Philip Harvey


Why be afraid.

Signs everywhere,

A fallen bird,

the dead bugs

in yellow grass,

nothing remains.

Schoolchildren watch things pass,

no questions.

Before these houses

filled the hills

we knew

no pain

grandparents tending the garden.

Or, before time,

chaos modulated into

civilising climate change,

what had we

to worry.

Our hills

shone with forests,

cycads were fountains.

Or, closer to home

ego arguments

divided continents

along state lines,

empire meant

oppressor and oppressed,

everyone slave

to an illusion.

What of it?

We observe the shifts

on colour screens.

But answers

to our fear

the gouging pain

and grudging antidotes,

after all

what can they be?

We will leave too

and feel no more

like all before,

unremembered remembered.


Philip Harvey is a Melbourne poet. He is published widely here and overseas. He keeps two literary blogs. One collects his word studies in poetry, image, and essay:  http://wordsbyphilipharvey.blogspot.com.au/; the other is a site for his readings of poetry, critical, creative or philosophical: http://clippingandcoining.blogspot.com.au/. Philip is the Poetry Editor of the online journal Eureka Street.

1 reply

  1. Liked this pared back use of poetic justice very much

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