The last stand

By Farah Beaini
Poem by Farah Beaini on Right Now

for Sisto and others unknown

Yesterday, our ordinary was brave.

Before guns and sirens
Before the cloaking of
grey pavement with
blooming scents

Our ordinary was there, and boy was it brave!

Our shopping trolleys, our chairs,
our arms, our chests. We scavenged
like ravens – whatever it took – to
reclaim streets still learning to
bear scars of ugly synonyms

And I too, owe bravery to the ordinary

to once soaring ravens
now lying perfectly still

to families facing
the first of many
Hanukahs and Diwalis
Christmases and Eids
stained by before and after
by never the same again

Bourke Street or Myanmar
Nauru or Sandy Hook

everywhere is a frontline
and so everyone must stand

for the trolley and the chairs
for the arms and the chests

and whatever it takes
for our stilled ravens
to soar again.


Review – Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia

By Georgia Cerni

Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.