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The Watchman

There is the Watchman         He props on his arms
He’s crouched like a dog on the roof of the palace
He waits for warships that bring home the dead
and fears that the climate is changing in Argos

"I try to pick out some tunes" he sings
with his eyes on the wild black sea
“Mmm     I hum a bit     That’s a good cure for sleep
But then the tears begin

“I cry for the hard times past
I cry more for what’s to come
I have nothing to do but sing against sleep
And wait for our Fate to sail home"

There he is on the long watch of night
mourning the failure of kindness and grace
crying his helpless song of lament
for his family and his country

We Canberra women know this grief
Our dreams are like the nightmare of Argos
Clashing laws howl in the wind
Riverbed dust instead of sweet waters

We change lightbulbs and showerheads to turn back the weather
We reduce reuse recycle our things
But our children’s nightmares    Who will stop them?
And my sterile anguish     Who will stop that?

Clever folk say this trouble will last
till we learn the songs for harmony
of the mortal law of people and cities
and the immortal law of Earth and Sky

There’s not enough power in kindly hands
Not enough care for mothers and Earth  ––
The climate is changing. O Earth –– Our children!
Where can we plant the seed of our love?

Ooh the tragedy is on
There are signs in the soil and the streets
And what can we do but wait in the dark
and watch while the weather roars in

And the awesome spirits of earth arise
as the tyrant’s warships come home
Now there’s nothing to do but relearn the laws
and suffer our way into truth



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