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Hello this is Tim Thorne. My poem is called Scratched in Stone.
On the wall of a cell in Richmond Castle:
“The only war worth fighting is the class war.”
1916: A few men brave enough to be called cowards
knew there would be no war
if no-one obeyed. The first step
led to a stone wall. What was scratched on that wall
is there still. Refusal
is the only weapon they can’t take from you.
When a kid in the firing squad
(They always picked the youngest.)
chose not to shoot, he was next.
Now, as then, the only enemy
is whoever says, “You have an enemy.”
Whether they bark it from between
a waxed moustache and a row of gongs
or squeeze it like pus onto a Murdoch column,
the message will dissolve or morph.
New alliances, trade links: the world
flows and rolls like money.
What is scratched into the stone of a cell wall
is what you read, clear and strong,
as the door slams like a rifle volley.
ABOUT TIM THORNE:
Born 1944: author of 12 published collections of poetry. Founder and Director (1985-2001) of Tasmanian Poetry Festival. Managing Editor, Cornford Press 1989-2007. Winner of Stanford Writing Scholarship 1971, Marten Bequest Travelling Fellowship 1978, William Baylebridge Award 2007. Finalist in National Poetry Slam 2009, 2010.
“I was awarded the Eleanor Dark Fellowship to Varuna in 1993 and returned as an alumnus in 2005, 2007, 2009 & 2011.” Tim Thorne
Tense Mood and Voice (Lyre-Bird Writers, Sydney, 1969)
The What of Sane (Prism Books, Sydney, 1971)
New Foundations (Prism Books, Sydney, 1976)
A Nickel In My Mouth (Robin Hill Books, Flowerdale,1979)
The Atlas (Black Lightning Press, Wentworth Falls, 1982)
Red Dirt (Paper Bark Press, Sydney, 1990)
The Sreets Aren’t for Dreamers (Shoestring Press, Nottingham, 1995)
Taking Queen Victoria to Inveresk (QVM&AG, Launceston, 1997)
Head and Shin (Walleah Press, Hobart, 2004)
Best Bitter (PressPress, Berry, 2006)
A Letter to Egon Kisch (Cornford Press, Launceston, 2007)
I Con (Salt Publishing Cambridge UK 2008)
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