Was there ever – will there be?  

Written 2002

Was there once a time when,
we knew and understood
what was right and what was wrong,
what was true and good?
When the answers were simple
and everyone played fair,
and politics was decent,
here, and everywhere?
When the rich and powerful
worried about the poor,
and none would turn a stranger
away from their kitchen door;
when people found injustice
they confronted it what’s more?
Where the unemployed were found work
and helped to pull their weight,
and workers didn’t find themselves
locked outside the factory gate?
When we shared the wealth of Australia
between the White and Black
and we didn’t lock up refugees
in this country’s great outback?

The answer to these questions
is a deep resounding no.
Is this the way it has to be
again the answer’s no!! 

Will there ever be a time when
we’ll know and understand
that peace, justice and solidarity
come alive throughout this land?
When we’ll say hello to strangers
who pass us in the street,
and we’ll ensure that everyone
has enough and more to eat?
A time when asylum seekers
will be welcomed one and all
and together we will struggle
to answer freedom’s call?

John Tomlinson & Penny Harrington