In case you were wondering the quiet Australians
Won’t tell you what they are thinking. Their patriotic
Yowl is stifled by a kind of shame, or fear of shame
That in a plastic-colored world of money, generations
Of growth and privilege do not add up to much.
The quiet Australians want someone to wail for them
To sob about unfairness, suffering, their piece of cake
To blame, to tear down, to strategise retaking what
Was taken from the history their forebears vandalised.
The quiet Australians would stand up to be counted
If they had a leg to stand on. They would go to war
If war did not require a sacrifice they shrink from.
Fears aside, the quiet Australians sometimes speak
When martyrdom can be assured, when whistling
At a pitch that dingoes hear their words give voice
To pain they sincerely feel in the salty cracking
Landscape of their lives. There on the dusty plain
The quiet Australians cultivate contempt for strangers.
Not feeling for them, we pretend the strangers cannot
Feel. We, I say, since I am one of you and know that
Silence can be strength; I know what lengths my hate
Can go to. When we quiet Australians learn to speak
We might have something good to say. But, when?
I don’t know. I’m old. One day, I think. One day.