Poem November 16, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

the blood-truth is:


it’s much less about the camera

           and much more to do with the body

that it’s worn on


the body with the baton

hanging from its belt, the body

in blue, the body on the cop beat

clenching fists around a point-blank

pepper-spray can, the body

who holds the rein, that rears the riot

horse, the body trained

to wield

                         the gun

Poem November 9, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Waltzing Matildas

a lot can go down

along the 200 red burning

      metres of track

between the victory lap


         and the starter gun

Poem October 26, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Last Octobers

then it’s full-bloom calendar-crash



tired-in-the-bones tinsel

in the aisles choose your tree

early here we go round the

                              trick or treat

Poem October 19, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Jacqui’s law

they say the people’s senator

        from tasmania

has the deciding medevac bill repeal vote


so, quite simply, we are asking:

                     does senator jacqui lambie know

Poem October 12, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Gospel of Peter

 a poem constructed from the words of Peter Dutton


african gangs have taken over the streets,

melburnians are afraid to go out to eat


                                     and asylum seekers are having


anchor babies … armed with pro bono lawyers

          trying to leverage migration

Poem October 5, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Spring break

the bell rings at two thirty,

an hour too early:

playground a-teeming,

kids whooping with glee

Poem September 28, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

so hear us out,


        we invite that australian guy:


the PM with the big head

who loves god, and hates migrants

Poem September 21, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

              on fridays,

our children are bursting train carriages

backpacked full of hope


wielding placards bedroom-made

from flattened cornflake boxes

    and upcycled tomato-stakes


Poem September 14, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

no rain in sight,

                     all hot south-westerlies




grey smoke, coiled

                      around the cowering

sunshine coast

Poem September 7, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Home to Biloela

it chilled the blood


             it felt different, this time

when the deportation vans arrived



they lived next door

         and were just like us:

Poem August 31, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

september germinates,




                     all sure-quiet-beautiful

and fern and jade unfurl

Poem August 24, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke

There once was a shock-jock, annoying:

foul-mouthed, sexist, racist, not-toying.

He got his last warning,

the public were scorning.

And the sponsors, they walked – that was buoying!