Bruised tears and siren wails
accompany the footage;
babies swaddled in stained carpets,
mothers arranged in silent queues
until battered trucks eek them towards mass graves
seething with quick lime.
Embittered hags spit venom at compatriots
rasping for retaliation.
Deep down I know
the hands which pressed triggers,
wielded knives at innocent throats
were once the gentle sons of others
playing in sand pits
shadowed from scorching winds
while I ferried my own
to schoolyard bunkers and safe horizons.
– John Collard
Massacre of innocence
Syria's senseless murderous regime
and terrorist atrocities
go to the heart of the loss
of respect for sheer existence.
Whole families — mothers, fathers, children
purposelessly slain for an Idea
that has escaped the world.
In little islands of memories
lived one breath of people
who lived by the season of nature's calling
— a few attuned to the country's rhythm
have survived to teach the high priests
of postmodernity and inventors of powerful
destructive weapons to descend
from their bejeweled thrones of clay,
clutch real dust and soil with their bare hands,
wash off the stain of their wasted soul
in the sea of life, shake themselves and
awaken the cells, capillaries and
lifeblood of their Original Face.
It's time to fly the Dove
with the green clover upon its mouth
to vanquish the shadowy world of delusion
that seeks to enthrone a realm
helplessness and hopelessness
through vacuous geopolitics
and intra-ethnic religious race.
Where else could the one-eyed redeemer
resistance fighters turn to but to retreat
from the death knell of their spiralling,
revolving annihilation and return
to their Maker’s authentic face?
– Deborah Ruiz Wall
as the child
as if the sun
an o so small
under the trust of hands
– Rory Harris
John Collard has been writing poetry since he was 15. However a career as a teacher, principal, educational bureaucrat and senior academic has meant little time for creative writing. He has now taken early retirement and is catching up.
Deborah Ruiz Wall was born in the Philippines, but has lived most of her life in Australia. She has completed many funded projects on oral history (Aboriginal people and other residents on the Block in Redfern), intercultural story sharing between Aboriginal and Filipino women in inner and western Sydney.
Rory Harris teaches at CBC Wakefield Street in Adelaide. He won the Satura Prize in 2008.