who sings to us in silence,
who teaches us through each other,
Guide my steps with strength and wisdom.
May I see the lessons as I walk,
honor the Purpose of all things.
Help me touch with respect,
always speak from behind my eyes.
Let me observe, not judge.
May I cause no harm,
and leave music and beauty after my visit.
When I return to forever
may the circle be closed
and the spiral be broader.
Art credit: Untitled painting by unknown aboriginal artist (originally color).
Curator's note: Much controversy surrounds Morgan's book, especially due to its fabrication of Australian aboriginal culture. This poem, which the fictional "aboriginal poet" named "Bee Lake" reveals in the book as a "ritual chant" of "[her] people in the Outback Nation," is now widely disseminated online, usually attributed to Bee Lake, who isn't a real person. The words are not without power; hence, their popularity. I chose original aboriginal artwork to companion them as an expression both of regret and respect toward the native peoples of Australia who felt violated by Morgan's work. You can learn more about the controversy surrounding Morgan and her book here.