Martin Chambers

Martin Chambers Header

Birthday

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      I hear the call to prayer today.
      It does not silence the kookaburras
      who, in the park outside the walls, cry foul,

      I do not know for sure that you are in there,
      They will not let me visit,
      but each morning, and this morning in particular,
      at morning prayer, I think of you.

      While we played beach cricket
      and chased girls and fast cars
      and sent text about our conquests,
      you were painting placards, protesting,
      asking questions at public meetings
      that later became few, then none,
      then not allowed.

      At your first arrest we scolded you,
      Life is to be enjoyed,
      I accused you of being one of them,
      you know,
      those professional protesters
      who will never come to any good,
      Who waste away their life tied to trees,
      Champions for everything,
      while we were champions to none.
      And now, outside the walls,
      I wish for you, The Disappeared,
      And I wonder, how can we ever get back
      That which was, that is now lost,

      And now, at the call to prayer,
      I realise it was you not us,
      who knew the value of your freedom,
      and now I hear what you were saying,
      in that kookaburra laugh.