ROOTS

Recruited to Revenge
© Brenda Joy, 2019

Winner, 2021 Nandewar Bush Poetry Competition Narrabri, NSW.

He conjures up the visions love can stir
and puffs the scents of oranges and myrrh.
            He doesn’t know why turmoil wracks the youth.
            He’s lost in his cocoon where even truth
                                        cannot demoralise.

He found it hard to leave his native shore
but he had yearned to give his off-spring more.
            Migrating to find harmony and peace
            he’d prayed Australian life would mean release
                                        from centuries of lies.

Dementia’s infiltrated years of age.
He’s out of tune with history’s harsh stage.
            An elder still with dreams of native land
            creates illusions, fails to understand
                                        a generation’s cries.
………………………………………………………..                              

Denied mainstream belonging boy-hood craves…
entrapped in cloistered enclaves faith engraves…
            susceptible to propaganda’s curse…
            impressionable, easy to coerce…
                                        it shows within their eyes.

Their hearts don’t match their passports stamped by birth.
Their blood-thirst flows from far across the earth
            where turbulence and devastation reign
            to reconcile a nation’s karmic stain
                                        from conflict’s brutal ties.

Their souls are full of hatred. Knives of steel
are thrust with depths that adolescents feel.
            Conviction has convinced them they are right.
            Their anguish is compelling them to fight
                                        beneath war ravaged skies.
…………………………………………………………….
   
Indoctrination fuels revenge and lust.
Old man, your new-world dreams have turned to dust.
            When Armageddon threatens and enslaves
            and blood is spattered on ancestral graves
                                        all hope and promise dies.


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