Thursday, August 10, 2017

A poem about joy

Creative self-expression can be a really good way to spend free time and maintain good mental health. To this end I recently composed the following poem, which I entered into an Australian poetry competition on the topic of joy (I didn't win).

Joy: Lost and Found


I
Something's distorted 
The newspaper reported
Executive pay 
A thousand times minimum wage
It's what I'm worth say
The kings of the day
While toilet cleaners 
And hands making sweatshop sneakers
Keep the world turning. 

Shallowness is the new disease
Accessing what we want with ease
Seeking deeper truths competes
With breaking news and celeb tweets
Beauty queens on digital screens
Keep men eternally in their teens
And make women feel ugly.

There's been no progress 
In Canberra or congress
Where short term decisions 
Outwit long term visions
And election results read 
‘A plague on both your houses’.

II
The young lady opens a letter
Three years a war refugee
Living in rural Australia
Congrats on perm residency
Up the road is a struggling farmer
Wireless on as he cleans a silo
My crops might have failed for the past three years
But thank heaven it’s not Aleppo.

In the school yard the boys' fight is over
Shirts torn and faces dirt-ridden
As they each learn the valuable lesson
Of forgiving and being forgiven 
Upstairs the teacher inspires
Though doesn’t realise her impact
Explaining the twentieth century
And humans remaining intact.

In the psych wing of the hospital 
A glimmer of hope begins
In the mind of a suffering soldier 
Whose problems aren't with his limbs
In the east wing of the hospital 
A newborn child cries
And like they did in Bethlehem
Mother and son meet eyes.