by Sean Haylock (February 2021)
Light Beyond the Trees, Charles Rollo Peters
In the languid humming dusk
You see flitting round the leaves of a peach tree
A stately monarch butterfly.
Stepping closer, you discover
It is really a tiny bat,
Membrane wings luridly aglow,
Fangs bared in ravenous rodentine delight.
It can smell blood under your skin.
It is the common countenance
Of smarmy journotainment
And pious bureaucracy:
A pretend-pensive frown
Gathering energies for condescension
Such as physics cannot measure.
If it helps, picture it
Modelled to dusky perfection
By POTUS #44.
They may vaunt conversation
And dialogue and discourse and
All manner of etceteras,
But don’t be fool enough
To expect from them an audience.
They are gourmands, this is a cabaret.
So, we must either learn to cook
Or take our act elsewhere.
Get With The Program
Is pluralism’s other name.
Or else I am quite wrong
And that face like a stock photo of conceit
Is not what it appears.
And that furrowed brow,
The very hieroglyph of moral hypocrisy,
When read against Love’s Rosetta,
Will come out as tactless virtue,
And the arc of history is no mirage.
And Jane Austen was a charlatan.
Sean Haylock has a PhD in English from Flinders University. He lives in Adelaide with his wife and son.
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