The Political Poem

By | 1 May 2017

No-one offers appropriation
of the physical.

I won’t

sit myself in the chair,
lay my hands on its arms
watch the shackles click shut
panic, as the hood is placed
eyes …


They say don’t start with political poetry
that’s like opening up too soon
in the front bar of the Braidwood Pub
collared by assumptions
of what the regular means
when he says there’s no riverbed for that
bottle of red in a brown paper bag.


I think I would think of the small birds
who have visited me out of interest
southern emu wren, scrubber, blueys,
yellow robins, the fire tails.

Picture them hopping by my feet
pecking up crumbs of panic.

I listen for the burr of fast wings flying in
to roost in the darkness of fear.


My kitchen-sink understanding –
the way he swivels the Stop Go sign at work
and twists his schooner in that quiet corner

we all look up

to the TV and the hooded boy
strapped to a chair in Darwin.

The regular says, that is no way
to fix a broken boy.

He doesn’t say, the riverbed was a flood
of artesian prejudice. I pour
two glasses of red,
its drowning within reach.


This is what I torture.

I would rather it be me
than an itty bitty bird
a hood tied by tiny string
around its feathered neck.

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