“New Labor needs a new direction” –
The shutters click and cameras zoom –
“I won’t be seeking re-election.”
On Lateline, Tony’s voice will boom
“Tonight, we’ve lost another Minister.”
As usual, Tony thinks it’s sinister –
Rudd plotting and so forth; but we
Need not indulge conspiracy.
Yet three is no coincidence.
Nic Roxon, Chris, and now Christine –
A bloodletting of red and green
Too regular an incidence.
What makes a Minister resign?
Could they not bear the party line?
Yet Ministers need not have whips.
The Joe that was, then Benedictus
Could scarce pronounce with ancient lips
The ancient ailments that afflict us.
Tired of the endless, pointless praying
Tired of the past, and sorry saying
(Though not, it seems, of pomp, and awe
And being exempt from federal law) –
Imagine him, after matins –
Describing his discord, ennui
While making noun and verb agree.
(Camus could not have written Latin.)
The Pope himself’s in despair’s throes –
What hope, then, for more fallible Joes?
For circumstances have resigned us
To fear, and hate, and No New Tax
And daily now the polls remind us
Of leaky boats they want turned back.
(For with those boats our hopes are sinking.)
If hopes are merely wishful thinking,
If there’s no more that we can do,
Should we not end our own reigns, too?
How easy would be sweet surrender
To Tony, Geert, and laissez-faire.
How much more pleasant not to care
To quash the hope, however slender
Of worlds instead built on agape.
Yet still it seems the coward’s escape.