REQUIEM - ALMOST A NATION : 10 October 2004


This is a hard day, feeling in this hard time.

This not-quite country founded first in fear

had for all its life retained that infecting undercurrent;

and now again we make decisions based on fear,

augmented with an added spice of greed.


After more than a hundred years we accept

As flawed principles, their values;

This leadership we choose - and so deserve:

it listens to and reflects back to us a fear of change,

of going forward, of seeing a wider view

of this world, and the part we might have played in it

with grace and confidence.


Perhaps the world's climate change, its dire impact

are unavoidable – but now we'll cease to strive at remedies,

for have not our people decided to retreat

and celebrate this abdication.

And is not this the best country in the world ?


This is a hard day, living on in this hard time:

With the thought of those sons and daughters

we must expect now to lose in war's sacrifice,

in future conflicts which we cannot choose - token of our fealty

to mindless but powerful Great Friends, in their troubled world.


Perhaps our leaders can just rationalise such future human loss and tragedy

- 'collateral damage' as our Great Friends name it;

It's smaller than our traffic toll, if that will bring

some comfort and relaxation to our endorsed leaders.

And is not this the best country in the world ?


This is a hard day, being in this hard time.

It seems a sad prospect to lose Australia's identity

this part-formed child of nationhood, which even if incomplete, will now abort;

How sad the bitter loss of sovereignty, to form our own decisions;

how sad to persist abandonment of an independence which once

we sought, and dared to hoped for its enrichment.


Even the symbols of our self, an anthem – is that all we can get ?

Does the idea of a distinct flag,

the idea of a national head we can select,

and show to the world and to ourselves this role

as part of our identity; are we unready for these ideas ?

So these important symbols must

for future years persist – but only as hopes.

But is not this the best country in the world ?


Geoff Bolton

[... in response to result of Federal election ]