Change is the law. The new must oust the old.
I look at you and am back in the long ago,
Old pinnaroo lonely and lost here,
Last of your clan.
Left only with your memories, you sit
And think of the gay throng, the happy people,
The voices and the laughter
All gone, all gone,
And you remain alone.
I asked and you let me hear
The soft vowelly tongue to be heard now
No more for ever. For me
You enact old scenes, old ways, you who have used
Boomerang and spear.
You singer of ancient tribal songs,
You leader once in the corroboree,
You twice in fierce tribal fights
With wild enemy blacks from over the river,
All gone, all gone. And I feel
The sudden sting of tears, Willie Mackenzie
In the Salvation Army Home. 1
Displaced person in your own country,
Lonely in teeming city crowds,
Last of your tribe.
Note: Willie Mackenzie was a full-blood Aboriginal, the last surviving member of the Darwarbada tribe of the Caboolture district. He died in 1968, age unknown but probably in the eighties. His tribal name was Geerbo, his totem the native bee. The ‘Mackenzie’ came from his family's first white boss, a selector of that name.