Melanoma Country

Heard a poem this morning on the radio – great.

Melanoma Country, by Jonathan Happold

What is this sunburnt country
Of smoke and threatening flames
Of blackened mountain ranges
Of dust and absent rains?

This land that once was beautiful
That nourished heart and head
Now keeps us up at night with thoughts
Of hopelessness and dread.

And as we face this danger
Our heads are in the sand
We’re doing bugger all to help
This dehydrated land.

We squabble and we dally
We ignore the facts and truth
Our PM says “Don’t panic”
While our firies mutter “Strewth!”.

We’ve an ad-man, prayer-man, coal-man
And his brethren at the wheel
With an attitude of “She’ll be right,
Let’s keep an even keel.”

“Why risk it for a biscuit
– We’re too small to help, besides –
Let others do the lifting
To curb the rising tides.”

But it’s more than absent leadership
And policy ‘slip, slop, slap’
It’s the sunstruck zombie voters
Who don’t seem to give a crap.

Is that who we’ve become
A land of mindless three-word slogans
Of quiet, shameless selfishness
Of comfy cashed-up bogans?

That’s not Anzac, that’s not Mabo
Why not punch above our weight
And lead by good example
Before it’s way too late?

‘Cos thoughts and prayers won’t cut it
Nor will ignorance and blame
We need to act with purpose – now
Or hang our heads in shame.

For when our children’s children
Turn and look us in the eye
And ask us what we did to help
The water, land and sky

Our answer will be feeble
It will simply sound insane
They’ll wonder if we had a
Melanoma on the brain.

But more than that, they’ll question
Why we didn’t make a start
They’ll sense the rot went deeper –
Melanoma of the heart.

A poem, Melanoma Country, by Dr Jonathan Happold, a veterinary epidemiologist in Canberra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.