© Glenny Palmer, 2010

Winner 2011, ABPA ‘New South Wales State Championship’, Bush Poetry Festival,  Dunedoo NSW.

A mother gazes mutely from a humble oval frame;

a father standing staunchly by her side does much the same.

Across a room bedecked with shameless platitudes sublime,

two sons of war gaze proudly back, in uniforms of crime.

Two sons so keen and ready to defend our country’s shores,

two sons beguiled by despots fuelling fiscal gain through wars;

just fodder for Gallipoli, just seen as no account,

and granted for their legacy?...certificates to mount.

I ache for Grandma gazing from that oval picture frame,

and see within my Grandad’s eyes presumption of the shame

that banished each dear son to blood-soaked clay of foreign wild,

and banished ever more, the right to see, to hold their child.

And yet another mother smiles within a gilded frame;

her son, in pin striped suit’s success, beside her smiles the same.

Across a room bedecked with priceless artefacts, ill won,

sublime in moral ignorance, she sees and holds her son…

…her son, who rose to Presidency, oils the war machine

while thumping on the dais, ‘’…terrorism is obscene.’’

And all his human cattle don his uniforms of crime,

while he invests with confidence in terrorism’s mime.

Big bankers and big business…the five percent that rules

the power gods dictating a ‘democracy’ of fools,

while we, the ninety five percent, are forging on the tread

to turn their wheels with honest sweat, to keep their fodder fed.

And now this mother’s weeping on a wooden picture frame.

My son of war smiles proudly back entirely free of blame,

just fodder for Afghanistan, just seen as no account

by despots; and his legacy?... certificates to mount.