Paddle Prize Winner Announced!

Congratulations to Julie Halton for her winning entry into the Paddle Prize competition for 2013. The Paddle Prize encourages awareness of Indigenous Health through creative writing and essays. See her poem below:

I am not from the City

I am not from the city,
But I'm not a world away,
My needs are just the same,
And yet I hear you say,
I bring ill health upon myself,
My cries smothered by urban wealth,
Such riches I don't have to share,
Housing, schooling and healthcare,
I find my gold in other ways,
Through family, land and dreaming days,
My legacy, it must live on,
Respect and love should keep me strong,
But it is more than this I need,
Not just a roof and mouths to feed,
My mind and body needs help too,
Both of them, they are the glue,
That helps me cope with so much change,
Intent my life to rearrange,
The do-gooders I can do without,
I want a doctor who is with me,
Who knows what it's about,
But people like this are very rare,
And when a great one is found,
We all have to share,
Why is this so, what have I done,
To make this doctor never come?
So I medicate in other ways,
Through bottle, drugs and vapour haze,
The dreaming is a nightmare now,
To find my way, I don't know how,
The elders try to bring me back,
My mind is just so out of whack,
My kidneys fail, I fall apart,
And then it starts to kill my heart,
But I can't return, it needs to end,
So I drink some more, too late to send,
For help from many hours away,
And so, alone, I die today,
And your thoughts are what, another gone?
How sad, boo hoo, let us move on,
You really don't know what to do,
So let me tell you, this is true,
Change how you think, not way up high,
I learn from you, you learn from I,
Don't do things for me, or to me ever,
But with me, respect what we have together.

-- Julie Halton --