Black Summer

Art by Jasmin Small

Kneel with me, smell here: dirt turned red from white.

Look up at the open canopy, shadows

You made for us. It’s the hellfire of night

Where the ouroboros ends and rage grows.


I inherited this anger chest-to-chest with my mother,

As we watched the hillside, the eagles, burn–

Listening to the cries of ancestors

Holding hot leaden breath, waiting our turn.


Call me an animal? I’ll grow canines.

Didn’t your forefathers tell you, warn you:

Don’t bring a dog leash to a genocide.

I want to hollow out your chest, fill you


With the scorching ash of my matriarchs–

Them ones you insist you left in the past.




I often hear Western scholars preach about the ouroboros, without knowing how it feels to lose a beginning. Black Summer is the story of the displacement of my family. At 16, I wanted nothing more than to see somebody else suffer for what happened to us. I wished that the boiling force inside me — that one everybody kept calling ‘teenage angst’ — could cheat time and blow apart the hull of the first ship to touch these shores. These days, my matriarchs tell me how proud they are, that I choose to unleash my rage one day at a time.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.