Thursday, 7 May 2015

a political poem

they're going to the polls here in the UK. Here's a poem I wrote in the lead-up to the last national election in Australia.

campaign sickness # 

I don’t have thoughts about this election,
this campaign season of dirty tricks
and sledging matches, debates
and brainless commentary,*
politicking, promises and absent policy.

I do have feelings – or
one
deep, abiding, overriding
feeling:

disappointment.

dissatisfaction
displeasure
discontent and disenchantment
distress and disillusion:

I am disappointed.

in these servants of the people who serve
anything but the people

for example: the question of
marriage.
is it dignified to allow distinction,
build a hierarchy of love?
or is love, celebrated by the ritual
gathering of a community
because it reminds us of humanity’s connection, still
love, even though the couple do not differ
in gender?

or our First Australians:
one church of Australia has told the story
of the first inhabitants of this land
in its founding document.**
could we not, at last, include this story
in the founding paper of our nation,
for the dignity of all the people
of this land?

consider the vulnerable: environment, asylum seeker,
child, differently-abled or mentally unwell;
or the forgotten outside the cities, out of sight,
and out of just about everything.
I know the demands are many, and money
a finite resource: but are not people,
is not the earth, precious
beyond any measure?

candidates who claim a Christian manifesto
disappoint me in a special way.
for the fear you peddle
meddles in God’s Way of Love
far more than it furthers God’s dream.
I want to scream with frustration:
you do not speak for me.

and long have I despaired at the Media’s devious
disrespect for aught but money: your disregard
for humans in the striving for a ‘story’
a litany of hypocritical transgressing of rights
you would fight for,
for yourself.
and what role you played in Julia’s demise, none
will be able to count, and none forget
your gleeful delight in the battle
for the PM’s chair.


but just before the darkness overwhelms,
I glimpse a shot of light – is it green? –
piercing through the choking smog
of disenchantment – a spotlight on the forgotten
and the vulnerable, a strong but fragile flame
of love
to juxtapose the fear.


# Pocket Poems 8, In Prayer and Protest, Ginninderra Press 2014 

* phrases from Tim Norton, ‘How to Vote’, Limited News, http://limitednews.com.au/2013/08/how-to-vote/  22/08/2013


** The Uniting Church in Australia, Constitution, 2012.

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