I is for Infumate

is it possible that’s what racism feels like


where the world seems burnt out from under your feet,

they take your children

raise ’em to be good white folks

ban ’em from swimming pools

deny returned soldiers entry to clubs

assimilate assimilate assimilate

breed out the traces of the past

the heritage

the customs

the aboriginality

come ye come ye

they beckon

into the house of whitewash

and be at peace

or do they mean

let me be at peace



This poem was inspired by the Aboriginals of Australia

and their struggle for basic human rights.


infumate  = smoky; blackened

Submitted to ABC Wednesday

The photo is another that was taken as I trekked up to see the crater of an active volcano in

Volcano Park National De Virunga.


  1. Illuminating video and poem. The poem put me in mind of the powerful film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence.’ I knew little of the land right issue, it is a story sadly that could be told of other indigenous people in many countries.


  2. I knew there was bad blood between the whites and the natives, but its not something we hear much about. Its a lot like the American Indian all over again. Powerfull words. I liked the “into the house of whitewash” part. Do any aboriginese still live off the land like their ancestors did? I guess that sounds totaly ignorant, but I know so little about them excepting a couple of movies.


    1. Some still live on tribal lands. I think it has become more – I struggle to find the right word here – acceptable to live as an Aborigine. For a time a lot left and went into the cities – which was sad, as many of them did not cope well.


  3. Powerful…it brought back to mind the movie “Rabbit-Proof Fence” about the 3 half Aboriginal girls trying to get home after being put in a school where they’ll learn how to be servants for white people. That was shocking!

    abcw team


  4. You have given a voice to the Aboriginals of Australia in a fabulous way. Love the image and video. Hey, I heard Obama might be planning once again to visit you. Perhaps this issue could be raised while he is there. Not that he could or would do anything, just bring awareness. It is a start! Love ya Jo!


      1. Your writing evokes such strong emotions, passion and imagery, it’s always a pleasure to comment.
        Although the movie is about New Zealand, it really is a wonderful movie. It’s probably tough to find, but I think you’d enjoy it if you did.


        1. I will ask at the local library – and hope.
          I’m just a seething cauldron of strong emotion that has been locked tight for 50+ years and is now broiling to the surface. LOL
          Watch out !!! I may explode all over ya one of these days. Hehehehe


          1. I like that your emotions are broiling to the surface, they should never be locked inside. We usually keep them tucked away, at the behest of others but hey, they’re not their emotions. 🙂 Bring it on Jo. 🙂


  5. I agree with other posters – your poem is very powerful. It brings to mind this saying (not sure of the origin) – “There is no medicine to cure hatred.”


    1. Okay – “There is no medicine to cure hatred” is actually an African proverb. So much has sprung from that land of ancient births.
      I love that you find it powerful.
      I watched a part of the show – from where I got the clip – and I remembered.
      I felt ashamed I had put it all aside during my life.
      For in my youth my fervour had blown on the fire of my rage at such atrocities that I wrote often of it.
      Then the words came again.


      1. Thanks for the origin of the proverb. As far as putting something aside – nothing that is truly apart of us is lost forever – it’s just been misplaced for a time. Many, many years ago someone wrote down a quote for me so that I would never forget the words. I never did. They provided solace during times when it was very much needed – I hope they can provide the same for you. “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot


        1. What a wonderful quote and piece of advice – we should never forget that there is AWALYS something waiting for us, welcoming us, to be the best we can strive to bee !!


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