December 3, 2011
Sorry if the word ‘booby’ misdirected you here.
This is another poem about Tony Abbott, leader of the Liberal Party in Australia, which is similar to the Conservative Party in England, in many ways. (Here’s the first one published on this blog, relating to climate change.) I recently had a poem about Australia’s attitude to refugees who arrive uninvited published on Eureka Street, remembering the dozens of people who died last year, smashed on the rocks of Christmas Island, an Australian island that is no longer part of Australia for immigration purposes. That poem featured the Christmas Island crab. This one draws links between another native of Christmas Island, Abbott’s booby, and the Leader of the Opposition.
This poem regurgitated itself into my mouth —
a sardine of ill repute, silver little slug.
Abbott’s booby is a native of Christmas Island,
flying around and around.
Its cry is unmelodious,
unfit for any proper idyll.
It picks up stray ideas
and smashes them onto rocks.
(It is in league with the crabs.)
It is a member of the Gannett family.
And there, the useful metaphors run out,
like a big country’s generosity.
For this is a large, graceful bird,
once it has struggled into flight,
and it only troubles the wind.
It is unrelated to the budgie.
It is endangered.
Others, though, are entering their prime.
Oh silver, stinking poem,
shoved down a gagging throat.