When this ruddy war is over

During the First World War, one-tenth of the Australian male population enlisted. Everyone in this country knew someone who had gone to war. Many never returned.

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He’s gone
When the wars of our nation did beckon
The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling
Proud of the trust
That he placed in our nation
He’s gone
But eternity knows him
And it knows what we’ve done
And the rain fell like pearls
On the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay
Where the earth had been dry
And deep in the trench
He waited for hours
As he held to his rifle
And prayed not to die
But the silence of night
Was shattered by fire
As the guns and grenades
Blasted sharp through the air
One after another
His comrades were slaughtered
In the morgue of marines
Alone, standing there
He crouched ever lower
Ever lower, with fear
They can’t let me die
They can’t let me die here
I’ll cover myself
With the mud and the earth
I’ll cover myself
I know I’m not brave
The earth, the earth
The earth is my grave
The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
He’s gone
We have learned nothing in the past 100 years. One day when women are in power, we may not send our beautiful youth to fight in senseless wars.

40 sparkling years

Here’s to the magnificent 78’ers, those brave souls who stood up for their rights and tonight celebrate 40 years of Sydney Mardi Gras. These civil rights champions were brutally bashed, arrested, taunted and harassed and still they marched for their friends, for the freedom to be their magnificent selves, for equality, for  ‘the love that dare not speak its name.’ Thank you to the warriors who fought for the freedom to love freely and to be equal citizens. Rainbow beauties I salute your courage. Your selfless actions made Sydney a more fun, more colourful and more inclusive place. I can’t imagine dancing on Oxford Street in 1983 without you.

As I hope for glitter not blood on the streets tonight, I’m shedding a few tears for the beautiful loved ones we lost when AIDS ripped through our lives in the 80s and 90s. I know tonight they will be there in spirit. I’m also thinking of the people who work so hard for Bobby Goldsmith and ACON and my friends decorating floats. Party on beauties. I feel nothing but love and pride when I see you shining.

Divine – You Think You’re A Man

 

 


undead

One of my friends said,
“You have a morbid fascination with death. You have so many stories of death and people close to you dying.” Actually he said, “You are the angel of death,” but I don’t fear death and I don’t think it’s morbid. I work in hospitals with kids who may die and observing parents coping with their worst fear strengthens my gratitude for my three healthy kids. Life and death walk hand in hand, two sides of the same coin, my fascination with death is a part of living well. And I know I will be old and ready for it when my time comes. I’ve got too much to do in this life to die young.

I love cemeteries, I could walk in them for hours looking at the headstones and wondering how people lived. I’m lucky I live right near one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Sydney. I love old graves. Walking around reading the inscriptions I’m reminded as a mother that only a hundred years ago mothers lived with the ever present thought that they should have lots of children as many little kids under five didn’t survive.

My dad’s been dead for 11 years and I’m certain he’s around me all the time.

beautiful cemetery

beautiful cemetery


Raising Amazonia

I am raising a small tribe of Amazonians. Notable queens of the Amazons are Penthesilea, who participated in the Trojan War, and her sister Hippolyte, whose magic girdle, given to her by her father, was the object of one of the labours of Hercules. Amazonian raiders were often depicted in battle with Greek warriors in classical art. The Amazons have become associated with various historical peoples throughout the Roman Empire. Their name has become a term for woman warriors.

When my youngest daughter is Prime Minister I’ll advise her to have every male over the age of 25 rounded up and sent to an island. We’ll keep men aged 18 to 25 in pens for breeding, retiring them once they become older. I’ll make a great political consultant. Is my first policy statement too extreme?