Poetry and verse Fiction

POEM: Never too soon

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(Cartoon by Mark David / @MDavidCartoons)

This poem is an *IA Writing Competition (creative work category) entry.

Never too soon

“Long live our King!” the Australian bourgeoisie cries.
“He has taken so ill. Oh, but what if he dies?”
Well he will in the end, a knowing voice said. 
It gets us all eventually, one day we will each become dead.

The voice came from ground level, speaking matter of factly,
I just can't say how or when it will happen exactly.
“Oh, but why has this happened? Of what is the cause?”
And the voice answered infinitely, without so much as a pause.

He's sat on his throne, but there are thorns in his Crown.
He'll die by imperialism, that's how it'll go down. 
“Make him better,” they demanded. The pomps wanted a fix. 
“He's one of us, though — and the rich shan't get sick.”

The voice listened but retorted, in a way that was stern.
Is his life of more value… because he's part of the firm?
Should being of imperialist blood really make a man's worth?
Is being royalty God's gift and native his curse?

The King has horses, carriages, bagpipes and guns,
Soldiers and money and all else under the sun. 
And his family have power to befall prime ministers here,
But that won't make a difference when his swan song is near. 

And pardon my candor, and matter of fact,
But his ruling is born of blood and genocide, in fact. 
The ruling class were angered... how dare this be true?!
That nothing could be done to save an elite few!

“We know money talks!” they shrieked, wailing and crying,
“We'll pay through the nose, to stop him from dying.”
And the pain turned to anger, they'd heard just enough. 
“Your voice knows but nothing, we're calling your bluff.

“Anyway, who even are you?” they quivered with fright. 
I’m the voice of the people and you'll see I'll be right.
The King’s reign is nigh and there will be a rebirth,
A revolution emerging from the salt in the earth. 

And the white knights could not believe their own ears.
“It won't happen,” they cried. The tradition, the years. 
“You are blasphemous and treasonous, to speak this way when he is sick.
Who do you think you are and what dare makes you tick?”

The voice thought a moment and came back to say, 
In a broad Aussie accent, with conviction and sway, 
I am a movement, fed up with you saps,  
And I am gathering traction, from all round the traps. 

Look, none of us here willed on on old mates' snuff,
But now that you mention it, that's about enough. 
And although my words will likely never sway ya,
I am the voice of modern A’straya. 

And maybe “It's time”, before it is too late,
To adorn our very own head of this state. 
It is not of our doing that old mate is sick,
Yet it's still overdue we become a Republic.

A heart in the earth and a line in the sand
To imagine this day is to dare take a stand.
While the white knights flailed, fainted and moaned,
God, think of the kingdom they uttered and groaned.

But the ruling class knew their time may be up then,
And while the diagnosis was cancer, the sickness was them. 

* Full IA Writing Competition details HERE.

Naomi Snell is a writer, author, storyteller and TedX speaker from Melbourne.

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