Poetry

April 25, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Henry Be photo

 

By

Rob McKinnon

 

 

 

Hate and the Rivers of Blood

 

 

Racism is something that isn’t growing wild out there in the fields – it’s actually tendered in a flowerbox sitting on the windowsills of flats and houses‘ – Senator Pat Dobson, 2016

 

 

I

 

Hate was born not just in

the streets of Grafton

but in streets everywhere.

 

Hate was fed by politicians from many sides

who sought to demonise people

seeking nothing more than a safe future.

 

Hate was further nourished by politicians

telling lies about national and border security

raising undue fears and building intolerance.

 

Hate found a home in main stream media

who chipped away biased story by biased story

seeking to dehumanise those with another religion and beliefs.

 

Hate was encouraged by radio shock jocks

trying to embolden the growing resentment

for the sake of increasing rating points.

 

Hate was strengthened by social media

where it found kinship in groups

growing in fanaticism for likes and shares.

 

A sliver of Hate moved to New Zealand

murdered 50 people and injured 50 more

who were praying peacefully in mosques.

 

The rivers of blood that flowed out of the mosques

must not now stop until it stains the hands

of all those that created Hate.

 

 

II

 

Hate has siblings all over the world,

they sit on opposite sides of the table

but gorge at the same feast

of intolerance, ignorance and fear.

 

The same siblings that flew planes into buildings in New York

also sprayed bullets in mosques in Christchurch.

 

 

 

 

 

The Murderer Pastoralist, His Philanthropist Wife and the Avenue Range Station Massacre

 

 

A large grey grave marker in the West Terrace Cemetery,

the final resting place of many prominent South Australians,

signifies the burial place of James Brown.

Originally from East Fife in Scotland

he became a pastoralist in the colony’s lower south-east.

Next to him lies his wife Jessie Brown

who in his honour, after his death, began

a memorial Trust which opened

the Kalypa Home for consumptives

and Estcourt House for the aged blind and crippled children.

The grave marker proclaims the Trust as, ‘A Great Boon to Suffering Humanity’

and one hundred and twenty five years later

the Trust still exists as a provider of aged care housing.

 

James Brown established the Avenue Range Station

in the Guichen Bay district of South Australia.

In 1848 he and at least one of his employees

sought bloody retribution for the killing of his sheep.

They slaughtered nine Wattatonga people with muskets,

a blind and infirmed old man, three women, two teenage girls and three female children.

To hide their appalling wrongdoing, they burned the bodies.

The employee involved fled and

the white man witness, who reported the massacre, disappeared.

An Aboriginal man witness also vanished and was

probably killed before he could be subpoenaed.

Meaning the case was dropped because of a lack of evidence,

although to the local district magistrate there was

‘little question of the butchery or the butcher’.

 

If Jessie Brown sought to create a myth of her husband

she has been wholly successful.

The large grey grave marker in the West Terrace Cemetery

has no mention of the terrible crimes he committed,

the website of his Trust has no hint of controversy.

 

In life his wealth bought him the influence

to get away with horrendous murders,

in death his wealth has bought him the status of

a benevolent benefactor.

 

 

 

 

 

Rob McKinnon

Rob McKinnon lives in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. He has been previously published in InDaily. 

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