The Bathurst Plain – Brenda Saunders

Latest Discoveries: fine open country…with wooded plains

reminiscent of an Englishman’s estate

 

‘The Expeditions of Major Mitchell’, State Library of NSW

 

We watched them come with new ideas for change, create

‘a green and pleasant land’ on dusty plains, clear our wildlife

for sport or game. They brought Red coats, mulled wine.

Hounds for the English hunt, chasing a fox on the run.

Smoothed the outcrops, straightened our snaky trails

for the shortest route to town. Cleared forests, squared

the land into parcels bound with wire. They drove sheep

onto patchy runs, planted seed in a land with no seasons.

They gave new names to our rivers and creeks. New laws

defied our old beliefs, sent starving families drifting

off Country. Skirmishes turning the tribe in on itself

knowing the white man had come to stay.

 

Originally published by Hybrid Publishers.