Pentridge Prison Dreaming

By | 25 June 2023

I house sat once, for a friend.
Who lived inside a prison-pen,
Pentridge Prison, the crook’s bluestone fear,
Now a label on an artisanal beer.

Deathly quiet in the afternoon,
Sparrow chirp ricochets a quiet tune.
The poor blakfellas once corralled,
From sunlit bush to bluestone cold.

Lorikeets hustle, dusk’s alarm
Echo through the old prison-farm.
Was uncle Jack’s murrup saved?
Through rainbow proof of doppler wave.

This suffering colony, an efficient prison
our friendly neighbours, our brutal wardens.
Every insect, child, tree and creek,
Destined to suffer like Tunnerminnerwait.

How untamed, how wild, how free,
Must feel the river Yarrowee,
Leaving its concrete sarcophagi,
Leaving storm drains to taste the sky.

Racing upon bluestone brick,
To muddy banks, sweet with chemical slick
Wishing for the stirring of a eucalypt root,
Instead of car batteries and rotting boots.

So keep your cell pristine clean,
Make your bed, salute the queen.
Remember always, this is your grave,
She’d rather you in it than free; soul unsaved.

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