Ten Years After

by Graham Rowlands

Graham Rowlands

Ten years after
every beautiful cliche
wearing jeans & kaftans & long hair & cheesecloth---
after every beautiful cliche
has gone or may as
well have
for all it means
L.B.J.'s gone
& Che's gone
& Ho's gone
& Mao's gone
to their biographers
in the sky without diamonds or L.S.D.

Ten years after every beautiful demo
that was not beautiful
has broken up
has been broken up
after every beautiful principle
has been broken
has been broken up
after every beautiful principle
that was more outlet &
anger against than for---
pitting the scruffy
the grey-arsed men
in grey ties.

Ten years after the most beautiful women
the most beautiful men---
the way they loved
the way they looked at one another after
their long march &
their locked arms straining
& the cops & the charge
& the armlocks & handcuffs
& their heads cracked on duco
& the wagon
& the watch house
& the stench
& together
they'll never forget
even if they're not together
as the candles wrinkle down
around green bottles.

Don't tell me
we wouldn't have cried when Phar Lap died.
Don't tell me
we don't march on ANZAC Day.

Last updated November 09, 2018