Poetry On And On


What am I?
A violent robotic agent of Death
Trained to kill without asking why
For a cause beyond my capacity to understand?
Not to reason, just to dare and maybe die?
I am told I am to take action for a valid purpose
With licence to slaughter
Approved by the shapers of my existence
Bravery for me is not a reckless thing
But a fulfilment of my destiny
I am to save my native land, so the argument goes
That is my legacy, my chosen fate, and if I die
My name will be written on an honour board
With an asterisk
As the insignia of my heroism
And what of my enemy?
Is he coldly calculating my demise
Or is he afraid like me?
Are his family missing him too
And has he also left a new wife longing for his return?
If we were to meet in peace,
What would define our togetherness?
Contempt? Expostulation? Words of hatred?
Or would we conspire to abandon our weapons
And walk away together, arm in arm and alive?
I am not permitted to think such thoughts
I must believe in a danger
Defined by the crucial vested interests
That control opinion in the land I am ordered to defend
So let me answer the call
I must confront my foe who is out there somewhere
Aha! There he is
We look so alike; indeed he could be me
Stand back please; I am ready
Now one of us is about to die – yes now yes now now…


Have you noticed
The packet is never full when you buy it
Always there is space between the contents and the package top
So you make a false assumption of quantity
And willingly pay a little more for nothingness
This strategy of deception is simply the spirit of the age
Smart, enhanced appearance
With buyers tuned in to what isn’t there and paying for it
Profit equals price minus cost
But first you have to make the sale
Any artifice will do as long as it works, and Rob’s your uncle
You can see it all the time in television advertisements
The young man sprays his hair
And dandruff disappears before your eyes
A siren with almost impossible beauty
Looks at him longingly, seductively
As a consequence of his purchase
A car for sale stops suddenly
After clearly breaking the speed limit
And you learn the way with-it people drive and buy
A synthetically joyous family dines on sugar-laced cereals
Visually stimulating images of gormandised junk food
Increase sales dramatically
Wise old people buy insurance bonds
And enter paradise early
The home you can never own is sold by a master seller
Who bangs his fist exorbitantly on a receipt book
In the street outside
Food of the gods, chocolate,
Is devoured temptingly only by glamorous women
And so life, or in other words the economy, moves on
Fiction thrives excitingly, provocatively
In other ways too
But the gods of commerce are clearly and roisterously contented
With typical human existence
And all’s right with the balance sheet

Dog Whistle

Listen to him
Proclaiming his virtue and integrity
As if he were a saint
But condemning evil half-heartedly
To let the villains know he can be on their side
In the right factional context
The subtly aimed politically active message
Understood by a particular group
Is the deadly fuel for dubious change
Secret, sinister encouragement for shady deals
While the leading player remains undetected
Reigning supreme in his ill gotten power
And deciding the fate of less fortunate mortals
So be alert for signals, you lovers of morality
Note well the characteristic self praise
That adorns his every speech
Look out for clues to his guilt
When he responds to every criticism
With an irrelevant superlative detailing his fictitious merit
Walk with others to the Eden of truth
Where honesty is real and integrity the norm
Where lies and secret agendas
Are untended growths that wither on the vine
Where kindness and love decide the fate of everything
And words are the allies of justice and peace

Atomic Fishing

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”
Robert Oppenheimer

Atomic age machinery
They claim it is the cheapest source of power
But what of unmentioned costs?
Hidden consequences?
Assertions are in the air
That modern technology
Should be trusted to make all dreams come true
But what of the failures
The broken dreams?
Fukushima and Chernobyl are shattered holy grails
Catastrophes not to be repeated,
Yet can we be sure
They won’t be?
And is it not right to fear
Concentrated death that mocks eternity
Filth that never goes away
Dirt that you cannot scrub clean
Pain that reaches out to you as you pass by
Racking, searing, piercing, intense, raging danger
That outlives time?
I hear what you say but have to question what you do
And what of the sun and the wind?
Energy laden falling water and waves of the sea?
So cheap
Power so readily available
Just waiting for the will to invest with vision
In the vastness of Australia
In these mighty powers crying out for attention
And for vested interests
To stop pretending these wonders cannot work
So when you throw that switch
Turn on the sun, the wind and all things free
And let the atoms serve in medicine alone
If you are fishing for a nuclear mission


Tomorrow is a very uncertain place
Some voices are saying that man’s inventive wit
Will provide answers to global warming
At some potent, and undetermined future time
Machines not yet invented
Will compensate for current destructive vandalism
So let industry, just as it is, go churning on
With jobs intact
To preserve the best of all possible worlds
Fires that burn and destroy your future?
Floods that wash away your destiny?
Droughts that empty rivers once teeming with life?
Heat that melts the poles and kills the aged and infirm?
The formative words we have heard
Tend to fall to the ground like meaningless clutter
Turning our arena of life into a Hades of despair
The need for revised thinking is desperate…
If you are one of the climate incendiarists
Please focus your thoughts
On a possible involvement in a medical emergency
Let us learn of your peace of mind
If your life in that urgent situation
Depended on a device yet to be invented
As Hamlet says, “…ay, there’s the rub…”
What folly
Would link life or death to such unfinished business!
Let us be frank
Something more than vague dreaming is required
If safety and composure
Are to be ours in the world of tomorrow


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