She wants to be vaccinated
Against one, not all religions.
Islam is an infectious disease
Like the plague, its spores
Somehow travelling in time
Ushered around the streets
By those strange ‘auslanders’
With their beards and flowing robes
Their wimples and their steady prayers.
Secular Australia is somehow weak
Its democratic traits
Allow too many disparate people
To live in its secure borders.
The Russian dictator
Has a better bet -
Strength through unity
One party, one state -
And despairs at the polyglot nature of modern life.
The eugenics of empire
Seems to run through her veins.
She wants to be inoculated with a little bit of Islam
Hence, our saviour, worshipped as the Vaccine Queen.
Where are the stone walls of yesteryear
When usury was a useful thing
When community always meant country women
And not the dangerous web of multiculturalism
Spinning its plausible otherness
Across the older Anglo Saxon world.
The past lends her a dry and bitter taste.
Her barbs and arrows
From a kit of knotted clichés.
All nuns should be stripped of their habit -
The bikini not the burka.
She wears her crisp tailored clothes
As a vivid uniform
Like the Queen Mum surfing a crowd.
The veil, the mantel, the hat
Were strong in her salad days
Even gloves were de rigeuer
Women’s role adequately paced
For a half-life, supporting her man.
She has no man to hold
Just a series of boys
Who prop up her fragile ego
And serenade her teary role
As mother to the nation
Angry at all these different ways of being:
Complexity chokes her very breathing!
Meat and three veg, no coral bleaching
Queens in the ghetto
Marriage for the Christians
A body politic
That salutes the flag and stands tall
Unbending in the midday heat
Like Hitler youth
Everyone marching to the same beat
As stepwise as Soviet control command
Or the Ayatollah’s hordes.
Anything to quash complexity
Anything that stills detailed thought
Anything for dogged control
As long as it hates and opposes
And shrinks the well of communal peace.
She summons Mephisto and his negation
The vortex of unsatisfied desires
Swirls with disgust.
Anger stalks the sunburnt land
And she the troll
Her fairground smile fixed as a smear
Sings into being
The death-bleating voice
Like the bark of the black mutton
Ready to crucify any disorder
In how the paddocks are stocked.
All the wounded ghosts and shibboleths
Shiver at her name.
The deadened past
Echoes her demise.
In pure contagion, in pure blood
She uncoils her withered soul
Parched on the spring of life
Difference and delight untwined:
The disease is within
And eats at her flesh
No vaccination can save her soul.
Gar Jones: March 2017