Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Timor Demo under Government Windows: 1975-1999

Academic journal article Social Alternatives

Timor Demo under Government Windows: 1975-1999

Article excerpt

I was a junior clerk, young enough to have escaped

the barrel roll of Gorton's conscription marbles,

when word went around the 15th floor

a pod of bleeding hearts with jungle drums

was chucking on a demo outside, demanding

we save East Timor from Suharto's goons.

Myself and a few other juniors, giggling and jostling,

pressed our noses against the government glass

and peered down at the Lego drummers and their handful

of placards that were flapping and flailing, like dying sails

in the wind tunnels of Chiffley Square, when

I smelled him behind my back.

Old Pearson, the office zombie,

pulling the pin on his Mills bomb past.

...Signals ...semi-fluent in Japanese ....

He mumbled on in baritone recall of comrades

beheaded or trucked away, long lost moss-man

faces in bamboo; his transmitter fading...

somewhere south of Dare not a drink all day

a criado crawled ha half a mile at least

didn't know me from Adam canvas bag on his

Bony back to pass across stale water. …

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