Gully song 
Jazz Money

- Katoomba, 6/19 

a mist seeps

through            this gully 

              and I can hear


hear the way 

the old voices are  

held here 

hold here

the way they have

turned       to mist

that clings to 

the new shoots

the streaking old gums

to dawn to dew to breath


suspended on

spiders web

song and smoke and words

of air


there are birds                   pinned

to the sky

a great emu

to guide us home

a good fire will


across the land

like water

the old trees remember      whisper

of our people

who have been             here

since the first sunrise

of dance and feast

bodies tended with ground paints

fine oils sweet medicine

the time before

the smoke turned foul


tar rivers ran through the forest


in this place 

plastic plaques tell of

people moved

of homes made with

kerosene can walls

cold winters bad jobs no pay

the plaques tell of bravery and courage

of      hearts broken anew

of babies stolen

tears that washed

the gully away


the plaques say nothing of the songs 

held in the trees

in the mist

that haven’t forgotten      aren’t lost

still walk here

are still heard


here now

on a Saturday     June   2019

 I see gunyas

built this morning

by hands relearning             the old ways

trees releasing new homes

sighing                  in the clearing   

breathing old sweet smoke

and the gentle drip of the ferns

sounds like 


the mist loudest under the trees

like bird song through rain


and            as I write this

orange face and orange breast

two                    king parrots 

land in the mist

perch on a small gunya

and pass a branch from 

beak to beak


Jazz Money is a queer poet, filmmaker and educator of Wiradjuri and European heritage. Her poetry has been published in various journals, including the 2019 Australian Poetry Anthology, Australian Poetry Journal, Rabbit, Meniscus and others. 

In 2018 she came first in the University of Canberra Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Poetry Prize, and was shortlisted for the Nakata Brophy Prize. She has exhibited poetic works in contemporary art group shows and her video work has been shown at Artbank (Sydney and Melbourne).

Jazz is currently based in Sydney, where she works as a digital producer on unceded Gadigal land. She is grateful to live on the sovereign lands of the Gundungurra and Darug nations.