Winner of the Department of Trains & Art: Poetry Prize 2050



– The Train –


I drive the train I’m proud of that
A silver streak against the black
Past empty towns, some levelled flat
Levelled flat


The train is long a metal snake
Filled with the water that we take
To keep the coal mines running mate
Running mate


The train runs smoothly clickety-clack
A chain gang waves, We don’t wave back
They’ll work and die on Gina’s track
Gina’s track


Now past the Pentecostal Cross
That marks the many people lost
A civil war’s uncivil cost
Uncivil cost


We broke the masses will as one
Thought not to hear a soldier’s gun
See bayonets flashing in the sun
In the sun


Lost one leg in the Civil war
One less than Stumpy by the door
Least we don’t have to fight no more
Fight no more


The Corporation’s good to me
A pension once I turn eighty
Hard work, Religion, Blessed be
Our Southern Cross fought destiny



– Soldier Pete




Just a dig at Morrison’s big new idea.

Our Arts Department has vanished and is now part of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. The man is clearly insane. Country’s burning and this is what he fiddles with.

I needed a poem that extrapolated how bad things could get under Morrison and Dutton’s right-wing rule while still remaining something a future fascist government would approve of as prize-worthy.

Coal mining using up precious water. A Pentecostal State religion. Fire-scorched flats. Gina Rinehart having a stretch of railway track named after her. Soldiers firing on civilians. A Civil War.

All the ingredients for such a dystopic future are already in place. Our Police who have been militarised, favour black uniforms and sunglasses and are influenced by White Supremacists, have just been issued AR-15s.




Sound a bit unpolished at times? That’s citizen-killing Soldier Pete’s voice. One of Morrison’s Quiet Australians.


Mick Lawless

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