Picture Poems 2020

Five Eyes and Two Sorcerers

Perpetuating wartime structures 
Through peacetime violence
Maintaining cultures of force
An everyday daily life experience
Simply acceptable
Postcolonial trauma

From royal decree to state legitimization
The removal of customary values 
As basis for social order
Continuous socio-economic upheaval
To prioritize revenue gain
Enforced understanding 
Of where each and every one stands

All for those at the top
For those at the bottom
Lower health status
Political disarmament

Today’s students
Our 21st-century students
Their lifetime 
Their field of experience
Their augmentation
Their application of digital technologies
They are the ones who will drive our values forward
Are our values fit for purpose? 

Bamford The Executioner
His habits were very intemperate 

He obtained money from the Government 
He squandered it
In the company of the degraded 
Of both sexes

They looked out for him 
For when he left the gaol 
With government money in his pocket
They joined him in drunken orgies

Executioner's Hood Melbourne Cut poem

In a  land of salutary terror
Instruments of violence were employed
To inflict class suppression 

Onto the poor by the rich
For acts of rebellion against owners

Putting the fear of death into them
Terrifying and teaching them a lesson
Employing execution for pacification

The tactics of imperial rule
Resistance is demonstratively not tolerated
Settler violence is reasoned
Public executions are legitimized
Violent acts are defended by the dominant participant

When power is in jeopardy
Protect the exclusive class 
Building prosperity in the enemy's land
Assigning blame onto the victim

Melbourne Town needs a Bishop
1847 A Cathedral City

The establishment of a bishopric requires city status
The Bishop needs a Cathedral

A deterministic paradigm 
Avoid marrying the commoners

You are in a special position
Of controlling the new lands
To terraform a frontier society 
A decent society 

Continually under threat
Containing the deported
All those persons charged as undesirable 
Their depravity
Their madness
Their sexual promiscuity
Their sickness

You are ordained to cultivate a civilization Through your appearance, dignity, and restraint

You are to privilege those who have symbolic capital
Those civic leaders
Those charged with a moral purpose 
Those who value social determinism

Land grants 
Cheap labor
Systems of denigration for those not white enough 
Smoothing the dying pillow

Grand public edifices 
Parliament buildings
Art galleries

For those who are vagrants, lazy and  practice sexual impropriety
You must self-help
You will not be a burden on our prosperity

Our empathy is unfunded 
You of limited political voice
You of limited aspirations

Ned Darth Prowl poem

It is all in all
Allowing yourself
A change of identity
By not being normative 
By not playing your role

An emotional energy 
A discharge
Becoming decisive
Playing outside of the rules

Ned  Kelly's Library

A symbol of global power
A god-given shelter
Born from dominion  
An expression of capital imperialism  

The office and power 
The greatest dome
The greatest on earth
Divine and timeless
A heavenly command
Britain is first

Possession down under 
All as prisoner 
In the Queen’s Reading Room

The lucky country
Where the lawless frontier was brought under control

This now a heritage of Ned Kelly artifacts 
Collected and acquired 
His death mask
His armor 
His story
Made example of
Made Tasteful

From the imagination of virtuous Christians.
The splendor of all that was to become accumulated into this dispised legacy. 
From the beginning regret and guilt. 
Into a settler nation shackled by paranoia.

We claimed the superior use of land. 
To build our Colonial Georgian aesthetic.
And all that cringe that followed.

Oh this our lucky country.

Marvelous Melbourne.
Built by virtuous pioneer families.
Achievements made through sin, repentance and redemption.

It was our exclusive right.
To self fictionalize. 
To mask the inflicted horror.
To turn a blind eye.

Through Royal Charter, the settlers reigned down. 
With sheep.
And beef.
And homes.
And names.
And justice.

Until control was legislated and systemic racism standardized a socio-economic divide.


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