poetry

What do you need to lead our nation?

It was a cold and blustery day in Sydney on June 23 when poet Candy Royalle laid down her warrior gloves and breathed her last. The queer, Arabic, literary and protest worlds bowed their heads in shock and lamented her loss.

Candy was a proud Palestinian-Lebanese queer woman and an electric poet and performer. She was ferocious on stage, offering audiences a heady mix of lesbian sexual liberation and searing anti-colonial orations.

PNG has asked that someone be tasked

To examine Manus as a destination

For tourism indeed, so let’s take heed!

They’re awaiting a recommendation.

               Dear Sir or Madam

For your disposal I have a proposal

For the Manus tourism survey,

They need some actions, they need attractions

For the industry they want to purvey.

You’ve heard of those recessive genes,
And the masterful dominant types?
We could hope Malcolm’s progressive genes
Throve alongside his conservative stripes,
Even if mostly the latter prevailed.
Whereas Abbott’s mix of political genes
Seemed extreme, then more extreme when unveiled.
But Malcolm’s drum-banging terrorism scenes,
“Keeping us safe” (and Muslims uneasy)
By locking up ten-year-olds, now indicate
His progressive genes are feeling queasy.
He’s Abbott without the flags, so to state.

In unity with all at Standing Rock today we do stand
To the many First Nations elders, brothers and sisters protecting their water and lands
Protectors not protestors defending Mother Earth
For they know life with no water has no worth.
It's common sense you know, there is no tricks
Basic science teaches us that oil and water don't mix.
Since this pipeline began nothing has gone right
Explosions, spillages and loss of life
The worst spillage 840,000 gallons North Dakota 2013
Over 18 million people living downstream.

Ink In Her Veins: The Troubled Life of Aileen Palmer
Sylvia Martin
University of Western Australia Publishing, 2016
328 pages

In 1939, a young Australian woman grabbed the international headlines when she threw red paint onto the doorsteps of 10 Downing Street, whilst distributing leaflets hidden in copies of the Ladies Home Journal.

The action by Aileen Palmer was to protest the blood that then-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain had on his hands for selling out Spain and Czechoslovakia to European fascism.


Image via Jewish Voices for Peace.

Major literary figures are among more than 150 writers urging Israel to release Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, who has been under house arrest since January for a poem she wrote.

Past sick sadistic tyrants made each victim dig their grave,
Mowed them down without mercy, in wave after wave.
But now heat is the trigger set for the many by the few
Will you be ready when the climate comes for you?

In Karachi they'll be ready when the tide of death rolls in
When the poor and frail fall prey to the oil barons' sin.

I was sitting in the waiting room when you flashed across the screen
A heatwave smothered India and you were on the scene.
As you tried to cross the street, your shoe stuck to the road
So you ran on scorched bare feet, as the black tar slowly flowed.
Where there once were straight white lines, a crazy pattern morphed and swirled,
As if a giant with a paintbrush splashed out and dwarfed the world.
You long for cooling rain, but the monsoon will be late.
And this is how some people face their climate fate.

You’re a woman of Maharashtra; farm life is what you know.


Elizabeth Jarrett.

Well here it is 2016
Yet we are still ruled under an illegal regime
It's time for a change in
Histories what's, when's and how's

What they say was once discovered is invaded now
We don't want recognition in the constitution
For being recognised is not the solution

What we need is this current government’s dissolution

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