Of where we, the overseas Australians, belong.

John Forbes (3-The Beach)

I find this in the last line of

walking by myself on the sandy beach,

following the soul, alert like a dog.

I can smell the question

like a bone left behind

in the reflection of sunlight in the ocean.

Waves arrive and go. 

The throwing stick returns wet.

I do not know who bites or throws,

where the signs of happiness come from,

where it belongs when we bark, what we are.

Life gives us a place to be born,

but when we open so many doors, to walk out

in an instant, we lose the way back.

Maybe I’m a written verse, between other written verses,

in this continent made blood, for those who devastated

the word brought as a flag

from the unknown ocean horizon …

Of where we, the overseas Australians, belong.

Juan Garrido Salgado has lived in Australia since 1990. He has published eight books of poetry in Australia and Chile. His work has been widely translated into several languages. Juan has translated works by Australian and Aboriginal poets into Spanish. In 2019, he read poems from his book When I was Clandestine (Rochford Press) as part of a poetry tour at the Granada International Poetry Festival in Nicaragua, and in Mexico and Cuba. His most recent collection is Hope Blossoming in Their Ink (Puncher & Wattmann 2020). Juan has written a new manuscript, The Dilemma of Writing Poems, which will be published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2023.

I acknowledge I live, work and create on the land of the Kaurna People and pay my respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging.

By Juan Garrido Salgado

Issue 3 | Autumn 2023

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