Death Penalty (filing cabinet)

I posted the link to this poem a few weeks back, where it was published in Poetry24. I am reposting it here because my blog is my electronic filing cabinet – haha – and it makes it easy for me to find things.

I don’t know about you but I am in serious need of a secretary (and butler – if you follow me on twitter you will already know of my desire for a butler – and apparently I am not alone in this heartfelt wish ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). This is what happens when you watch such shows as The Savoy where the butler is making a comeback.

So here ’tis, for the filing cabinet:

Death Penalty

Relief and tears on hearing
that young Scott Rush will live
to face life in an Indonesian prison,
not death by firing squad.

To shoot in cold blood,
thatโ€™s killing,
Truman Capote style:

Dick Hickock and Perry Smith
slaughtered a family of four
innocence โ€“ gunned and sliced
remorseless, senseless!

The young Rush boy carried drugs,
part of the Bali nine,
not a ringleader, a minor mule
with brains to match.

He didnโ€™t kill anyone,
drug users make their choice,
just stupid bravado, bad company
and the broken hearted

parents living his nightmare.

8 thoughts on “Death Penalty (filing cabinet)

  1. I commented on 24, but add that I have no sympathy for drug sellers at any level except and it is a big except that we are still treating addicts as criminals instead of sick people. That keeps the ‘industry’ in the ambit of criminals who sell the idea a mule can make easy money with minimal risk trapping the ignorant. Now, if you ever see young Australians overseas, you soon realise they feel as protected by police and the general population, becoming legless in Bali etc as they do at home where being caught with drugs here will more than likely attract a good behaviour bond but like Chapelle and Scott and others, find they are suddenly and inexplicably in extreme danger, ruining their lives and breaking parents’ hearts.

    • Thanks Stafford (can’t see your comment on 24) – I agree – I don’t have much sympathy for drug traffickers, but can see how young people get caught up in the whole ‘drama’ and excitement of the drug dealing scene without realising the consequences of importing to another country with different laws than our. When I worked in the drug and alcohol field I was involved in putting together the drug diversion policies in Queensland where people caught with drugs are diverted into treatment (depending on the offence of course) and that treats drug addiction as a condition that is better treated than punished (esp. as drugs are so widely available inside prisons). It is a start.

  2. So great to see poets tackling contemporary politics. Who says we’re all dreamy-eyed navel-gazers? Oh, wait, just about everybody does ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I still love this very powerful poem. I am very interested in the work you did re. diversion into treatment. I think it’s the only way to address this problem which is incredibly pervasive in our society. I have known some addicts personally (some of whom have also been dealers) and know they would have benefited from such a program. It would also have stopped them from selling my TV and the antique clock I got from my grandmother. Such is life.

    • Sorry about your tv and antique clock Selma ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It is very sad when the people you love become addicts and do stuff they never would do otherwise). It was a National diversion program (I was responsible for the development of Queensland’s implementation) and it is well and truly in place now. It is mainly for 1st time offenders – on arrest they get diverted into some forms of treatment – it has probably changed a lot since I left (I got pregnant just as it was getting off the ground – and never went back).

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