O my friends protesting — poem

O my friends and not-friends
I think I've seen the light
you want a stop to mandates—
OK, that will happen
when the time is right.

And you want a plan
you want to know the most
you want to get Covid
you want to share Covid
so I feel part of the gang

And I get it, letting off steam
because you want to dance
you want to go camping
you want your job back
you want to be part of a team

You want love not fear
you want to be free—
I see that. But then I get lost.
You want Trump 2020
who would banish 1080?

You want no abortions
you want Marsden Point
Do you want fascists in?
do you want fascists out?
do you honestly want America great?

OK but why do you want to assassinate
your own MPs and journos? 
why throw eggs at school girls
and spit at your own bus drivers?
why this alien hate?

I am wondering how
you merged with the few
the muddled and the monsters.
Did they stroke you into
their fringe?

I might have brought you 
fishes and loaves
but I was afraid
although when alone
you are possibly still one of us.

~ Rachel McAlpine February 2022

“O my friends protesting” is my instant gut response and blurt to a copycat Covid-related protest outside Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand. I’m feeling sad and bewildered. A few hundred protesters are still camping there after a week, blocking streets and partying. Some call for a stop to mandates for masks and vaccination, but others are protesting against vaccination itself, out of step with the vast majority of New Zealanders. Others carry banners protesting against random causes; some are showing, of all things, pro-Trump merchandise. Really? In New Zealand?

On a knife edge’ — Wellington convoy protest unlike anything the city has seen (Stuff.co.nz 11 Feb 2022)

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11 thoughts on “O my friends protesting — poem

  1. 1rhymescheme says:

    When I saw the photo of trump flags at the NZ protests, I thought it must be photoshopped. Then I saw them in Canadian mandate protest photos as well. This American virus of ours is spreading all across the globe. It’s maddening.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And dreadfully hard to understand.

  2. I failed to spot the latest virus “facts” on social media. Apparently it is driving 135% of the world’s population mad. Thank goodness that leaves 17% of us sane enough to pick up the pieces later on!

  3. CG says:

    Absolutely perfect!! Chris

  4. Jane Fritz says:

    It’s all so, so bewildering and sad. You’ve expressed it well. So, so sad.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      There’s too much for me to absorb, let alone comprehend.

  5. My husband works in Rutherford House, and on Monday morning there was a tent outside the entrance, and he could hear children crying inside. He felt so sad that these poor kids must have been out in all that rain at the weekend. I have had colleagues had abuse hurled at them for wearing masks. It has been so unpleasant and like your poem so eloquently expresses, there are so many conflicting messages from the protesters.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      How difficult. And sad.

  6. Cathy Cade says:

    There are idiots in every country. Possibly stirred up by idiots from other countries. Just ignore them until they get fed up with it. Most people grow up eventually.
    Shame for subjecting children to it though.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I have decided that some people just need a reason to get together and act out. It really doesn’t have anything to do with any issue.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      These protesters are seriously disaffected, though. It’s worrying.