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Edition 61

Contents
Poetry

How we see ourselves

There are two ways to be fooled.
One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
Søren Kierkegaard

Australia: that image of you swinging in a hammock
with your turned down vowels & breezy Saturdays
sea foam & bleached sand, always armed with summer
ready for a spin bowl at a moment’s notice
With the flush of Eucalypt passion
and composition of complication
Asphalt veins across the continent
All roads leading home

Australia: you gushing encompassing land
Never: Neglecting the needs of your elders
Discarding the future for yesterday
Accumulating wealth instead of promise
Booing football players into retirement
Shaming the skin of your borders
Detention for years stitched upon years
Locking those up for fleeing persecution
Closing ears to those speaking softest

Australia: the postcards of your success are on the fridge
Embracing compassion as if it were an exuberant grandchild
Racism/sexism/bullying/hatred/fear
all concepts stored in a museum vitrine –
dirty fingerprints all over the glass of history
Workers unfolding as they go home, bright origami
Australia, you throw the best weddings
Feasting on the food of inclusion
Australia: the sound of you celebrating with rapture
Where Indigenous equality is complete & wholehearted
Where industry giants pay tax to pay respect
Where big money scoops up their bills for tomorrow
Where working weeks give more than a nod to the family
Where houses become homes for the many
Where parental leave is as natural as the next day’s headline
Where knowing the breadth of egalitarianism
is more than wearing an outdated T-shirt

Australia: the image of you on the couch
sitting next to ignorance & pushing hard against it
You dizzy mix of culture & patience
No scare tactics entwined with message
No brambles of bad practice that leave you wanting
Where you stand up & start counting

Australia: you had the guts to say enough
We had the power to lead you.


From Griffith Review Edition 61: Who We Are © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

Griffith Review