Poem


Poem July 6, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Entitlements

no one likes a politician

 

no matter how good you are, no matter

how hard the job, no matter

               how you serve the public


Poem June 22, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Things about dying

in my home state, now, by law

                those leaving us can tread gently:

usher themselves towards the light

in the dignity they see fit

 

and i can’t remember all of their names

they and i were strangers

                but when i heard,

i thought of them


Poem June 29, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Proportionate force

the president is tough on immigration,

    he is building the mexico wall

 

and the smell of despair is unbearable,

in the child-camps of customs and border

 

they say the collars of babes are coarse with cried salt,

they say more bodies than mattresses

        line the concrete floors


Poem June 15, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
2019

first, the Ministry of Truth doctored language

their words weaponry, loaded and aimed:

asylum seekers became illegals

they said detention centres, not jails


Poem June 8, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Ricochet

baked redbrick,

   in the darwin heat

dry palms whisper,

   in the stifling breeze

 

bloke says

               mate, we were sure it was fireworks


Poem June 1, 2019

Evelyn Araluen
Unreckoning

Sis, I have a ghost story:

A river flows fat of bream and cod and perch. Here where the soil has parted for the belly of creators, the stones in the shape of the foot of god, the river ripples songs for their journeys through the land. Black bodies splash shards of golden light, there is enough and enough and enough.


Poem May 25, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Winter

silence,

                  all across the mourning fog

 

 

dark winter has descended


Poem June 15, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
2019

first, the Ministry of Truth doctored language

their words weaponry, loaded and aimed:

asylum seekers became illegals

they said detention centres, not jails


Poem June 8, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Ricochet

baked redbrick,

   in the darwin heat

dry palms whisper,

   in the stifling breeze

 

bloke says

               mate, we were sure it was fireworks


Poem June 1, 2019

Evelyn Araluen
Unreckoning

Sis, I have a ghost story:

A river flows fat of bream and cod and perch. Here where the soil has parted for the belly of creators, the stones in the shape of the foot of god, the river ripples songs for their journeys through the land. Black bodies splash shards of golden light, there is enough and enough and enough.


Poem May 25, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Winter

silence,

                  all across the mourning fog

 

 

dark winter has descended


Poem May 18, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Ritual

so we’ll go to the polls

        lined round winter street corners

pushy leafleteers

        shoving how-tos in our hands

 

we’ll elbow past smiling placards

        and straight-talking spruikers

still wearied with the bickering

        of campaign attack ads

 


Poem May 11, 2019

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Royal

folktale has it

         new arrivals,

they’ll throw any queen

or kingdom

             into spin

 

angered uninvited guests

will conjure curses