Nicole Smede is a musician, poet and educator of Worimi and European heritage, exploring a reclamation and reconnection to ancestry through language, poetry and song. Her work has been broadcast on national and international radio, published in anthologies and journals and features on ferries, in visual art and sound art works. Nicole is grateful to live, learn and create on Dharawal country.

I hear voices of ancestors
crossing this country
spirit awake

with an anxious energy
I tread carefully
amongst old Lore

batjigan barray

old grandmother trees
usher me
to ancient summits
where songs ebb
and flow with the wind

passing through
open palms
they travel
the songlines of my body

stirring the spirit within.

*this (is)
dingo country
in Gatthang

The landscape vibrates loud
bending branches
beaming brightly from boulders
an intense hum of wings

where fearless thrill seekers
deep sea divers
dropping downward
rocky shelves overhead

trembling under our feet
stoney shoals set
slippery steps
immersed in cool silence

we tread tranquil waters
arching apex
toward the embankment

we tread water
and the soundtrack rings loud
in our ears.
Rosemary’s Rocks

Yellow blossoms –
like bright shards of light
disrupt this green and grey landscape

they’re early this year.

Damp moss softens
underfoot moulded steps
trail behind
and I ascend this rocky slope

does it, like the trees
recall my last visit?

Resting here
senses sharpen

birds in syncopated song
cut through crisp air
and mist
between ridges
like the cold to the tip
of my nose

all is alive
in freshness

in an awakening spring.