Creating Yourself 

  I bid farewell to the Atlantis above And explored the expanse of the sea I found the sound of my own breath comforting It reminded me that I am...

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I bid farewell to

the Atlantis above

And explored the expanse of the sea

I found

the sound of my own breath comforting

It reminded me that I am alive

I had never felt so alive

Yet so calm

Peaceful, in a trance

Enchanted by the

schools of brightly coloured fish

and the striking coral


Taking a big breath

I watched as the

the bubbles danced to the surface

I swam into an unknown


And deeper

I was interrupted from my trance

Reality greeted me with a sucker punch

I couldn’t stay here forever

As much as I wanted to


The oxygen would run out of the tank

The only thing I could hear

Was my heart exploding


I needed air

It was running out

Black spots in my vision

Sharp pains in my chest

I swam up and broke the stillness

sucked in the pure salty air

I desperately wish I could return

To the schools of brightly coloured fish

and the striking corals

But that was for another day

I had spent too much time

bewitched by the sea

I withdrew to my boat

And watched as the world

crumbled apart like a disaster cake

They should know not to have too much dessert

Or else they’ll become heavy with despair

Greed consuming their hearts and minds

Burdened by their own corruptions


Rotten to the core

But maybe that’s exactly what they want to be

so they can divide and conquer

I had already metamorphosed

into a decent human being

But, some people are like monsters

Contaminated with evil and corruption

Their hearts turn black like charcoal

of the transgressions they commit

I’m disgusted with the drama and dirty politics

The vile decisions people make to get where they want to be


My remedy is the sea

The sea is my escape

My addiction, obsession

without it I would fall apart

Some people are kind and genuine

They have hearts of gold

Their sincere actions reflect their speech

Their speech is like pure honey

It heals wounds and fights radicals


However don’t be fooled

These people have steel cores

If you throw a jab

They won’t be afraid to throw one back

They know their duty in the world

It’s stamped into their minds


To help people

And make the world a better place

What do you want to do with your life?

It’s up to you

Your actions and words can impact thousands of people

Albeit good or bad

That’s your choice

That you have to make

I gazed into the magnificent sunset that touched the horizon

Intense hues of pinks, oranges, blues and greens blended together

As if the sky had been an empty canvas waiting to be splashed with colour


Tea in hand

I sipped out my worries

They flew from the prison of my mind

Like birds that had received their freedom

Tomorrow I will venture into the sea again

With hope of finding something new to discover

Because ultimately all that you can do,

After everything has been done,

is Hope.


Exploring Dreamtime: art and stories

Ishmamul Haque provides a brief guide to Dreamtime beliefs for our international students....

Many international students desire to learn more about Australian Indigenous culture. Here, Ishmamul Haque provides a brief guide to Dreamtime beliefs for our international students.

Aboriginal people are part of the oldest continuing culture in the world. A vital tool of preserving and passing this culture onto the next generations, was the Dreamtime (or Dreaming) stories and art. It is a foundational pillar of understanding Aboriginal spirituality, beliefs and the essence of their existence.

Aboriginal rock art showing a kangaroo at Kakadu National Park
What is Dreamtime or Dreaming? 

The Pitjantjatjara people call it Tjukurrpa while the Arrernte use the word Aldjerinya to convey its meaning. The English language is inadequate for understanding or explaining the Dreamtime in a single word. Firstly, it attempts to use a single term as an umbrella to encapsulate the different meanings and understandings applied to the term by various cultural groups of Aboriginal people. Secondly, the English term confines time contrary to the essence/meaning of the Dreaming that began, is present and will continue as an event beyond time.

In essence, the Dreaming explains the creation of the world and existence of life in the Aboriginal belief system. Value systems, relations to the land and its dwellers, and the very way of life are determined by the Dreaming.

How is the Dreaming expressed? 

The immortal form of the Dreaming is provided through art and stories. The art and stories are complemented by ritualistic songs, dances and ceremonies which in conjunction informs the holistic culture of the people.

There is no written language used by the Aboriginal people. Hence, the visual medium is used to capture the stories of the Dreamtime, which are passed down for centuries using icons and symbols in art. The art is used for the aesthetic preservation of culture but also as tools of instruction to younger generations. The same art piece can be interpreted at a higher level among initiated elders, while told in a simpler form to children.

While contemporary art is done on canvas, traditionally, Aboriginal art has been found in rock walls, done as body paint and etched in sand or the earth while the story was being communicated.

Aboriginal rock art showing a barramundi fish
Synopsis of a Dreamtime Story

The Rainbow Serpent is a Dreamtime story that explains how the ancestral spirits gave life to the land and attained a form in nature. Goorialla, the Rainbow Serpent, went on a quest to find its tribe across all of Australia and cut gouges into the land. The serpent then decided to create more life. The frogs flooded the gouges with water – creating the streams and rivers, wombats populated the burrows and kookaburras came into existence.

During a time of unprecedented heavy rainfall, the serpent ate the Rainbow Lorikeet brothers, deceiving them of the promise of shelter. Realising his mistake, he hid away in the sky and now appears as the rainbow to apologise for taking the brothers from the people.

Synopsis of Dreamtime Art

Contemporary Dreamtime Art is a modern movement on canvas and board. It is used to express stories like the Rainbow Serpent using symbols and creativity. Dot paintings also constitute as Dreamtime art which originated as a means to disguise communication from European settlers and to preserve their secrets. Permission is required to produce these paintings if the story has not been inherited from family.

Dreamtime art is a cornerstone of Aboriginal culture. The stories and paintings should be observed and understood by settlers in this country and purchased only with a comprehensive understanding of their value. Support of Aboriginal artists and their culture acts as a healing for this nation which had tried to erase their existence.