Thursday, June 16, 2005
From Oz to Palestine via the Jerusalem Cinematheque
posted by: peacerider at 9:08 PM
Its the Australian Film Festival in Israel at the moment, and on Wednesday I went to see "Walk with Words" which was a documentary about the personal and political story of Romaine Moreton - poet, performance artist and Indigenous woman. Her poem, I Shall Surprise You By My Will, left a stunned audience. I wonder how many of the mainly Israeli audience thought of their neighbours? I did. Thanks Romaine.

I Shall Surprise You By My Will

I will make oppression work for me,
With a turn and with a twist,
Be camouflaged within stated ignorance,
Then rise,
And surprise you by my will,

I will make oppression work for me,
With a turn and a twist,
I shall sit cross legged like a trap door,
Then rise,
And surprise you by my will,

I will let you pass me over,
Believe me stupid and ill informed,
And once you believe me gone or controlled
Will rise,
And surprise you by my will,

I shall spring upon you words familiar,
Then watch you regather as they drop about,
Like precious tears thick with fear,
Hear you scream and shout,
Then I shall watch convictions break away,
And crumple like paper bags,
And then as beauty I shall rise,
And surprise you by my will,

It is only when you believe me gone,
Shall I rise,
From this place where I
Wait
Cross legged
Wait,
To surprise you by my will,

In the alleys, in the clubs, in the parliaments,
In courts of law, parking cars, driving buses,
And generally watching you
Watching me
As you pass me by,

I shall wait cross legged,
Wait,
To surprise you by my will,

For I shall stumble from houses of education,
And I shall stumble from institutions of reform,
I shall stumble,
Over rocks, over men, over women, and over children,
And surprise you by my will,

I shall stumble over poverty, over policies, and over prejudice,
Weary and torn,
I stumble,
Then bleary and worn I shall rise,
From this place where I wait cross legged,
Wait,
And surprise you by my will,

For the mountains we crossed,
They were easy,
And the rivers we swam,
They were easier still,
And even then,
As I attempted to outrun inhumanity,
I surprised you by my will,

I have witnessed the falling of many,
Heard them cry and hear them still,
Even with grief inside me growing,
I command my spirit to rise,
And surprise you by my will,

And for all people,
We are here and we are many,
And we shall surprise you by our will,
We shall rise from this place where you expect
To keep us down,
And we shall surprise you by our will,

For the bullets we dodged,
They were difficult,
And this ideological warfare
More difficult still,
But even now,
As we challenge inhumanity,
We shall rise,
And surprise you by our will.

More of Romaine's work can be found at: http://www.scc.rutgers.edu/however/v1_5_2001/current/special-feature/moreton.html

1 Comments
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