OZ - An ode to May

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An ode to May

A month of cold and wet and leaves turned yellow,

Katoomba snows and Legionnaire's disease,

A dodgy Budget surplus from Costello,

An Aussie dollar grovelling on its knees,

Weird "Unchained" ads that urge us all to feel good

About a tax as crazy as John Cleese,

The deaths of greats Bob Maza and John Gielgud

Who each could charm the birds down from the trees,

A silly bloody surge of Suvan ego-tripping

That soon may end in tragedy a yarn no longer ripping,

A love bug that drove mad the world's computers,

More deaths at school by kindergarten shooters,

A quarter million bucks for wild Joe Cocker

To plug a tax on drink and drugs that he would find a shocker,

A Freedom Walk by mild North Shore commuters,

We'll journey long to find days daft as these.

A month when Kevan Gosper's daughter Sophie

Brought mayhem home as her Olympic trophy:

The torch she ran with through her seventh heaven

Lit flames of hell for her fool father Kevan,

Who will, in every future job he seeks,

Beware henceforth, the way one should, of gift-bearing Greeks.

A month when Tony Blair's new baby Leo

Dispelled the whiff of parliamentary B.O.

Brought on when London socialist Red Ken,

Got most of England singing Blake's Jerusalem again

And asking why, if good can be afforded,

New Labour smelled so Tory, false and sordid

And Blair looked so much like a short-haired cross-eyed Thatcher

Keen to study cruelty and in that contest match her.

The letterbox-thin smile of irked and snaky Cherie

Sent Murdoch's yobbo England once more making merry,

Extolling market slavery and Third World debt

And Rupert's right to own the BBC, and Stonehenge too, I bet.

The Red Flag may fly over England yet,

A dream that all good men had once. Lest we forget.

The month when Barry Jones deserved an Oscar

For swearing he could beat John Della Bosca.

He might as well have said: "Don Corleone?

We duel at dawn. I think the man's a phoney."

He'll get bright funeral flowers from the gang

Who let you know it's time to go. Bang bang.

A month when Senate hopeful Hillary Rodham

(No more thought guilty of the sin of Sodom),

Got Clinton-lucky, as she would, of course,

When cancer overtook her rival Rudi,

Who then confessed he'd shacked up with some Judy,

Cursed, wept, withdrew, and filed for a divorce.

He was unwise to take on Clinton luck.

So many tried, and all have come unstuck.

The month a bankrupt shonky skinhead businessman, George Speight,

Grown bored, perhaps, with seeking lesser ways to masturbate,

With just eight guns took over all Fiji

(About eight hundred islands, looking lazy at the sea,

Soon doomed, or so some say, to be bankrupt as he)

And brashly trundling out the politics of hate

Said he and no-one else was now the Head of State,

And putting at the PM's head a gun,

And giving interviews, and having fun,

And offering prayers, and looking like Yul Brynner,

And slaughtering hogs, and having friends to dinner,

And grabbing twenty minutes on John Laws

To plead in modest tones his manly, Godly cause,

Said Indians, not he, were planning genocide,

A libel he proclaimed with manly racial pride.

Fiji must now be cleansed till it is purer,

He told grave John in words much like the Fuhrer

(Though some who still recall the forceful Hitler

Remarked how his disciple seemed much littler).

It all will end, I fear, like David Koresh,

A parliament in flames where good and evil perish -

Or sweet soft words for George, perhaps, from Alexander Downer

In May or June two years from now, or maybe even sooner.

One thing's for sure - a thought we all should cherish -

Fijians fleeing here for all the usual bloody reasons

Will be sent home by Ruddock, unlike the white Rhodesians.

A month two hundred thousand crossed the Bridge,

A tiny, climbing aeroplane wrote Sorry in the sky,

In carnival companionship a nation came of rage,

Admitting what so few would now deny -

That child theft, land theft, rape and poisoned water,

Forced exile, prison suicide and many a secret slaughter

Form part of that Big Story none now greet with relaxation

Except - alas, alas, alas - some leaders of the nation,

Those ministers who dared not walk that day down history's road

For fear of the displeasure of the man some call The Toad.

Costello at the Rubicon proved once again a coward,

And Australia proved it had a heart - unlike, alas, John Howard,

Whose ice-blue eyes grew fevered as he spoke

Of different journeys taken, of ideals unforsaken,

Of policies unshaken, of dreams that had not soured,

Of governing for all - and he somehow missed the joke.

The joke was him. And he was dead as bacon.

For Australia in that hour showed it was better

Than him who briefly, vainly posed as chief trend setter.

His only monument will be a tax,

And billions that he took away from kids and schools and blacks,

A small man with chronic backward vision

Whose only certain future now is time's derision,

While Mal and Gough and Bob and Evelyn and Mick,

Sir Ron, Sir William, Lowitja, Meg, Tash and Geoff and Pat,

And all who walked that day and shared a chat

Have shown how it is easy to say goodbye to all that

And "where's the Emperor's clothes?" and "is he sick?"

It was a month of strange comeuppance:

With Howard's views now scarce worth tuppence,

Likewise the snarls of Peter Reith,

Which unions cast back in his teeth

In some contempt each time he gnashes.

The month when Rain Man muttered, "Qantas crashes",

And those who once were union bashers

Found airline safety, too, most dear,

And teachers got a raise, I hear.

Contempt as well from Mahathir

And those who hate the tax on beer,

And - yes, oh yes - the voters of Benalla

Reduced to such a deathly pallor

Globalism's dwindling valour

That one scents crazy victory, like Thorpe's,

New life restored to humanism's corpse,

Our nation surging like Olympic swimmers

Towards a hill on which the light still glimmers.

It was a month of modest hope, I guess, in winter snows.

Things may, just may, get better yet, though heaven knows.

Bob Ellis is a Sydney writer and commentator


"Globalism's dwindling valour" - that's a classic...indeed, Bob's a classic racontuer of the 'conscience' stamp. Not many of 'em left.

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), June 01, 2000

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