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Leni Shilton

Noise” by Kevin Dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0 


There is a lot of noise –

all the people talking at once,

so many opinions,

when, what is really needed


just listening.


Translated into Yolŋu Matha

by Brenda Muthamuluwuy 

Dharrwa rirrakay ga wirwiryun baḏubaḏuyunhamirr –

Bukmak yolŋu’yulŋu dhäruk ḏumurrmirr,

Ŋayaŋu dharrwa ga dhä bawala,

Nhäthan, ga nhä ŋayi yuwalktja märrmirr romdja,

yän buthuru bitjun ga ŋäma.

About the Poet

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. 

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