It is a mystery

as deep as the Indian Ocean

that washes the

Western shores

and as murky as

a winter’s day on

Tassie’s shores.


This mystery,

so chiseled by history,

and by this grand inexorable land,

is why we are who we are

as Australians,

as Aussies that eat Vegemite

and sup on multicultural food.


So different, yes,

and blended like

oil with water,

worlds apart,

not without strains and stains,

but a world together,

one but many.


And we dwell in this

living place of contrasts

that should divide us

but somehow in

this mystery of us

we find a way of being together.


In this lucky country

(as some have called it),

our land invites the smoke of fire

and the flood that wipes the land clean,

and in this deadly struggle,

near and far, close and urgent,

we find our nation’s soul renewed.


This is the mystery

in which we live proud

but cautious,

and filled, at the same time,

with shame worn from a past

that we may want to forget

but cannot.