Nineties Suite

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Loula S. Rodopoulos

BURLY GRIZZLED MAN

Burly grizzled man with foreign designation seeks compensation
Suffered work place accident troubling hurt recalls healthy youth in village of birth
Life unfolds within the claws of legal and medical dispute his character in disrepute
Three members sit aloof listen peruse submissions scribble question direct interrupt deliberate
Why can’t they anglicise their names? A senior member berates
Time to do something for Australians too! Another skeptic asserts
If I were king for a day I’d grant to all!
The cynical majority considers him a shirker unlike the dissenter who affirms the injured worker

Administrative Review

PEWS AND AISLES OVERFLOW

Pews aisles overflow greying congregation wait guests who covet
the ethnic vote escorted to their seats near the altar
sanctuary gates open bishops and priests emerge bedecked in heavy vestments
kalimafki1 on their heads stole draped around their necks and shoulders
decorated with gold pectoral cross
confused guests imitate greying congregation stand
liturgy commences clergy chant wave livani2 over soporific flock enter school yard in procession a flapping banner proclaims God is great! church and state mingle restless adolescents anxious for ceremony to end watch election aspirants pawn promises to striving parents classroom keys diplomas awarded to highest bidders offspring seeking to escape straddle dual identity under disco lights of Chapel Street

The Church of Saints Anargiri
Oakleigh, Melbourne

STRATEGY

In silence we sit and listen
to political spiels that mime our past
dispense with gender and ethnic shackles they proclaim
party preferences seek but we our counsel keep
for theatrical rehearsal not our game

Access and Equity

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1. Kalimafki is the hat and attached black veil of the Orthodox priesthood. It is mainly worn by Αρχιμανδρήτες (head priests)
2. Livani is the scent or incense emitted by burning it on small pieces of hot coal in the gold plated censer with bells.

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