Friday, April 13, 2018

I Wish I'd Written This

The Angels Are Angry

They’re looking down rueing.
They see us, we can’t hide, they know what we’re doing.
They’re boiling, they’re blazing, they’re gazing askance
at the chaos below. In a Shiva style dance,
they’re dancing in anger, dancing in joy
the terrible joy of the power to destroy; 
to lay waste the puny constructions of people; 
to laugh in derision around the church steeple.
No thought or reason. We’re heaping up treasure
that won’t last, we can’t use, and don’t stop to measure
the damage we’re doing to Gaia, our mother;
the air and green places and water we smother
with slag heaps and rubbish and foul noxious gases
and concrete and houses and masses and masses
of more of us, everywhere, proliferating
in careless abandon and blind, driven mating.

Now under this anthropogenic assault,
the elements, seething, rise up in revolt
with earthquakes, volcanoes, and holes oozing mud,
collapsing of coral reefs, wild, raging flood.
We’ve had cyclones and bushfires, intense conflagration.
Soon rising sea levels will inundate nations. 
The message we’re getting is not very cryptic.
It’s obvious, out there. It’s apocalyptic.
Already we’re seeing our just retribution
for all of the laying of waste and pollution.

Robber barons plunder Oz
pillaging the land because
we let them! Politicians in their pay.
Better not get in their way.
(Though write to them anyway!)
And pray to the Angels! Maybe they
can stop the rot and save the day.

Say, “Oh forgive us for we should know what we do.”
– Robbie Wesley

Obviously this is a performance piece. It positively sizzled when I heard it at a recent poetry reading. More of that anon.

Robbie lives in my town. A few years ago, I kept bumping into this woman all over town, at events such as a series of old Australian films shown at the library, or meetings of groups interested in looking after the environment. So we started saying hello, and exchanged names. 

It was no great surprise, then, when I went along to the Wisdom Circle, a discussion group which is a sub-group of the Goddess circle I belong to – and there she was. I burst out laughing and exclaimed, "Oh, of course!" Now we see each other often within that circle. 

I knew she wrote, but only recently discovered the full extent of her poetic talent when we both recited in the "open section" of a local reading (as mentioned above, and in Sherry's latest "Poems of the Week" feature). This was the poem Robbie performed on that night, with great gusto. The audience – fully engaged and interacting appreciatively all the way through – responded with thunderous applause. In fact it was the hit of the night.

I totally agree with the sentiments expressed, and love the verve, passion, and wonderful rhyming – especially "cryptic" and "apocalyptic". She SHOUTED "apocalyptic", throwing her fists in the air.

(Perhaps I should mention, in case anyone hasn't caught on yet, that we Aussies tend to refer to our country as Oz – nothing to do with the land of the Wizard.)

Robbie tells me she has been writing since she was 10, and has had a few pieces – stories and poems – published in various journals, but nowadays tends to need other writers around her so as to inspire her to keep doing it. To that end she has lately enrolled in a writing course at the local Community College, so I'm looking forward to seeing and/or hearing more of her poetry in the future.

(I took this photo of her. Couldn't let all that colour go to waste! The backdrop is a wall of artworks by the mutual friend whose home we were in. Incidentally, it is common where we live for people to take off their shoes when entering someone's home.)

Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors.


  1. This must have been wonderful to hear performed . It sounds like it was enthusiastically received. It would be a hit in Tofino, for sure. Thanks, Rosemary and Robbie, for starting my day off so wonderfully.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, Sherry, and for the photograph so we can put a face to the name - and the poem!

    1. This one was me (smile) and I'm glad you liked it all.

  3. Wow I agree this must have been amazing to hear...thanks for sharing Robbie's poem Rosemary!

  4. I can just picture this one being performed, Rosemary! I read it, keeping the fact that it is a performance piece in mind. What fun that you kept bumping into the poet all over town and then found out that you and she had a lot in common. And, ha, I do hope that the angels can stop the rot and save the day. You know such interesting people, Rosemary, and write such interesting posts. I always look forward to Fridays here at PU! (And yes, I do love that colorful attire too!)

  5. I would have loved to see her perform this poem - so full of truth and passion. Thank you for sharing it here Rosemary. How wonderful that you are part of such artistic and talented communities.

  6. I agree - this would have been fantastic to hear performed aloud. I do so love rhyme done well - and the rhyme, in this stirring piece is brilliant. Thanks for this, Rosemary.

  7. i think it will be amazing to hear it performed.
    Thanks, Rosemary, for sharing this. :)

  8. "Shiva style dance"..this appealed to me so much. This one expression
    seems to be the spirit of the poem. The performance must have been amazing! Thanks for the share Rosemary.


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