First Contact

It has arrived
the giant bird
floating in a boat
five metres tall
cast aluminium
wings out
head turned
to past and future.
Laurel Nannup
gentle artist
Noongar woman
shines her life
from luminous
etchings woodcuts
telling her stories
of Noongar bush life
Pinjarra bush camp
and Wandering Mission.
Laurel’s shining bird
our shining bird
designed developed built
based on her drawing
first visions
of European settlers
distant sailing ships
bearing the white faced spirits
of Noongar ancestors.
Laurel’s shining bird
First Contact
has arrived
at William’s Landing
in the south west corner
of Elizabeth Quay
but we all know
it’s been there always.

©  Sandra Roe

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