On this Anzac day
My computer needs replacing;
It wasn’t designed to last
Nor are the little houses on the hilltop
That look just the same,
Where the rain gets in.
We have done that to our cars,
And our town halls and our bars.
I once walked upon streets where
The ancestors of fathers had walked
And sold their corn.
I visited a forest where death
Made me remember
That some shorn part of me had been here.
And in those strong, scented trees
Of an ancient past,
I knew today to be kind
To be just and to be free.
Now I have Esperanto cards
My great great grandfather received,
Over 100 years ago,
As he searched for global peace
With a language banned by the Germans,
The Russians and the lies.
Perhaps they shall go to both my children,
Who shall value them,
As do I.
America and China you have stolen from us
The value of things.
You have stolen my grandmother’s tears
And our soldiers’ fears
With your plastic toys and plastic cards.
Today, this Anzac day,
The metal pin on my shirt,
That recalls lost battles and broken hearts,
That only cost ten dollars,
Along with my Esperanto cards,
Is the most valuable thing I own.
I wish I could throw away my thoughts
In a rubbish bin once and for all,
Unconcerned that they won’t come back,
Buried along with an eternity of
Plastic bottles, styrofoam, cellphones, lightbulbs and ziplock bags.
But like them, they won’t go away.
Perhaps I could try and recycle them like broken glass
Or put them in the waste,
Broken dreams being composted
That won’t become the anxiety of my son’s son,
Or my child’s career.
And me when I die
Let my body rot away inside a grave
My mind scattered,
My soul divided
With the choices I made,
That will make parents ask why
Their three year old became the way she is,
Or remark how he’s just like her mother’s mom,
Or reminds him of great uncle John.
In my life I want to create nothing that will last,
No karma for the future,
And no haunting where someone might claim,
He did this.
Who are you?
At the end of life when your tears and smiles
And sins and kindnesses are about to leave
Will you ask who told you?
Did you choose to be a wife weeping
For a dead husband in Iraq?
Who told you to count taxes
And become a company clerk?
Or the person that avoids eating shark fin soup?
What made you decide on a career in gold?
Or become a doctor taking care of the old?
How is your mind today with the choices it’s made?
Was it your mother that whispered
To become a lawyer’s aid?
Or that status and money should be your bestest friends?
How did you know that wrinkles were bad
And having no kids would make you sad?
Who chained your mind?
The mind that knows nothing other than what it is,
Here and now.
If you can’t say how the choice was made then you are lost
Inside a mind that has sold your soul for the cheapest cost
That came along.
So my friend, wake up and be free.