Man Stands at the Crossroad and Contemplates Humankind Making
its Way Beyond the Cosmic Machine. Cecilia Bustamante

Literary works by leading poets and thinkers of the English world

AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY POETRY - Anti-war and Social subject poems       Contemporary Poetry 7


David Brooks

Four weeks ago a wind
straight from Siberia
scraped through the square
snapping the leaves off plane trees,
hiding the village
behind closed shutters, curtained doors.
Now, the weather milder, nearing Christmas,
small boys are kicking footballs
in the Place Jeu de Ballon
while their fathers
trim vines beyond Tressan
or play petanque behind the Mairie
and Madam Sabatier's idiot brother Robert
sits on his bench
with his one yellow glove
shooting imaginary pigeons from the air.
from The Vision of St Eustace,
a young brown dog, too
callow for the hunt
runs down the Impasse des Cigales
with a stolen croissant.
A few granates
still cling to the winter bushes; the path
to Le Puget
is strewn with fallen almonds.
In the field by the highway
the pheasants
have nested over the ancient ice-house.
After the thunder
of the Mirage chasseur
a slender glider
drifts soundless through the light-grey sky.
In the White House, half
a century away,
the President wipes his prick,
declares another war against Iraq;
on the tarmac, intelligent missiles sit
in cold and steely silence, unable to think
of what they are about to do.


    Jenni Nixon
1. Ubaka is beating her drum in a small Lilyfield community hall in my memory grown there seeded from song Ubaka is singing the world awake she is healing the earth cleansing the waters Ubaka is chanting we wonít fight your war / we wonít fight your war Calling Peace Calling Peace Ubaka is beating her beloved drum magic thrums the air as women dance shake their booty bums and bellies undulate women stomp their feet bang the beat on drums we are shouting we wonít fight your war / we wonít fight your war Calling Peace Calling Peace 2. just donít talk to me of war: crusades against the Infidel formidable foes reaping the whirlwind Satan and the Axis of Evil student of Stalin homicidal dictator addicted to weapons of mass destruction the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud Iím suffering battle fatigue bludgeoned by speech writers who never learn their history donít tell me: those towel-heads should pack up their carpets and go back home to the desert queue jumpers are illegal refugees and you gotta draw the line somewhere donít Ďcha ĎVoice of Godí voice-over tells me: warfare isnít natural Pyramids of Caral - ĎMother City of Civilisationí in Peru trading with neighbours prospers in peace for a thousand years the desert blooms irrigated for cotton no fortifications no weapons of battle 2002


Dorothy Porter

Listen to the Poet Read
    Money, I'm thinking money

as Mr Norris
in his blue faintly BO'ed suit
leans on the balcony rail
scaring the lorikeets off their sugar

a moody man
who signs the cheques
and lets his wife do the talking
when its the kids not business

he hopes, as usual
there's nothing money can't fix

I'm hopeful too

'There shouldn't be a problem'
I say to his tense shoulders 'I'll bring her home.'

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