Voices rise in the dust
women are dancing, painted up.
Sparks rise, fly into the night,
more stars for the Milky Way.
Singing is felt in your chest
an echo, rolling over and over.
Then someone calls to you
to sit here on the dirt
and you do,
you sit and listen and cry.
Inma – Pitjantjatjara for dance, ceremony.
Inma – Pitjantjatjara for dance,ceremony.
Translated into Yolŋu Matha
by Brenda Muthamuluwuy
Rirrakay ga marritji garramatkurr,
buṯṯhun marritji ganu.
Miyalkurruwurr ga giritjirri gamunuŋgumirr wo gapaṉmirr
Ṉilnil marritji buṯthun garramatkurr
Munhay marritji gama ga dhukarr marrtji buma,
bulu ganynuw mala , badurrumirriyirr marritji
ḏarṯaryun ga dhäkay-ŋäma nhokal gumurŋur, ŋäthi ga
rirrakay ŋurrkam marritji .
Yolŋu dhu wäthun nhuŋu, ga nhina dhiyal munhathaŋur.
Bala nhe dhu nhina, ŋama ga ŋäthin milkarriyna.
About the Poet
Leni Shilton is a poet and educator. She grew up in Papua New Guinea and Melbourne and lived in Mparntwe | Alice Springs for many years. She has written two verse novels: Malcolm (2019 UWAP) and Walking with camels (2018 UWAP), the winner of the 2020 Chief Ministers Fiction Book Award. Her writing regularly appears in anthologies and journals including APJ, Cordite, Plumwood Mountain Overland and The Best Australian Poetry 2022. Leni won the 2022 Inaugural Born Writers Award. She now lives in central Victoria where she is working on her third book.
About the Translator
Brenda Muthamuluwuy (Mutha) is a Yolŋu Gupapuyŋu woman originally comes from Galiwin'ku community (Elcho Island) in north east arnhemland, ancestrally from Ḻuŋgutja (Hardy Island) lived and worked in Darwin.
Her current position at Charles Darwin University on Larrakia county is a full-time lecturer teaching Indigenous Yolngu language and culture.