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Lee sent me this poem 'Silence' by Nola Gregory by email today. I asked her where she got it. Then I noticed an email from our mutual friend Ergilio Vicente asking me to go to his Zorpia site where he had posted a photo of himself and this poem. I think he relates to it very strongly. I am hoping a Timorese friend will translate this into Tetun for us? Perhaps Gil will. I will ask him. Jen SILENCE In silence you have suffered Your pain locked deep inside You fought so long for this And still you kept your pride The tears of all the mothers For their children they did cry Their broken hearts a memory Etched in the children‚s eyes Born of a strong proud people Never would you forget The anguish and the burdens Now your life had been all set But the yearning was still a part of you You just did not feel right Something here was missing You knew you had to fight And fight you did throughout the years To parliaments, pollies and all How could you make them listen Would they heed your heartfelt calls All you wanted was an apology Not thinking it would take so long And sorry was just one little word Was asking for this so wrong A flood of overwhelming emotions Will be felt on this memorable day And those who have gone before us In spirit will lead the way The stolen generations Will stand with hands on hearts Today the tears flow freely And this is just only the start Nola Gregory © 5 February 2008 Nola Gregory is an Aboriginal Australian whose grandfather was a Timorese fisherman from Kupang that came to Australia with the pearling luggers. Nola has given permission for the publication of her poem on sms. For permission to use this poem or translate it Contact Nola Gregory:

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4 Responses to “Silence”

  1. Jacqueline McGowan-Jones Says:

    Please note this poem is the copyright of Nola Gregory and she should be contacted before anybody translates this or publishes/reproduces it. Intellectual property is attached.

    Nola is able to be contacted via email at

  2. Jacky, Whoops! thanks for reminding me! This was circulating on the net and I just didn’t think about copyright. I have written to Nola today to apologise and request her permission to use her poem here.

  3. Heppy news, Nola has kindly granted permission for her poem to be used on this site. Thank you Nola.

  4. Heppy news, Nola has kindly granted permission for her poem to be used on this site. Thank you Nola.
    And SURPRISE! we found out her grandfather was from Kupang. She is part Timorese! Jen