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White Clover Roots

by Erin Coull (Australia)

May 2023

Write the World Review

Audio: “White Clover Roots,” read by Clare McFadden

How can I call myself Australian
when I live on stolen land?

These white-clover roots of mine
are weeds in the sun-scorched soil,
strangling the buttongrass,
Crowding out the honey reed.

So give me your blessing, iron-red dirt—
Open your arms and tell me I'm home
Or spit me out of this land forever.

And how can I call myself Australian
when I don't even know what that means?

This blood of mine is pasteurised,
boiled down from Ireland, England, Scotland and France—
I don't belong here;
but my homelands were never mine either.

So give me your blessing, o vast night sky
Or guide me away through the gaps between stars,
To some place I can really call mine.

Note: “Gaps between stars” is a reference to Australian Indigenous astronomy, the art of charting not the stars themselves, but the dark spaces in between.

Erin Coull, age 17, is a performance poet and podcaster living in lutruwita, Australia. Her work explores culture, place, relationships and moths.

#Home          #Identity

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9/17/23, 8:43 AM

Powerful. Spreading the truth some don't think about, some don't have to worry about. A great and strong piece.

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

Aisha Yaakub

8/25/23, 10:35 PM

Excellent and amazing

8/17/23, 7:00 AM

Absolutely beautiful poem! The words were picked meaningfully and used it a descriptive way. Very relatable.


8/11/23, 4:59 AM

Beautiful, moving and thought provoking. Keep up the amazing work!

8/11/23, 4:48 AM

Absolutely beautiful work! Relatable for some and eye-opening for others.


6/19/23, 6:26 PM

It is really great, I'm impressed!

Eunice N Kitchener

6/11/23, 5:13 PM

Quite amazing and interesting story. It's also a challenge to others. Develop your skills through hard work.


6/8/23, 7:21 AM

Beautiful. A wonderful portrait of the identity crisis caused by colonialism.


5/26/23, 6:23 AM

Congratulations Claire - this is a powerful piece - this feeling of a yearning for a home that may not even exist anymore will be something that everyone who lives outside of their original homeland will resonate with. Well done.

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