To the people of Australia
especially those scientists and engineers
who keep things humming
at the big radio telescope near Parkes
I send you greetings
that I pray you will discern
from all the intergalactic advertising
that you wrongly read
as the random background
scratchings of the stars.
To all conspiracy theorists
I offer my apologies
for the disappointment you'll experience
when you learn no midget submarine
came to shore to snatch
your buff Prime Minister
away to join a secret think tank
of valued Australian expatriates
feasting in the dark on cockroaches
in a jungle pit outside Phnom Penh.
Nor (and I anticipate your chagrin)
was I simply taken by a shark
as I bathed that morning
panting out my last draft
of dawn fresh Portsea air
in an agonising gasp.
I was not crunched
between the jaws of death.
They'd only try this tough old flesh
if no one else would come to brunch.
To all alien abductionists
I say: Take heart!
You were none of you so wrong
except that when the strange craft came
and hovered low just out beyond
where the waves break
I swam relentlessly towards
the beam that welcomed my ascension
into that giant egg
I now call home.
But to the resurrectionists
I say: Give up!
I go ahead to make a place for you
said Jesus Christ. I shall return.
Doug MacArthur kept his word.
Christ is expected to deliver
but Holt sends this short message home:
The beer is clear. Wish you were here.
I dropped a line. Take up the slack.
The weather's fine. I'm never coming back!
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones