Category Archives: poem


Queensland Remembers Chile

Victor Jara was a Chilean songwriter, poet, teacher, theatre director and political activist. He was a central part of the Nueva Cancion movement, which regenerated Andean folk music in a new form of protest song in the sixties. This was … Continue reading


The Last Song of Victor Jara – Estadio Chile September 1973

Victor’s wife joan jara reports that people in the stadium learnt by heart the words of the last song of Victor and when they were released they wrote it down and smuggled the words out of the country and someone … Continue reading


Black, Red and White Wars

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Most people in the U.S.A. have heard of Crazy Horse that Indian folk hero who demolished Custer’s force ‘Sitting Bull’, the Nez Perce ‘Joseph’ ‘Cochise’ ‘Geronimo’ Indigenous Americans whose deeds of long ago brought a blaze of glory to the … Continue reading


Idle No More, Invasion Day – the mixtape

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The 17 Group – Alienation

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The June meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 6th of June at 7 pm in unit 6 at number 20 Drury St, West End and will be addressed by the writer Lesley Synge, who will … Continue reading


May the 1st Club

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Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was a need for political culture. In West End appeared the the first coffee club in Brisbane – May the 1st Club which was a regular event organised by activists from the … Continue reading


Lies & Silence – bias in Australian media

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On this sad morning there is no justice in the dawn So many years of dying where does hope get born Not over the broken and bloodied bodies of sleeping children Or the fork tongued lies of the criminals and … Continue reading


The Unaccompanied Minor

She reminded me of my daughter with her dark intelligent eyes And her brown hair bunching in lazy curls about her shoulders. She looked up at me as I hoisted the boat clear of the sea and smiled with even … Continue reading


When will Spring rain?

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This is how I see it Black throated pied butcher bird picking up sticks sees bicyclist Pied strikes like a drone in Yemen 2 metre tall cyclist Takes refuge under Poinciana Juveniles join in Kamakase air raids triangular strafing with … Continue reading


Living in the Colonies — What’s Left?

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PShift 4zzz  fm 102.1 fridays at noon Living in the Colonies, What’s Left? Paradigm Shift Part I 12 Sept 2012 “Whose land is this land is it for you and me who knows, who knows this land better than you … Continue reading


1982 Commonwealth Games Land Rights Protests

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1982 Commonwealth Games Land Rights Protests Continue reading


”With god on our side…”

One on my favourite Dylan songs is the bitterly ironic anti-war song  ‘With god on our side‘. The lyrics are below. Oh my name it is nothin’ My age it means less The country I come from Is called the … Continue reading


The Fire on the Sand

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Wild waterspouts put tendrils down to naked sea. White water sucking bait-fish into the heavens Migloo, puffing whale, meanders northward As Minjerriba slumbers under a soft molten sky Island serpent hidden in sand takes refuge from mining Pumps, centrifuges and … Continue reading

Leftside: wavin’ on the breeze

wavin' on the breeze - mua here to stay may day 1998

'wavin' on the breeze' by jim sharp - mua here to stay!: May Day 1998

Book Launch of jim sharp’s book of poems, ‘leftside’

Saturday 31st Jul at 3:00- 5:00pm
TLC Building 16 Peel St., South Brisbane.

talks by Humphrey McQueen and Craig Buckley (meatworkers union) music by Jumping Fences and poetry reading Ross Clark
See you then!

Whetting his expressiveness on the everyday, as in “the waitress”, Jim recognises a significance in what appears to be little more than alienated labour. His own translation from illiteracy into art speaks to his trust that all of life might be transformed through the self-emancipation of his class.’ – Humphrey McQueen
Read more….
He’s made a pen of his boning knife and set about eviscerating cant and claptrap. All that accumulated experience, learning, reflecting, sizing up is the muscle behind that blade filleting the body politic, hauling its carcass up on his butcher’s hook; ‘upside down power! wi trickle down-sizin’/and a billion starving people”.’ – Ray Hearne
Read more…

Jim Sharp …:
Thru poetry, I have tried to express my thoughts on me roots in rotherham, my journey to australia, my involvement in the meat industry & the workers’ struggle, the peace, disarmament, indigenous rights, and women’s movement, and the general struggle for socialism.  They also help me to express my feelings and experiences about life and people – friends, lovers, comrades, & family.
Read more.

Purchase this book online:
published by
Ginninderra Press
PO Box 3461
Port Adelaide 5015

Some photos:


Three Poems from Leftside

principles & particulars
there’s alus two sides to every question
and recognisin’ the principles be easy
whilst understandin’ particular particulars
and takin’ the appropriate steps
calls for much collective wisdom.


come! … uncle jim
come here … come here!
and i’ll show you how i dance.

and  wildly she spins
in her girlish excitement
one uninhibited life force
of dance & music within her soul.

handheld tools
…….[man makes the tool & the tool makes the man?]
i remember yesteryear when our hands were tools
where as a bairn earning pocket monies i’d be seen
striding across a farmers spring-prepared field
a seed basket slung over me shoulders
and ever mindful of the strength of the breeze
whilst sowing me hands full of new life
which fell in-waiting for a shower of rain
i remember yesterday’s meatworkers handheld steel tools
and the mechanical chain a monster timed to the second
and the boners’ 48-inches of elbow room work space
where only a well honed knife & our own learnt proficiency
eased away those daily aches & pains, but not
the mind numbing “shit on the liver” complaint!

nevertheless we all aspired to be a gun-boner’sboner
with the ability to grind remake & hone a fine knife’s edge &
steel the steel like a maestro violinist making his stradivarius sing
coz only then can a gun boner make every cut a winner
as well as winning the generous smiles of everyday boners

nowadays in me fag end days my machine driven tool
be my handheld oxford electronic dictionary & thesaurus
on which me fingers dance ever so lightly across the keys
while calling upon what little rudiments one got from schooling
i’m learning to read real deadly stuff & write poetry & all that
‘tis fun not wage labour living to work making words work
whilst rising as a social being studying kinder late
marx’s labour theory of value & all that!

coz after fifty years of wage slavery earning nought but
enuff bread for me & the family
it was our union’s daily democratic tradition which larded
my autodidactic motor mouth with words for occasions
and yet! it’ll take more than my class instincts
for the social continuum to mature
and shud one spruik about that then without class unity
the sack & blacklisting wud be your lot for sure

meanwhile from conception to consumption
farmers sow & reap the matured seeds
truckies truck to feed-lots & then to the abattoirs
where slaughtermen process the cattle &
boners bone & slicers cut the beef into piece meats
followed by the packers doing quality control
packing individual pieces into cryovac bags
thereafter supermarket chains sell to the multitudes
nature & the social means of production

What is”Palestinian Land Day”? — Poet Darwish explains

Ray Bergmann wrote this in response to a question about a Mahmoud Darwish poem and Palestinian Land Day:

Mahmoud Darwish wrote “Qasidat al-Ard.” (Poem of the Land) in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day on 30 March. On the first Land Day in 1976, as you say (see question by Cynthia below), 6 Palestinians were killed, most of them males. Some confusion has arisen over this because of Darwish’s poem:

“And in the month of March come the silken shadows (and without shadows the invaders). The birds come mysterious as the confessions of girls.  Five girls conceal a wheatfield under their braids. They read the first words of a song about the vines of Hebron. They write five letters: Long may my country live. Five girls at the door of a primary school break like mirrors…”


1. Five wars over “Long may my country live” since the Land War of 1976 are all about control of land by indigenous or invaders!

2. Broken control, lost land, broken lives, lost lives! (My comment on part of the poem “Five girls at the door of a primary school break like mirrors”)

The poem is very famous and many people mistakenly think that five girls/letters/wars were killed on 30 March 1976 / Thirty years ago.

The first Land Day took place on 30.3.1976, in protest against the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate 20,000 acres in the Sakhneen area for “Galilee Judaization” purposes.

The leaders of the Rakakh political party, together with the heads of the Arab municipalities in the Galilee region, called for a day of general strike and protest demonstrations on the 30th of March [1976].

The demonstrations took place mainly in the villages of Sakhneen, Arrabi and Deir-Hanna.

IDF forces confronted the demonstration participants, resulting in six dead demonstrators and many wounded.

The six people killed were: Khir Mohamed Yasin from Arabe, Raja Khasin Abu-Ria, Khader Abed Khlaila and Khadija Shuhana from Sakhneen, Mohamed Yusef Taha from Kana and Rafet Zuheiri from Nur-Shames, who was shot in Taibe.

Some commentators write that three of the dead were women.

On this recent Land Day 30 March 2010, 15-year-old Mohammed al-Faramawi was killed east of Rafah in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces who fired on Palestinians marking Land Day.

During the second intifada in 2001,  four Palestinians were killed in Nablus and one Palestinian was shot dead in Ramallah,

In the year 2000 commemoration, a 72-year old woman from Sakhnin was reported to have died in the hospital after injuries sustained from tear gas inhalation.

1, “Palestinian Land Day” not [Land Day] ;

2. The five girls are metaphorically “five wars” over “thirty years” (The mistake is thinking that Darwish is speaking of five deaths thirty years AGO);

3. The five deaths I cited during the second intifada in 2001 were those killed in Land Day demonstrations. (Of course there were many more deaths during the whole of the second intifada).


Together with the images taken from the rally are two poems that were recited at the rally. To hear an audio of the rally click below and be patient. Sam-Watson’s- speech-on-human-rights — where Sam  points out that little has been … Continue reading

marx & t.i.n.a.

marx & t.i.n.a.

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