A- A A+

Rineharted by the minehearted

Various |  09 September 2013

Selected poems

One more step

So ... this is our next step
along the sad and brutal
path we've chosen.
Even if they make landfall,
even if our labyrinthine
procedures and processes
find their lives are hanging
by a fraying thread,
we won't let them stay here.

Of course they can't stay here.
There's no way we can take
so many on our own. This flood
will never end. And half
of them are shonky,
playing us for suckers. Fair go, you lot,
you've worn out your welcome.
Time to move on.

One final step remains
for us to take: shoot
them at the border.
That might go down well
in certain marginals and, anyway,
an expert could be found
to say it's more humane
than drowning.

But we'll not go that far —
for now.

Bob Morrow

Unholy Sonnet

Strip out my heart, three-personed Gina;
As yet but truck, prospect and seek to mine;
That we may improve, export and ourselves refine
Your ore, to the US, Europe, and 'specially China.
I, like a usurp'd town, ignore union dues,
And admit labour, from all quarters,
Let them all flock, to the mineral slaughter,
That holds us captive, lest wealth you lose.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be Rineharted,
But have unwise ties to ideas green;
Divorce them, untie, or render them obscene,
Take me to you, make me minehearted,
Except you extract me, I never shall be free,
Nor ever rich, unless you ravish me.

P.S. Cottier
(John Donne-over)


A nation

Of exclusion
Of isolation (I-solation)
Of rejection
Of alienation
Of dumping the waves on their own heads
Of seeking asylum elsewhere, e.g. where no families break up
Of offering asylum inside its own body to its own body parts
Of self-hallucination
Of policing so much that heaven's gates are constantly under lock and key
Of irrevolution
Of irresponsible solution
Of no
Of no sharers
Of nay sayers
Of yes slayers
Of dreaming for its own sake
Of white on white
Of calculated cons
Of a scheme designed to last longer than long itself
Of hate boats
Of hate eyes
Of hate ears
Of love that contains a hole in it
Of hope that does the same

A nation
Of no asylum to others but its own people

Asylum sought
Asylum given
Asylum, the size of a continent, lived and being lived

Ouyang Yu

Bob Morrow headshotBob Morrow lives in Melbourne and fell into writing poetry while in Ireland searching for his forebears' roots. He is currently working on a collection of poems about family and the sense of place.

P. S. Cottier headshotP.S. Cottier is Australian Poetry's first online poet in residence. You can read more of her writing at www.australianpoetry.org

Ouyang Yu headshotOuyang Yu is now teaching at a Shanghai-based university and his most recent publication of translation is Things I Didn't Know by Roberth Hughes (Nanjing University Press, China, 2013) and his latest publication of creative nonifction, in Chinese, is yixin diaochong (The Translator's Heart Carving an Insect) (Showwe Press, Taiwan, 2013).



Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments

As an Engineer Poetry is not meant for me to understand , but to protest about the Iron Age seems a bit silly to me and to blame it in Gina just petty .

John Crew 10 September 2013

Why poetry is not meant for engineers to understand is anyone’s guess. John Crew, for example, seems perfectly adept at using a bit of irony and metaphor himself by calling the current Australian economic period “the Iron Age.” Methinks he protests too much. Is the poet blaming Gina? Surely the crucial phrase is the rhyme “Your ore”. In this the poet goes to the heart of the debate because, as we know, it’s not her ore. It’s Australian ore, to which is attached a little three-letter word that Gina doesn’t want to know about: tax.

CLOSE READING 10 September 2013

Poetic licence perhaps? Is Gina a metaphor for something much larger? Am I stating the obvious, as my wife often accuses me of doing?

Brett 10 September 2013

My main worry about rewriting John Donne was the punctuation, which I had to change, while trying to maintain the same basic pattern as in the original. But I quite like those semi-colons now, paused like diggers at the end of the first two sentences, and at the end of the tenth line. Though why they are paused is indeed a mystery. (P.S. Cottier)

Penelope 10 September 2013

Similar articles

An irritant of soul

Robin Pryor | 17 September 2013

Menas and Christ: 8th Century Coptic Icon. Bearded, haloed menThe rough rapacious bandit, bent on blood and vengeance wild, at home in hills and wilderness, who saw life cheap, his to possess, rode out into the desert of his heart where cross of gold clung to his sweat and questioned life and dreams, his violence mad ... he staggered from the margins of his life.

Swapping stories with a barracouta sage

Brian Matthews | 13 September 2013

Barracouta swimming in the ocean'It was a strange business,' he said in answer to my inevitable question about how he had come by his injuries. 'I'm a professional fisherman. I've fished the entire South Australian and Victorian coast line for barracouta for 70 years.' The 'strange business' happened on his boat. 'We weren't even at sea. Me and Albie were just cutting up some bait when my eyes just went up into me head and I keeled right over.'

Philosophy of falling

Ailsa Piper | 18 September 2013

Woman falling from skyWaters fall. So does night. We fall asleep, sometimes because staying awake is too painful. Soldiers fall, and we mourn them. They are boys, many of them, so fall-able. We fall into love, and out of it again, like it is some dark hole. We forget that love should be about rising, because we have fallen back onto cliché. We go through life as though we will always be upright, and when we fall, it hurts.

The mortal utterance

Anne Elvey | 03 September 2013

Seraph illustration from the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, a 14th-century illuminated manuscript, commissioned by John, Duke of BerryIt is a coal picked from the fire at the altar of mercy. A gust billows — smoke fills the tent pitched for a god. One red note pulses where the cherub blows. A seraph's breath blisters the lips.

21st century hermit

David Lumsden | 27 August 2013

He carried no phone and sent no text. He had no email address, deleted no spam, recharged no devices, never backed up.