April 21st 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The deeper causes of Australia's social malaise

GENDER POLITICS Queensland proposes transgender birth certificates

CANBERRA OBSERVED Malcolm at 30 (polls): the cloud on Turnbull's horizon

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell firmly denies sex abuse allegations

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Sydney Archdiocese aims to eliminate slavery in supply chain

RURAL DEVELOPMENT Irrigation along Fitzroy River proposed and opposed

LIFE ISSUES Abortion Rethink Summit: the case for care

VERBATIM WA food, drink producers face shortage of carbon dioxide

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY Land costs: economist Henry George's solution

ELECTRICITY Will Turnbull lose three out of three?

ECONOMICS Trade wars: tariffs unlikely to be fired in anger

SEX AND TEENS How about support for the abstaining majority?

VISUAL ARTS Layers of meaning in Botticelli's La Primavera and The Birth of Venus

MUSIC Is it good?: Or, do we just like the sound it makes?

CINEMA The Death of Stalin: Black comedy of a dark time

BOOK REVIEW Cool head on topic that generates heat

BOOK REVIEW Life's not so bad: from the outside



OPINION What a republic would really mean for Australia

Books promotion page


News Weekly, April 21, 2018

The Dinner Guest

The rhetoric of elites
sets off his built-in shit detector;
he much prefers to eat
with hookers, drunks and tax collectors.



The Man from Moe

Craving interaction,
a lonely chap from Moe,
entered Young and Jackson
and had a pint with Chloe.



The Leprechaun Kingdom

The giants are the servants of the midgets,
the midgets are the rulers of the giants.
Yes, the midgets are the rulers of this kingdom,
the giants are mistreated but compliant.

You ask me how the midgets rule the giants,
you ask me how the little rule the tall:
well, the giants know the midgets have the cookies
and if they sin they take home bugger all.



Sailing to Gothenburg

These blondes are all for me.
This is my Garden of Eden.
I’m a happy refugee.
I’m an African in Sweden.



The Window Cleaner

I used to scale cathedral heights
of gothic architectural sites
       and scrub your dirty windows clean;
but gargling gargoyles of the night
inflicting pterodactyl bites
       have torn my soul to smithereens.



Bobby Dazzler

From the windmills of the Wimmera
to the corridors of Canberra
       Bobby was the man
who soared above the people
to the parliamentary steeple
       with a shovel in his hand,
                      and eagerly faced our triumphs and fears
                      with crocodile smiles and crocodile tears.

Damian Balassone





The End of the Affair

Of course, with hindsight, a clean break
Would have been sensible, hygienic, neat:
Postage stamps parted at the perforation,
Neither with part of the other like torn meat.

He might have bottled up the hurt she did him
(The hurt he did her carefully set aside),
Gone on his way, blank-faced, controlled,
Feeling himself both right and dignified.

Self-righteousness and self-pity, unexpressed
Could have made armour good enough,
“We are civilized adults” a watchword for stoic
And silent and doing it tough.

When they had kissed and shaken hands
And said goodbye they should
Have left it at that, gone their separate ways
Forgotten one another as they could

Rather than what did happen: a progression
From fragile calm to fury, tears and pain;
And yet, from such a clean, a sterile break
What could have grown again?

There would never have been eventual letters,
A nervous meeting, heavy with things unsaid
Including finding a spark of something
Between them was not dead.

Something more than love they would have lost,
Something beyond eros, agape, animal need.
Perhaps its name must be a Mystery
But it is dear and precious indeed.



Former Lovers at Jetty Restaurant

Coffee in the sun with the blue-green
Smooth river spread, turning to golden-brown
In its rippling shallows. Early Autumn water,
Clear enough to see all the way down.

Yachts further out, and white boats moored here.
From the jetty’s timbers martins swoop and fly
Hard for them to think today, at least, was not
Made specially for them, under this wide sky.

Greetings with tentative kisses of the cheeks.
Memories glide under the surface, or soar
Light as the little martins at the eaves.
The past, this morning, is an open door.

A long vista of high running waves
Memories of phosphorescent nights
And love like storm or all-consuming sun,
But these waters have their own delights.

Things blend to a whole: this perfect day,
The lovely past. No shadow falls
Between them here, whatever
The touch of lips on lips or skin recalls

This has its real joy. Sunlight sparkles,
There is a warmth that makes eyes glow.
Fingers twine a little, linking these two
Who mended one another long ago.

Hal G.P. Colebatch

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm