March 24th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Media ensure a comfy rise for Bill Shorten

CANBERRA OBSERVED Can Liberals' broad church survive schism?

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Middle-East time bomb: youth unemployment

ENVIRONMENT Europe's freeze further proof of global warming!

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cashless debit card records positive results

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Liberals' Tasmanian victory: the implications

OPINION The height of absurdity: education as business

ECONOMICS AND CHINA Eyes averted from the dragon in the marketplace

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM The state attacking the Church: lessons from history

FAMILY POLITICS A Trojan horse for monitoring children

NORTH AMERICA The cultural and political mosaic that is Canada

CINEMA Mary Magdalene on film: a new interpretation

MUSIC Audio-visual: or, how to watch your music

CINEMA The Adventures of Tintin: A light amid the bleakness

BOOK REVIEW Taking arms against the gender fluid fad

BOOK REVIEW Narrative history from a great writer

LETTERS

POETRY

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Sexual exploitation at Oxfam symptom of culture of death

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POETRY




News Weekly, March 24, 2018

The Beholder

Your love touched horizons
  Shading into skies:
These late Sunday pastels
  From your patient eyes

Still keep you, grandmother,
  Living in my sight;
Your landscapes hold Heaven
  Within their light’s light.

For, “O, Gentle Presence . . . ”
  Your touch had them sing –
These winter-green pastures
  Resting until spring:

Of you, my grandmother,
  Of your faith-filled days;
Your heart shared its graces,
  Your gaze gave God’s gaze.

 

 

Stasis 

Sun and tide are low,
  Weeds on sand lie bare,
Sea-gulls round me stir,
  Stand when I stand and stare.

The sun is round and dull,
  Rims clumps of cloud in red,
Saturn pricks the blue,
  A still point overhead.

I’ve learned from points of light
  And from the changing moon,
From journeys of the sun;
  But, this afternoon,

I mark a tide at ebb,
  I only know I wait.
The air’s grown dark, is chill:
  It is late.

Andrew Huntley

 

 

Ship shop. London

Between the turf accountant and the adult books,
With a dubious hamburger parlour close beside,
A row of stucco dwellings opposite
And a dim little newsagency, there here abide

Two men whose shop sells model ships:
Clipper-ships in bottles, cogs, colliers, hoys,
light-ships, corvettes, fire-floats and fishing-smacks
from a distance some appear like plastic toys.

But closer, you can see each rivet,
Each tree-nail, every deck-seam, each piece of gilt
And ginger-breading on a galleon, each wire
In a cruiser’s funnel-cowl has, minutely, been rebuilt.

Ships here in light-bulbs, tiny oars and anchors
To rest on a finger-nail, graded rounds
Of buck-shot cannonballs, and, huge in a glass case
A dreadnought sells for thirty thousand pounds

And behind the front counter, for those who ask,
Are Aladdin’s caves of models, or monuments to fools:
“We’ve somebody’s life’s work here!” Box upon box,
The one-twelve-hundredth scale, made with jeweller’s
       tools.

Fools? But I do not think so. Or if this be folly
It is the closest to Holy Folly that this mean street
Can publicly display. Whatever impelled
Some house agent’s clerk to build the British Fleet

In one-twelve-hundredth scale, or a turf accountant
To bottle a clipper-ship, was something beyond
       themselves.
Small icons of wonder, yearning or desire
For peril and romance are ranged along these shelves.

Acts of small sub-creation, strangely held
In this mean street, under a drizzling rain.
Acts of a durable and surprising love,
Behind this grime-soured windowpane.

 

 

Norfolk Broads

Here, at least, the greener past is near
Enough to be felt. Swans sail up dykes between
Thick meadows. Yachts have hand-made gear,
And at night the clearest thing over the green
Is a white mist in which islands of cattle float
Between windmill and ruined abbey. In the sedge
Things scuttle, and there are bats. Farmers indeed
Have time to be talkative. In the marshes a decaying
       boat
Marks the camp of marshman or eelman at the edge
Of the present world. Far up tunnels of reed
Birds and fish splash. The launches will be here soon,
Driven by fatter people and breaking down the banks.
But still beside the river this April afternoon
Five old thatchers cut rushes where they stand in ranks.

 

 

Epitaph for a liberal 

This elderly Grandee
After long journeyings
Died in his madness at last
On a blackened hill,

Under the claws of a dragon
Which, his head being turned
By tales of an heroic past
He mistook for a windmill.

Hal G.P. Colebatch




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm