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Published to commemorate the author's 100th birthday, this wide-ranging and thoughtful collection reflects on history, colonisation, family, childhood, Aboriginal Dreaming, traditions and storytelling, working lives and people.
Sometimes wistful, melancholic, poignant, at times the author's wry sense of fun and humour shines through.
When he arrived in Sydney in the 1960s, Bigambul man, Uncle Wes, was not allowed to tell his stories at schools. He set up a fire bucket in his backyard and invited families and children from the local Aboriginal community to come to sit around the fire and share his stories. It did not take long for the police to arrive and arrest him for hosting an unlawful gathering - he spent two days in lock-up for sharing his stories.
Uncle Wes is a living treasure of Aboriginal storytelling wisdom. Through his poems Uncle Wes invites the reader to join him by the fire as he generously shares his reflections and reminiscences on one hundred years.
'It is my pleasure to honour Uncle Wes for his work in retaining the age-old storytelling tradition of our people. It is important to maintain this tradition of our Elders sharing their knowledge and insight through story and verse. Thank you Uncle Wes, for sharing your poems with us as you celebrate your 100th year.' - Dr Anne Pattel-Gray: Head of the Australia First Nations Program, World Vision Australia
'Uncle Wes Marne has a unique ability to allow the reader to see through his experienced eyes. The power and wisdom of his words is now more than ever important for the future generations to understand the time and place they exist in.' - Ben Bowen: CEO, Indigenous Literacy Foundation