The Dreamers
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The Dreamers

Jack Davis

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eBook - ePub

The Dreamers

Jack Davis

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About This Book

With humane irony, Jack Davis gives a painful insight into the process of colonisation and the transformation of his people. %##CHAR13##%%##CHAR13##%The Dreamers is the story of a country-town family and old Uncle Worru, who in his dying days, recedes from urban hopelessness to the life and language of the Nyoongah spirit in him, which has survived 'civilisation'.

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Dawn. We hear the distant echoing voices of children singing a tribal song.
A tribal family walks slowly across the escarpment silhouetted against the first light of dawn. The men lead, carrying weapons, the women and children follow with bags, kulumans and fire sticks. As they disappear the voices fade and a narrow beam of light reveals worru alone downstage.
worru: I walked down the track
to where the camp place used to be
and voices, laughing, singing
came surging back to me.
It was situated on the Swan
not far from the old homestead.
That’s gone too.
Kindly old man Hammersley,
they can stay there as long as they like,
he said.
Now he too is dead.
Billy Kimberley used to corroboree
there weekends
for a tin of Lucky Hit,
then share it with his friends.
Now we who were there
who were young,
are now old and live in surburbia
and my longing is an echo,
a re-occurring dream,
coming back along the track
from where the campfires used to gleam
Then there was Angie,
twenty-two stone.
Proud she and Herbie was proper given
church married not-livin’.
Meal times,
Bella pulling the damper like a golden moon
from the ashes of the fire,
then sharing the last of the bacca,
some with clay pipes
and others rolling.
Now we who were there
who were young,
are now old and live in suburbia,
and my longing is an echo
a re-occurring dream,
coming back along the track
from where the campfires used to gleam.
The spotlight on worru fades.
Early morning – a hot, still summer morning. The sound of warbling magpies and children.
In the living room roy sits lethargically reading the paper. counsin eli is pencilling selections on the racing page while dolly prepares bread, butter and tea for breakfast. A large battered saucepan of water begins to boil on the stove. Eventually dolly peers into it and calls out in a piercing voice.
dolly: Come on, you kids. Hurry up, water’s ready.
meena: I’m having it first.
meena and shane enter arguing.
shane: No you’re not, I am.
meena: I am! You can have it after.
shane: [pushing past meena] You didn’t wash before breakfast, you might as well go to school without one.
meena: Listen who’s talkin’, when you wash you don’t even get wet anyhow.
shane: I do so.
meena: You might as well use spit.
meena grabs the saucepan off the stove and shane pushes her. Water splashes onto the floor.
[Running off with the saucepan.] Watch it, Shane.
shane: [chasing her] You’re spilling it all.
meena and shane exit.
dolly: You two be careful.
meena:[off] Was Shane’s fault.
dolly: Shut yer trap both of yer –
shane: [off] ’S her fault’ –
dolly: – and share the water.
dolly places a mug of tea and some buttered bread in front of roy. The commotion continues offstage.
shane: Save some for me.
meena: All right.
shane: Don’t use it all, like you always do.
meena: I’m not, get out ...

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