Welcome to Eureka Street

back to site


Indigenous rugby player blazes away

  • 28 April 2009

Etched in ochre He was flying up the guts, hair and legs and arms ablaze. Tacklers flew and flew again, failing to disturb his crazed run of passion — damn the angles — this guy just ran, straight and hard. No pure pace, no sheer strength; yet his straight path was not barred. In my mind it's etched in rustic watercolours, ochre fired in my reckoning with magic: rugby league plus boy inspired to break the line and break the other players' opposition, too. Fends aplenty were dispensed and blows that could end in a blue. Maybe he emerged transcendent due to his beleaguered State — maybe Aboriginality provoked his heart to rate faster, and with more demanding efforts, than those he espied. Perchance self-esteem then blossomed, running under Queensland skies. All I know is that young man could break the line, could run and keep the other team from closing down his destination; his belief. Ochred in imagination, on that dusty, rain-dry ground, I believe unspoken passion earned him glory, joy profound, reflected in his shambling passage up and past the vantage-line. Chris, if Chris his name in fact was, caught our spirit as his shined.

–Barry Gittins

French Chic Ballad Once upon a time a French Chic ran and she was the fastest But a slender black princess ran faster, stealing her crown. It was decided they should meet at the princess's home; Wherefore a psychotropic Olympic crowd sat and waited For they were used to screaming records down by seconds, And it came to pass, such a local darling the princess was Perceived not fragile, for she had to win at all costs because That's how it is, deep below the Equator's formless stare, At bronze crusted heroes, triumphant under Aurora's glow. The Chic was aged before voyeurs, and it looked all over For the ageless princess felt a younger, stronger passion So the manipulated meeting was to be vehemently staged To settle for once the world champion left able to stand In a quick race around a wide hypnotic circle, just once Before a crowd who would obsessively will for one winner. But the Chic went strangely mad before this fatal meeting She, paranoid and harassed, reversed and went off the show And ran away hot drenched in tears, looking most fearful. What really caused this act of aggression, no one will know The princess duly won the race and wore the public's crown. Biased witnesses released their stunted passions and laughed At the fleeing Chic, tarred and feathered in media disgrace Thus was borne an uneasy glory, this strange little farce.

–Bede Moloney

Barry Gittins, a Melbourne writer, is the editor of the Salvation Army's On Fire magazine.