounding her base is filled with weeds and rubbish

Duck feathers and shit

A swamp

No tossed coins from lovers wishing for good fortune

 

The Queen’s slow decay mirrors the fallen stars I’d found along the river near Newell’s Paddock,

An exoskeleton of five arms,

Yellow speckled in purple stripes and tips,

They lay unfurled, arms spread equidistant

Sometimes scrunched up

Unnervingly still

Underwater creatures stranded on land.

 

22 broken, crumbled, dried, sun-burnt to the bone

Northern Pacific Seastars / marine pests

Plucked from the muddy riverbank and weeds, not far from the mussels and the patient fishermen, after bream or yellow eye mullet or silver trevally.

 

Someone wanted to piece together paradise on the pavement,

Maybe it was someone also looking for love.