CJ Murray: ‘The Housing Crisis’ and ‘The Best Teacher is a Good Book’

The Housing Crisis

Weed-filled unmanicured gardens
Colourbond roofs in a row
This progress is hardly the stuff of
The old-world pioneer long ago.

No track blazing here, just a dozer
That’s ridding the land of the trees
No thought for the life that is coming
They clear indiscriminately.

The new road is going in quickly
The land sizes shrink by the day
No acreage here for the family
No backyards where small ones can play.

But they’ve built a park right in the middle
Compensating the loss of the land
And to make sure there’s never a scraped knee
They’ve covered the whole thing in sand.

Now they sift the sand weekly for needles
And paint over the young people’s art
Little children who might learn from danger
Are so helicoptered they can’t.

But deep green and blue, the horizon
Shows a ridge that is covered in mist
The hope of the bush in the distance
A life that is nothing like this.

CJ Murray


The Best Teacher is a Good Book

I had them read Bruce Dawe, he made them cry
The Wholly Innocent, Bring Out Your Christs and others
No teaching notes, I saw no need to try
Back home I wondered what they’d tell their mothers.

CJ Murray

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