December 2017

A matter of perspective

BY Marie Casamento SGS

Goes forth a cry in the wasteland,
full-throated, determined, forceful
rippling down the aeons of time.
Goes forth a cry in the wasteland
flung from the throat of an itinerant soothsayer.
His name is John.
A cry goes forth from the wasteland,
“Prepare the way of the Lord!”

In the eastern sky,
a brilliant star pinpoints
a lone dromedary.
Its rider scans the expansive perspective

Goes forth a cry from an island,
crusty, strained, rasping, weakened
from the parched throat of an asylum seeker,
enclosed in a jungle fortress.
His name is Boochani.
A cry goes forth from the jungle,
“Prepare a landing for our people!”

In the western sky ablaze with
searing heat of the setting sun
a rider astride a second dromedary,
wipes the tears and sweat from face and brow
in order to adjust perspectives.

Goes forth a cry,
from the deep recesses of the heart
of humanity yearning for acceptance,
yearning for equality.
The journey, long;
the fight hard.
Will Parliament say “yes”?
A cry goes forth from humanity,
“Prepare a space
where we can welcome you home!”

A dromedary appears in the southern-most desert.
Its rider tall beneath the arms of the Southern Cross,
searches for sacred ancestral bones,
exposed, unearthed, uncovered by erosion.

Ancestral, austral bones,
shift, shiver, and stir
as whispering winds,
stir the hearts of the Indigenous
of this ancient land.
A woman stands tall.
Her given name is Mary.
With firm, forthright voice she cries,
“Take our ancestors back to country!”
Their names Mungo Woman and Mungo Man.

To all she proclaims,
“Welcome back to my country!
Welcome back to our country!
Welcome back to the nation’s country!
Welcome back to the country of the universe!”

A shrill intake of breath,
rends the silence of the night,
as a child takes His first breath.
His name Emmanuel.

Marie Casamento

Good Samaritan Sister Marie Casamento has ministered as a teacher, principal and art psychotherapist. Today, as in the past, she endeavours to live the maxim “to attend with a listening heart”. As a resident of Wivenhoe Village, near Camden in NSW, her aim is to be neighbour to all she meets. She enjoys drawing, writing and observing nature.

If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.