Boat People

Look at you
I’ve spoken of you before
Who hasn’t?
You with your innocence branded as a crime
Desperate souls
Seeking not gain but domain
Just a roof above walls of compassion
Where danger is a thing of the past
And kindness is in the air
With recognition of your humanity
To give you the rights
Even peasants have in this kingdom
No! No! No!
It is too much for me to bear
The way you are crushed by racist monologues
Fictitious virtue
Stained by the mythology of people smugglers
As the reason for your detention
While the inconvenient truth lies dead at your feet
The reality screams out at me
Cursing the air of your primeval lockups
Foreigners are our demons
Bigotry builds our prisons in this land of our approved fathers
Even children feel the consequences of our anger
And families are in tatters asunder
In the name of fake justice
Where the cries of our victims are suppressed
In profitable corporate prisons
Drowned by other cries of wild birds
As they fly away to the freedom
You will never know

Lost Child

See him
Thrown out of home by preoccupied parents
Too busy to understand him
Blame is hurled upon him
Like a Spanish Inquisition finding
Forced conversions
Not to faith but to drugs
See what they have done to him
Those failures as parents
Mauled his mind
Condemned his uncertainty about himself
As wilful criminality
And cast him angrily aside
Like embarrassing offal at a tea party
So he ran away
Finding shelter with guileful addicts
Who made him a source of their addiction
A carrier
Enslaved to their will and his own dependency
And so the moving pen of truth writes on
Inscribing convictions according to an indefeasible injunction
Therefore it was
In a court of law a condemnation
A blackening of the soul in the archives of the unworthy
But who was guilty?
Where lies the awkward truth
Amidst this travesty of ugly duplicity
And fission of contempt?
It is someone else
In fact two erring others
Who have smothered love with their own incompetence
And left their child lost
In a realm of iniquity
Where impatience is a virtue
And to err is inhuman

Friend Deceased

He’s gone now, my friend
Dead at last
After a long and eventful life
He was about my age actually
In other words quite ancient and past his prime
And yet
There is something about his passing
That leaves me for dead, if I might put it that way
Born in England he was
A child migrant to our land during the Big War
Life on an outback farm was his beginning here
Then he went to Teachers College
That was where I met him
We both became teachers but he moved on
To become a lawyer
So skilful he was in that profession
That he rose up through the ranks to great heights
Our friendship grew at Teachers College Reunions
And he wrote about his life for all to see
More than one marriage and lots of children
And finally farming
With one glorious product: cheese
And on his farm he died
I learnt of his death just today, of all days
My writing time for my book of poems
No tears from me
Although I am more than a little sad
As his joie de vivre was amazing and infectious
He taught me things
About myself, about the world, and about himself
One lesson we both have learned
Is that eventually
The only place we remain alive
Is in each mind of our loved ones and friends
And that is why I am happy to say
You are there David

Edith Emily Marjorie

She was very clever
Loved reading
Spoke passionately about beautiful things
Had a lovely singing voice
That brought many songs to life
Born far away from the city
Where homes had fuel stoves and dirt floors
And electricity was but a dream
Where mines, not then a thing of the past,
Were where your men worked and sometimes died
She loved horses and rode one to school
Where she did very well
To win a scholarship to a high school
A long way from home
There she was a star in the Western Sky
Captain of her school and distinguished in final examinations
With a readiness to rule the world
Not so
Was the decree of the Fates
She was to become not a ruler but a servant
A beck and call doll with a servile destiny
A lover
Moulded by Fate into a slave of others
Gentle, caring
Working willingly in the time of the Great Depression
Guardian of loved ones
Loyal to a husband who was a good man
Ever ready to overcome the blight of poverty
And so the years passed
Destiny manoeuvred by time into a mire of pain and suffering
Yet she was ever ready to ease the torture of others
With a kind word or a gentle deed
Long time passing
O how her deeds linger still as comfort
In my troubled world so much poorer without her
For she was my mother

A Last Post

He’s gone now
Such a character he was
Brimming over with kindness
When your spirits were tumbling down
Old he was
But in spite of the years
He made you laugh
Replacing your grimaces with smiling faces
And assurances
That a better world was looming
If only due to his grooming
So that was the way inevitably it was
Independent of the weather
The stock market or the cost of living
He would turn the tide of things
Mind you
He didn’t suffer fools gladly
Especially if they belonged to the Liberal Party
In what he called Terror Australis
He’s gone now
Long dead
Just a plaque in a crematorium
He had never heard the term neo-liberal
Although he had read George Orwell
QAnons were unknown to him
Yet he had perused Barnum’s Humbugs Of The World
And the violence of anti-vaxxers
Would have taken his breath away
So there it was
A voice clearly left of centre
Because he cared about people
And dared to dream of a better planet
Never faltering in his reproach of greed
Just a gentle little man who gave me so much
Alexander Cecil Royce
My father


2 thoughts on “Laments

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