A Man for Every Season
for Pete Seeger
Ring out, ring out, the bells of Rhymney,
Saint Pete passed this way, un hombre sincero complete.
Though fascists could die by the axe of Woody,
‘Forgive the fools’, sang the banjo of Pete.
There was a time to do time, un-American time,
a time to be banned, to sing peace,
a time to see difference, fear overcome,
a time to be stoned by fascists of fear,
a time to take hammer to justice with words.
For every season, he plucked
flowering college kids, for the frontline of peace,
railing, rallied the oppressed,
weaved songs for the workers
and suited pollies in boxes made of ticky tacky.
And the politicians in the capital
all line up in their houses two,
in their suits made out of licky lackey
and they all look just the same.
There’s a blue one and a green one
and a red one and a yellow one
and they’re all made out of whicky whacky
and they all sound just the same.
There is a time for greed, a time for sharing,
a time for gadgetry, a time for simplicity,
a time for the eagle, a time for the sparrow,
a time for the arrow, a time for the dove,
I swear it’s time for love.
‘Is there hope for the future?’ say the Brown bells of Methil,
and a brash axeman in a dying coal town
takes the lead guitar on the road.
From the secret heart,
silken threads of red and mauve
swept up by the wind
into exquisite images,
forming and re-forming as the wind moves,
drifting across the land
like beacons of desire
spun from hope.
The fleeting shapes
in the clear sky
draw the spirit onwards
to the threshold
Reg Naulty, Canberra Regional Meeting
The red-flashing wren
dances before me
a few marvellous minutes.
Experts interrogate me:
Was it black with scarlet back
or the crimson variety?
Do you know the wren responds
to certain calls which we could teach you?
What I know is this:
My bird lives
among the rocks, roots, and growth
at my ground of being,
following its own rhythm.
I want to stand
with a steady heart
when it comes blazing out.
Sue Wilson, Queensland Regional Meeting