This poem, the first I wrote since my teens, boiled out of me from the outrage and sadness I felt for Mulrunji's family and the people of Palm Island after an inquest and trial into his death in custody returned what were clearly suss verdicts that failed to honestly deliver justice or truth, and further tainted the Queensland Police Force and so-called justice system with dishonour and racism:

POETIC INJUSTICE (Poem for Palm Island)

Now Aboriginal mothers warn their sons:

You be careful, use your head

Don’t talk back to The Bullyman or you’ll wind up dead

On the floor of a police cell like that one up north.

And don’t get drunk and walk around town or they might lock you up

Because sometimes bad things happen to blackfellas at night

When no-one is watching for a few seconds or more

Then the full weight of the law could be brought to bear

On your spine or vital organs, accidently of course,

But by then it’ll be too late for talk about a treaty

Or indigenous rights to save you (from their hate)

When you’re yelling yourself hoarse calling for help and no-one comes

As you’re bleeding to death on that cold cell floor,

All the white man’s justice will do for you then, of course

Is get his good ol’ mates to investigate

And hold a kangaroo court where an all-white jury

Will be guaranteed to let The Bullyman go free,

Even though he’ll never get rid of the Shame

And the stain of your name, and your blood

On his neat pressed uniform and his clean service record

Like the Police Union, with their blue armbands and their public stance

For their unrighteous cause, for their self-sanctioned war

He and his mates who investigate, they think they’re above the law

But way down deep, where the sun don’t shine,

Even in the Sunshine State, all they feel is fear and hate, not remorse

Because they’re The Heat on The Street so they have to act tough

And, of course, they’ve had more than enough of all those blacks

With the cheek to get drunk before lunch and swear on the street

And throw a back-handed punch at a big boss Bullyman

For locking them up over nothing a whitefella would get done for:

Wandering home alone, singing, shouting, merry or stoned,

After having fun fishing or crabbing on that tropical island in the sun

Where troublesome blacks have long been sent

To get them off the streets of the Far North and the Top End.

Doomadgee, your name will live large in history

And your unjust death will always be much more than just

Another everyday misportrayed martyr to the cause:




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