Pax Romanus (I, II, III)
Spare us, the Conquered
The fascist weeds the garden
Such love in pulling out,
Care granted to save the soil and replenish
With self made compost of previous remains.
They should have known his bitter truth
Of all he did for them unrequited;
In gentle torture he weeps for his people,
And how the day goes down so normally
As the lorries remove without haste
The handiwork so finely crafted,
To bring in bloom again
The preferred order of lines.
The comrades have been in a good paddock
How they strut their fat nonsense,
Believe the message is about them
So polished now and commentators
On everything thing they know and don’t.
Credit cards of bosses in hand
Wheel and deal with the best of them,
Stroke the impatient flank
Believe the stories they tell
With such ferocious plausibility,
Saddle the old chargers
Taunt the capitalists with rust
Shake the state with the workers’ flag.
Death squads have no imagination
The graffiti has only one colour,
A backwash where the pockmarks
Are the dots we link with rainbows
Made from the tears of all lovers
Children mother father brother sister.
The old city glistens in this rain
Painted with our crayons,
Ground out each night with the latest news
Who is missing who will fight.
So many colours stain our fingers
They make us face the wall now,
Not knowing never seeing that hope
Is streaming incandescently
From the streetlamps in our hands.
- James Walton 2014
Lives and works in the Strzelecki Mountains in South Gippsland and has had work published in a number of anthologies and journals, and the Age newspaper.