Forty-one children

Chris Christopher Kennedy is a Mandarin scholar, poet, journalist and author who has been self-publishing and writing for many years. He lives in Perth, Western Australia, and spends most of his time figuring out how to write a sonnet in Chinese.

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Forty-one children


Forty-one Aboriginal children
were taken into custody
near the opal mines
of Lightning Ridge.


It was news on a bad day; 
you could see the ugly homes situated
in the desert scrub, the cries, the tears,
while not far away miners 
amassed fortunes in opals.


Some to be stolen by mercenaries
with the guns, from which power comes.
Did they poison the dogs 
like mercenaries do? 


Did they say sorry, but you again 
have been betrayed, 
by one of your own, with a gun?
Did they say ‘Here, beautiful young one,
take this gift of an opal, to sell in the 
underground vaults, where it will be held and never
seen, stored next to many a
polished dream?’


God’s Eye




A criminal I went 
from state to state.
Each border I crossed as though
pursuit was behind. 


From lover to lover –
I fled? Was dumped? 
Till finally I was caught –
compromised in the act of love.
No more the criminal
seeking any shelter.


Until my past caught up with me,
chasing me back into
deserts and wastelands.


Living in deserts 
is living in God’s eye –
all is forgiven in a blink.
For there is nothing to concern you.
As in the desert,
there is nothing there. 

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