the space between

The name of the poetry book is taken from the idea of this poem. This poem was inspired by a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra where portraits of my two favourite women poets were hanging by each other. I do not have pictures of the actual portraits. The following ones are pictures I like of them.

Oodgeroo-Noonuccal-narrow (1)


the space between

two women poets
hang side by side
in the portrait gallery

contained now

the space between
has its story
of times around the kitchen table
when these two women
saw other ways of being

words their weapon
justice their spirited charge
to break the wall of apathy
lift us beyond its rubble
give us new possibilites

oodgeroo noonuccal white-washed as kath walker
with sombre dark eyes and black skin

she anchored herself in hope
survived its instability
and kept it alive

judith walker social conscience
soft wrinkled sun-dried face in wide brimmed hat

a peace warrior she raged at injustice
her words a cry
against ignorance and greed
together they gaze out
calling us to listen

(Oodgeroo Noonuccal 1920-1993 and Judith Wright 1915-2000
poets, activists and friends)