Cue God's applause



Selected poems


Sco Modality

'I am holy, no,
to discriminate?
But by doing so,
I self-incriminate.
I doubt the loud denouncing
will dissipate
before the promised election falls…

'They are unclean and
icky. I ruminate — 
why can’t they all just
choose to be celibate?
They stubbornly exist;
by my lights, their fate
apocalyptically palls.

'Monologing thusly
is not a state
I ever felt that
I’d need to contemplate.
But this alphabetical mob  — 
what a fate;
they’ve gone and got me by the balls.

'Mere truth will not serve.
I will indicate
that abuse is already LAW,
in legal copper plate;
no credence to be heaped
on top of proffered plate
of socially maladjusted cause.

'Now I’m in big boy power
(although, of late,
I feel besieged, laughed down,
even second rate)
you’ll hear, see, notice me
strut with shining pate
and Zion lion righteous roars.

'If I can’t pray away
how they conjugate
I’ll just have to
work to eliminate
any attempt to
prevent the End Times hate
of the humans my Godversion abhors.

'My shiny conscience
means I can abdicate
any responsibility
I have to moderate
the grievous harm
to young ones who want to mate
with bodies flagged in my culture wars…

'There. I feel so much
better. It’s a date!
Manifestly destined
to be irate,
I will ride roughshod,
ram up against the gate
of those diverse, inclusive — different — whores!

'Defending Christendom’s
hegemony straight,
here I come! But be careful,
ScoMo boy, don’t salivate
in public view, lest
I should seem prostrate —
swept up in Pride and Homophobia’s maws.

'Literal application of foreign words,
to date
and judicious ignoring
of wisdom late
allows me to preserve
bigotry in spate.
God looks like Me! Cue God’s applause.'



Up you get. Ablute, consume and
go about your existential pestilential
lot far from residential, penitential domesticity.
Push past the occupational self negator
to earn and spurn and yearn
for other more rathered and mañana-ed,
The file of unvaried prospects that rejects
spontaneity and other insanity,
the joy and inanity of diverse verse.

Push past the expectation of morose collaboration
putting failed strategies into play,
the expected disarray that meets KPIs.
Though you despise the inertia and dross
that’s the curse, the weighted cost
of adulting. Adulating.

See past mortgaged lives
to laughter. Hours lived,
highs beyond deadened lines
and resigned spines.

Push past barricades of weaselled words
and corporate corpus to see
gardens untrammelled untamed.
Animals unnamed will bring fear, sensation,
wonder and elation.

Push past the pull
reject the rule to better fulfil
the happy blunder that awaits
and the wonder that sensates.


Dharma by Numbers

at five i dreamed a terrifying picture
of crucifixion rendered on my self
visioned impalement and ensuing stigmata
cut deep into musings, mental health

at fifteen i adhered to cult precision
and marched to drumbeats thundered in past days
at thirty, divorce’s whip produced a schism
and cut deeply into my subcultural clay

at thirty five, and then at thirty eight,
i procreated; helped produced new life
since? greater than frenetic, lesser than sedate,
i parented, partnered madly with replaced wife

at forty years past birth i paused for breathing
stopped running round with rifles bayoneted
i smelled eucalypt, revisiting and thinking
and went about liberalising, gazetted

engaging in the wars of culture/value
agitating for equal space
columnising, poetically offering salute
to the fancied notion of a human race

at fifty i stare down merging barrels
melodramas of redundancy, existence
wedged between roles and industrial quarrels
freelancing dharma, cosmos enter hence

years spent, years coming, years de rigour
scarcity and plenty are the same
cornucopia provides no vigour
mortality doesn’t shape my name

the year of eighteen and two thousand
dawdles down the potholed road of fate
who needs assurances, meanings bland?
i’ve got more than enough on my plate


Barry GittinsBarry Gittins is a Melbourne writer and communications specialist. He tweets at @BarryGittins1


Main image: Scott Morrison sworn in as 30th Prime Minister (Martin Ollman/Getty Images)

Topic tags: Barry Gittins, poetry, LGBTIQ, discrimination, Scott Morrison



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Existing comments

I thank thee, Barry G

Pam | 20 November 2018  

Your poem Sco Modality is very cutting, as it should be. However, those who profess to be Christians and then fail to follow Christ are to be pitied, however hard we find it to forgive them.

Gwilym | 20 November 2018  

Well said Barry. Keep on saying.

David Philp | 20 November 2018  

Why pity or forgiveness Gwilym when they show not a streak of regret or remorse? Morrison's religiosity is just another element of his marketing plan.

Ginger Meggs | 21 November 2018  

I imagine that if God applauds on cue he is probably in the live audience at a recording of "The Muppets" with Scomo the main performer.

john frawley | 21 November 2018  

What a clever and biting way with rhyme and words! In a way only poetry, as with caricatures, allows us to do this. 'ScoMo' is, of course, the perfect gift for this kind of word-play. It reminds me of Jonathan Miller's allusion to Margaret Thatcher's accent as akin to a 'perfumed fart'.

Michael Furtado | 21 November 2018  

Still thinking and smirking about this, Barry. Given the obvious use of a rap idiom in your ScoMo piece, do you think that you might flesh it out to sound less like a piece of doggerel and more like the kind of poetic reflection that will strip him off his easy affability and expose the superficiality of his 'common touch', seductive politics? Since publication of this sparkling jewel we stand aghast at his seduction of a vast number of gullible voters to his side. I await your further wordsmithing on Morrison's too-easy swindling of the Australian electorate with baited breath and a keen appetite.

Michael Furtado | 24 November 2018  

Thanks for your thoughts and comments, folks... Michael Furtado, I think the best riposte to the PM's faux-blokey persona may be made at the ballot box. I have a greater concern over the ongoing treatment of the incarcerated asylum seekers and the defunding/ starving of those asylum seekers who are living in our communities.

Barry G | 26 November 2018  

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