a journal for eastern and western forms


Ekphrastic Quatrains ~ Last Days

Karin Anderson, AU


The first fleet of convicts left England and arrived at Botany Bay Sydney between 18th and 20th of January 1788. However, it was found unsuitable and they moved to Pt. Jackson. The last execution in NSW was in 1940 and this is a fictional poem. The Video is from a Andre Rieu Concert in Melbourne, in 2008 and the singer is Mirusia Louwerse. I would suggest you read the poem and then watch the video.

~Karin Anderson

Mirusia Louwerse sings Botany Bay in a 2008 Melbourne Andre Rieu Concert



Last Days


I’m that blow fly you loathe, my tongue licking the wall;
My bulged eyes see lies where my Mary is named “slut”
Who’ll be hung for infanticide - God grant her pardon
From a life more morbid than mine, born in cow’s dung.

I hear terror’s screams as I hunger for dead flesh
Yet, my buzz helps rest the horror days that are hers.
As this prison cell urinates hell’s hole of hate
I’ll wing whirl you back through time to Old London Town.

See, she’s in Lord Muck’s bed, a mere slip of a maid
Who‘s paid a penny pittance for her weekly worn chores;
Watch - his bun’s in her oven and its hot-spice-crossed
Shame - from dickiest ickiest stickiest glue!

Now she’s collapsed in a London’s cobblestone street;
Nothing to eat and six months knocked-up with his child,
Yet, her deathly-grey skirt rolls out two loafs of bread;
Her hope to be fed sheds tears in a gutter-snipe lane.

Look ~ a bobbie from Scotland Yard’s dragging her hair.
“You’re me ideel bit ‘o skirt but you’re jist a tart!”
Caught as a convict she’s shipped to Botany Bay
In solitary confinement her neck collar’s iron.

Her new-born boy bellows blue as guards yank him out;
His stiff upper-lip drops - death mangles Muck junior.
“Infanticide Murderer” the town crier yells high,
Like a tin cup scraping along iron bars her chains screech

her despair. “Name your last meal Mary”, her guard mocks.
My wings flip-flap my flushed-joy-fly face as she spats
“I’ll ‘ave bull’s balls on toast ‘cause me fly wants some too”!
“A baker’s holiday, he snaps “no bull’s balls - you!”

As the rope hangs Mary, she swallows me right down,
We spin through Heaven’s love tunnel with new found truth.
Mary’s Mum who died at childbirth hugs her tight and
In our next life we’ll declare Aussie’s Blowfly Day!


Last Days is a runner up in a competition on Poetfreak. The requirement was of a prisoner waiting on death row with alliteration featured and the sentence “a tin cup scraping….etc



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