Friday Arts Day:  Hot off the Press, this poem is by our friend Joel McKerrow called “Reclaim Australia”.  You can follow Joel on his website Joel McKerrow.
Reclaim Australia

They came to reclaim a country that was never theirs to begin with

and they could not see the irony,

and they could not look the Muslim mother in the eyes without hatred,

and how easy it is to judge what we do not understand

and how fear can make a good person look like a monster

and the walls that they built

and the poison spat…

and how I want to hurl abuse back at them.
To wear an ‘I hate Reclaim Australia’ t-shirt,

and to never see the irony of such,

and to not look them in the eyes without my hatred,

and how easy to judge what I do not understand,

and how they look like monsters,

and the walls I would build,

and the poison I would spit…

But I stop myself.

It was Einsten who told us

that no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it in the first place,

and in the second place I look at my own bigotry

and in the third place I realise that people are only ever a product of the world they grew up in,

and in the fourth place I know that fighting fire with fire is combustible

and in the fifth place I live on a land stolen

and in the sixth place I am broken

and in the seventh place aren’t we all,

and in the eighth place I remember Solzhenitsyn told us

the line of evil never runs between us and them,

it runs down the centre of every human heart.

My heart is a civil war. Split and spit and fighting hard.

But if this is where the split begins,

then this too is the birthplace.

This bloody mass of muscle,

this bigot heart,

this colonised,

this racist nation inside us,

it needs…


The beginning for the only revolution that shall last.

If the personal is political,

then I take my personal heart and place it upon the altar of surrender,

of recognition, of relinquishment, of death, of resurrection, of love.

I pray these motions would flow into the policies and the people and the social

and by the new pulse that fills the veins,

I look to those who wish to reclaim and

instead of hatred, I weep, fall to my knees and weep.

For who they are, for who I am, for who we have become.

I weep. I pray. I offer them my hand.

I place their own into the embrace of my Muslim brother.

Hold them close enough that they may smell each others humanity.

Compassion is an action.

And loving is a movement.

And diversity is a hand held

And society is not what she could be, but imagine if she was.

By Joel McKerrow, 2015.

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One Comment on “Poem: ‘Reclaim Australia’ by Joel McKerrow

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