Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Rapture

with his right arm raised

in holy rapture

 

and the invited camera man

angling the frame

 

shirt creased shadow-dramatic

     like a gentileschi

 

and hallelujah

light catching

              his face,

just-so

 

the prime minister stands, pious

voice raised, and open:

 

and gives himself over

to the word of the lord

 

 

thou shalt not covet

     and he knifes for the leadership

do unto others

     he aims for 18c

judge not

     and he attacks the safe schools coalition

thou shalt not steal

     and he blocks uluru

 

oh, look how devout,

in his glossolalia

 

but beware the false prophet,

        for he speaketh in tongue

 

thou shalt not have any strange gods before me

     as he bows, and he kowtows

     to the infighting factions

 

thou shalt not kill

     but by proxy, on manus

 

nor take the name of the lord god in vain

 

and oh his face, it shines earnest

in glorious rapture

 

while the press bus is parked

            to witness him pray

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.