BRABAZON'S CONCERN FOR WORKING PEOPLE
In the opening poem to Proletarians-Transition entitled "Present
Australians" Brabazon uses such a voice "I am a pamphleteer of God. / I
am a son of my Guru. / And I bring messages to an old land." and then
goes on to deliver his message of God's oneness: "I proclaim the message
which my Guru taught me, / that none exist save God, / that your material
dreams are nothing but emptiness."
The first thing that strikes the reader in all of these poems is
Brabazon's concern for working people in everyday occupations. This
is seen in the titles, for instance: "Song of the Accountant," "Chorus for
Cooks and Waitresses," "Song for Lab. Assistants," "Song for Call Girls,
Professional and Amateur."
In the "Song of the Recluse," which suggests an occupation free from
social responsibility, Brabazon presents the opposite view in which
the recluse is seen as inextricably connected with each person in
society. This poem more than any other in the collection reveals
Brabazon's new found role as a poet committed to people:
"I am welded inescapably to every living man and woman.
Not for a moment can I escape my obligations.
I work ceaselessly
breaking down the barriers
which exist between myself and me;
between every man and woman and their fulfilment.
If I cease for a moment
In my meditation and purification
I am loafing on my job,
on my part of the construction of the New Humanity.
You have misjudged me grossly:
You think I am an escapist from life.
I tell you
I have escaped into life, which I share
unconditionally with, and in
If it is a work which you do not understand,
be frank and admit it
and do not condemn.
You hold it no shame
I have retreated into consciousness;
I labour to make it permanent and complete.
For that is our great work
The great task which lies before us:
The replacing of unconsciousness
The replacing of ignorance
The releasing of energy
The turning of stones into BREAD."
FRANCIS BRABAZON, pp. 113-115
2002 © Ross Keating