How Not to Die

Mandawuy, given,
of Yolgnu people,
his skin name ‘Gudjuk’,
writing songs for his nation;

he was labelled, briefly,
‘Australian of the Year’,
his coronation late –
Gubba man’s idea.

Ill, but on stage,
with his band Yohtu Yindi,
his crown re-found,
in the grace of singing;

his voice, so loud,
again dream-gripping,
with a re-cast lifeline,
thrown by performing.

He said: “I am not dying”,
his beliefs in living,
he went, a sorry business,
to the Eternal Dreaming,

‘The Healing Song’ incomplete,
but he always sung the words,
connected “to mother earth
and the universe”.

 


“Racism is a disease… We’re all equal..
I don’t care what their colour is,
or religion….as long as they’re human..
they’re my buddies.”

Mandawuy Yunupingu
17 September 1956 – 2 June 2013

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