Refugee Kaddish © James WF Roberts


Refugee Kaddish
© James WF Roberts

Watch them on the news
marching two by two
to the rhythm of the mourning cry,
those tiny little boxes.

Ten years old,
too young to work,
don’t know life without bombs
and death, despair and a funeral procession
every other day of the week…

Innocents lost
drowning within sight
of the promised land.
Government’s change–
war crimes remain the same
not a war for land, for resources
or empire,
war on the innocent
perception of being tough

‘we have a right to decide
who arrives on a shores and how they come here…
Landing here on a boat is illegal…’

Why are we still so entrenched in White Australia?
more victims of our own pride—
Invading third world countries
dumping the displaced, the lost—
Creating another third world…

Just more slums in South East Asia
So we of the lucky country,
can indulge every lust,
every depraved act that burns within us
How much is a child worth in West Papua?

And, you our former Hero,
we’ve seen your colours now
we know what burns within you
don’t we, no matter what it takes to win?
Addicted to the chase, to the rage,

the arrogance, standing in front
of your own portrait as you give the news
we can’t believe you’re saying,
blinded by the scent of power
addicted to power for power’s sake
More boats will come

more children lost at sea…
they say the average
woman/man on the street
disgusted with the politicking
disenfranchised people
kicked around by right wing libertarians
and party of the working classes
Whose agenda do you really fight for now,
who do you represent man of all seasons

of all occasions—master of none!
Kev—the campaigner,
Rudd the Wrecker?

so it is now just a case of
better Devil you know
than the one we are all afraid of ,
rightly, or wrongly?

I couldn’t believe the footage
again, again
we just watch the boats smash
crash against the shore.

We film it. We tweet it
We just watch it happen…
but do we actually we do
anything about it?

We leave flowers
and cards, high school year book photos
along the roadside—when young country
kids full of speed and weed and cheap booze
wrap themselves around a tree…

Yet, when they show those little boxes on TV
how many of us change the channel?
how many rushed over to see the score of the Cricket,
Ashes Test, Australia V. England, sport’s oldest rivalry?
or the latest young celebrity, overdose in a hotel room.
How many of us just don’t care…
First occurrence was a tragedy,
the second, disgusting policy–
electioneering to the bottom of the bottom
most vile thing, ever seen—I hate to say it,
I dare not think it,
now has it become, not even a comedy
frozen in the slipstream of mediocrity?

In mother England, they say,
any man, anyone who sets foot
on British soil is free, except of the conventions
from the cradle to the grave…
Yet, no-one is welcome here now,
if they arrive by boat
a long and dangerous journey—
I am white, are you?
where do we come from?
seeking a better life?

or imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread?
guess we better pack our bags now
and go back where we came from?

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About jameswfrobertsdapoet

Emerging Poet and Writer. From Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. I present a show called Crazy Talk/Word Berserk, on www.phoenixfm.org.because I believe in what Phoenix has to offer. No where else will you get the diversity of Gospel, Country music shows, Koori themed shows and Poetry and Experimental music? My father, Bryan did a show on 3CCC in the 1980’s called the Keyboard Hour for a bout 8 years, until he died. That is partly why I joined Phoenix but mainly it’s because of the diversity we offer people and also I really do feel that we are an important vehicle, an important voice for the Community at Large. My interests are Poetry, Literature, Music, Movies, Cultural Awareness and Philosophical pursuits. My show is basically a Late Night Radio Show for Artists, Poets, Musicians and Creative Thinkers of all types to come and inform, enjoy, entertain and inspire each other. So join me and my guests from the local Artistic Community to be inspired, to be entertained and informed
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