It was wonderful to see a poetry book do so well upon release. On Amazon it made number 48 in the category for Australian and Oceanian Poetry. This year will mark forty years since I met Azaria Chamberlain. It is hard to believe that an event in my life affected so many.
A personal view
For me, as with many other who were at the centre of the storm the grief was unimaginable. The certainty of what we had witnessed so absolute. Yet this grief had to be relived over and over again, in the media and behind closed doors. It ebbs and flows like an ever moving tide.
If there is one universal thing, we who were there forgive. There is no malice, no ill will, what was done is part of our past. Having said this, no one speaks for me. I have my own voice and forty years later it is time. After all has been said and done. I walk a path alone, one that remains unique.
You may be wondering what this is and indeed I have been rather quiet about it. For years I wrote poems, more than a thousand. By the time I was ready to consider publishing, poetry was being dropped off the submission lists. The message that went around was that no one bought poetry. So the project was shelved.
In 2019 the first real interview with my mother, Sally, was released in a podcast “A Perfect Storm: The true story of the Chamberlains” by John Buck. My parents rarely speak about when we met the Chamberlain family at Uluru on 17 August 1980. The event is too painful and reminds them that it could have been us.
Expression in the form of words
My parents have always loved my poetry. For years I thought they were being completely bias. After all, isn’t that what parents do? I sent off some poems to John Buck who said I should publish them. It’s been almost forty years since I met Azaria. There comes a time when all that grief needs be let go. The book of poems has helped my parents talk about that day.
The book contains ten photos taken by my father on 17August 1980, and fifty poems about Azaria. These describe people, events and some of the emotions that went with it. The poems are quite personal and I have thought long and hard about publishing them. It is time for forgiveness and it is time to acknowledge the grief and loss of a beautiful baby.
With four days to go it’s panic time. Did I order enough books? Do I have enough postcards? This will be the first book fair I have been to as an author. It exhilarating and nerve wrecking all at the same time. The cat’s idea of helping consists of opening the boxes and pulling the packaging out.
This has been months in the planning, but there are always the last minute things that tend to be forgotten. Pencil in the date, ask for help and let people know. The last two weeks have gone so fast. I am looking forward to a wonderful, if not exhausting, day.