Driving to Saturday’s Rally for Refugees

20 / 06 / 2013

This month, Jennifer Strauss is gifting Culture Club with its very first poem! Sheilas poets of all persuasions are hereby ordered to follow Jennifer’s lead and submit submit submit! Thanks Jenny! This poem was previously published electronically in the PEN Quarterly. Reprinted with permission from the author.



Quitting mild-mannered Malvern

past Central Park, knowing I’d rather stay –

admire the newly-flourished garden beds,

or watch that small girl on a pink bike,

wobble ecstatically . . .


Why then go?  Because

within my country’s desert heart

are children without flowers, no toys, nothing

but dust and hope;

because I’ve seen

the spikey leaves of my courtyard tree

casting a shadow too much like barbed wire.


By Richmond station football crowds

spill on the road, taking their right of way.


And I, who’ve never been to the MCG –

does that make me un-Australian,

non-participant? Should I park right now,

buy scarf and beanie, claim my birth-right

of licensed tribalism?


I can’t,

too mindful of another playing field,

green with lies and fear, fear and lies,

where the goal of freedom’s mocked

by asylum madness.

And someone needs to speak –

above the roar of the crowd.