resigning from australia

I have to introduce this poem a little, as some of the references have passed from active memory since 2002. I’ve popped in a few links if anyone would like some context.
This is an angry poem, and a distressed outburst. My country was in the throes of right wing conservatism, fear, cowardice, prejudice, injustice and much else that you will glean, should you read on.
Much has changed, but sadly, far too much has remained the same, only become more institutionalised, and in some cases (see Hanson below) come back for a second bite.
I’ve just re-read the piece and I’ve decided not to withdraw my resignation yet.

Language Warning. Please be aware before reading that there are a couple of instances of PG language in this piece. As I said above, this is an angry poem.

are there no flowers in Australia?

well that cow Hanson was a passing thing
just a racist blip in a multicultural landscape
really nothing to worry about
and we all knew sense would prevail

not saying ‘sorry’ to the aborigines was hard to take
but you know where these buggers are coming from
they’re frightened some poor part-black prick
with a left-wing lawyer on government money
will use an apology to squeeze compensation out of the rest of us
it doesn’t feel right but you can sort of follow the logic

and the children overboard thing was… well look
there was an election to be won
and they knew damn well they were on a winner
half the bloody country
is frightened to death of strangers that are capable enough
to steer across thousands of miles of nasty ocean
in leaky boats
god knows what they could do if we let them run loose
and now we can all be absolutely certain
that we elected a mob of sneaky lying shonks to rule the country
I’d hate to have to die wondering

yeh, yeh anyone can make a little currency trading mistake
that costs the tax payers five or six billion dollars
at least they didn’t have to give it to the aborigines

it’s no secret what a turn-on
and what a come-on fourteen-year-old girls can be
for some grown men
so the governor-general not acting on a church sex case
back when he used to be a bishop
and suggesting it could have been the girls’ fault
and not the vicars’ is pretty understandable I suppose
for a man of his generation and clerical background

going bare knuckles over the fitness of a high court judge
to preside over cases about the abuse of kids
based on the judges homosexuality and a badly faked car log-book
is par for the course for the rabid parliamentarian
running a vendetta against the judge for years
so it’s no big deal
in any case the polly wasn’t actively encouraged
to abuse parliamentary privilege
of course he wasn’t

and as usual the prime-bloody-minister
knew nothing about it at all so he’s not to blame
and it’s really nothing to do with the government

but the flowers have done it

having to listen to a captain of the Sally’s on radio
telling how a little girl has been in this country for months
all the time behind that bastard razor wire
in some government-funded prison camp for asylum seekers
that they’ve parked in the naked forty-five-degree desert
with only one small tree in the compound
that a dog can piss up against
and her asking if this country had any flowers in it
that’s too much

this guy from the Salvo’s told how they held an appeal
and he went there with some bunches stacked into his car
just pretty normal floral arrangements from local shops
a few native blooms thrown in
multiple buds wherever they could
so that as many kids as possible could have one each
well the poor mongrel says he only lasted a half hour
before he had to leave so he could have a cry
he was that overwhelmed by the appalling gratitude
and the lingering hope
and the deadness in some of the eyes

I nearly howled myself
just from listening to him

there’s people there locked up for over eighteen months
there’s people there throwing themselves on razor wire
there’s people there on hunger strike
there’s people there sewing their lips together
there’s people there thought they were escaping tyranny
there’s people there that know an Australia that I’ve never seen
and there’s children there don’t even know if we’ve got flowers

we call this the lucky country
lucky be buggered

the kids got some flowers
churches and others gave them some flowers all right
but I’ve had enough
I’m resigning from Australia
until some bastard in government can give me a reason
to stop feeling ashamed

I quit

© Frank Prem, 2002

26 thoughts on “resigning from australia

  1. Wow, and a magnificent summary with and without flowers, with your writing expertise. Truly a sad indictment of a lot of governments and countries … I think the only comfort to be had in our case here in Europe is that people seeking sanctuary are not being shot at, the rest of their ordeal seems a rough trade.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Honie.

      Thanks for the thought, but it’s probably best to just keep grumbling here on my own patch of foulness.

      America seems to be having its fair share of issues just now as well, sadly.

      Thanks for reading the piece and commenting.




  2. One of the really distressing things about your heartbreaking poem is that only the names and places have changed, not the emotions and values of those who are meant to govern us. BTW, I found it through Meeks’ blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Anne,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. It truly is an apalling situation for the people affected and the pollies have earned no credit at all across the years on this issue.

      Meeks has earned a champagne or some such from me for encouraging such lovely visits as yours. to her.


  3. “Sometimes you’ll burst if you don’t.” Indeed. It seems those in power the world over are determined to exterminate by any means all those whom St. Lawrence called the gems of the Church. The times, they are not a-changin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very well said Frank!

    I was so distressed by all this I actually did resign Australia in 2002, went overseas for a decade. Now it’s got worse and those poor kids have been behind the razor for even longer. Can’t see anything lucky about this carry on …. Actually met the woman who set up those camps, passenger sitting next to me on a flight, and she was actually ‘proud’ of her achievements. What could I say, I knew if I opened my mouth I could well face charges if I told her what I thought of her highly paid ‘work’!

    Pollies and such people seem to lack any conscious about the results of their actions but I know that karma will catch up with them in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kate. Thank you. It’s the distress that keeps on giving.

      Amazing that you met one of the architects. Something to be proud of for sure. I don’t tend to think of ‘design’ with these things, but obviously there must have been.

      So wrong on so many levels.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not an architect, she was bragging that ‘set them up’ so I was left with the impression that she may have designed and/or coordinated the actual building. A bit like bragging that you designed Auschwitz.

        Thanks for the visit!

        Liked by 1 person

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