If we’re going to build a new world from the ashes of the old
the first thing we have to do is ignore what we’ve been told.
The workers and the workless, the young and very old
will celebrate their union and join the common fold.
We will need to talk to people and to give away our gold
and refuse to join a system where lives are bought and sold.
For those who find they’re hopelessly tied to yesterday
we’ll show the path to victory, that there is another way.
From the city and the country, from women and from men
joined together in the struggle, together we will win.
We’ll pool our strength and disability building mutuality
and bound in our unity we’ll find creative solidarity.
The included and excluded, those marginalised from birth
will come to share resources, to find their place on earth.
Each must give their utmost, as much as they can spare
so we can build a commonwealth for everyone to share.
When people come together, when we march hand in hand
Black and white together will make others understand.
When people join together, rich and poor throughout this land
we’ll show whoever’s watching – we are beyond command.
I concluded a Keynote Paper entitled Young people and old struggles given at the bi-annual Queensland State Youth Affairs Conference, Mackay April 2003 with this poem.
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson