The following poetry was written by James Arthur Warren AKA Thundercloud in memory of Daniel Walmsley, victim of prohibition. Early one morning, the day before the Nimbin Mardi Grass cannabiss law reform protestival I walked outside in the dark as the first light was coming. I heard the tawny frogmouth and listened. Then I went inside and wrote down what came to mind. This happened two more times and now I present the words of the wise owl to you.
There is an indigenous belief that tawny frogmouths are messengers of the dead. This spirit bird crowed three times, before the roosters and the kookaburra early in the morning. When the cock crows three times the truth is told.
The Tawny Frogmouth On Prohibition
The tawny frogmouth came to me very late last night
It was very early morning and it spoke very quiet
“I’ve something important to say and this is my position
Humans will not be free until you END PROHIBITION
I’m a tawny frogmouth owl and I see your frustration
With the punitive justice drug war of incarceration
77,000 non criminal users each year locked and jailed
And crime rates have risen the drug war has failed
80 percent of the injustice system is wasted each year
Locking up people for flowers you people are queer
It is obvious to all that prohibition has failed
When you can harm minimise and empty half the jails
Make access safe and clean drugs a right
Save billions of taxpayers dollars overnight
The police could focus on violent crime
Harm minimisation means there’s less people dying
Harm minimisation means that you support the abusers
Educate and rehabilitate the hard drug abusers
Less Overdoses and violent crime gangs will fade away
Grow herbs freely at home, juice cannabis each day
It is obvious to us that you must End Prohibition
Call all politicians today is your mission
And explain all the benefits of ending the war
On drugs, children, the sick, elderly and poor
Write emails, make videos, protest and shout
End prohibition, let the prisoners out
Time to end prohibition and the drug war
On the socially vulnerable, sick, black and poor
It makes me so mad I’m usually so quiet
Said the tawny frogmouth, I want to sleep now it’s light
The Tawny Frogmouth part 2
The tawny frogmouth came to me early in the morning
As the clouds turned red, as the sun was dawning
The wise old owl hooted and the words he spoke were true
“I’m a tawny frogmouth owl, this is what you need to do”
“Write down what I tell you, what I have to say,
It’s time you humans ended all drug prohibition today
Us tawny frogmouth owls are spirits of the dead
Who died from overdoses and systemic violence” he said
“I know you find it weird and difficult to believe
But tawny frogmouth owls are loved ones that you grieve”
“That is why I’m here with my message for you
Ending Prohibition will save loved ones lives it’s true
I’m a tawny frogmouth owl and I really give a hoot
Prohibition harms but harm minimization is beaut”
I stood there quietly listening to what the wise owl said
“End all prohibition and harm minimization instead
When you end all prohibition everything will be alright
Maybe then” the tawny frogmouth said, “I’ll get some sleep at night”
A kookaburra came in the light of early morning
“Listen to the tawny frogmouth, listen to his warning”
“To end all prohibition and empty half the jails
Change your outdated laws because prohibition has failed”
The kookaburra flew off laughing “Prohibition is a failure”
End all prohibition, hurry up Australia”
The Tawny Frogmouth part 3
The tawny frogmouth owl came to me again
Said, “I’ve got a very important message for you my friend
I’ve come to visit you early in the morning
Because you are the one who will sound my warning
We wise owls think you humans are very strange
You seem so conservative and reluctant to embrace change
Your outdated laws are causing much frustration
Time to End Prohibition and change this situation
It isn’t rocket science in fact is plain to see
That your prohibition laws take people’s rights to be
Healthy, free and happy and lock them in a prison
Jails full of poor and black, incarceration rates have risen
Mummy went to jail, Nana went there too
All because of the herbal cannabis they grew
Prohibition is an attack on human rights
It is such an injustice, I have trouble sleeping at night
Humans do you get it? I do I’m an owl
Adopt harm minimization and end prohibition now
Prohibition is social manipulation, slavery in disguise
Prohibition causes violent crime to rise
When prohibition exists people live in fear
Of truth and being caught, imprisoned for a year
Please call your politicians the tawny frogmouth said
When you harm minimise, I can go to bed
Please reconsider your perspective on prohibition of drugs
Free the plants and herbs and undercut the thugs
When you end prohibition there will be a reduction in crime
With harm minimization, there will be less parents crying
When you end prohibition billions of dollars will be saved
Less cops, prisons, lawyers, deaths, more health and happiness every day
I have nearly finished, I’ll try to have a sleep
But I find it very difficult because I often weep
For the victims of the drug war, those overdosed and dead
Brothers, sisters, children’s deaths preventable he said
I’m a tawny frogmouth owl and there is something you must do
Harm minimise, end prohibition now what I’m saying is true
Everyone can see prohibition is a failure
End prohibition now change is good Australia
There is one more thing, you cannot waste your vote
Put a 1 next to the HEMP PARTY in the Senate when you vote.”
#auspol #EndProhibition #MinimiseHarm #Vote1HEMP
This poem and many more are available in my newest book End Prohibition Poetry Nimbin Mardi Grass 2019 by contacting me via email
James Arthur Warren (BSc AES, GCTSL, MTESOL)
AKA Thundercloud Repairian
Writer, poet, performer and finalist in the 2019 Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Competition
Photo: Tawny Frogmouth in front of Atlantis by James Arthur Warren https://www.instagram.com/1english1video/
It’s Christmas eve in Nimbin and yesterday I was invited to an interview and reading of my selected poetry at 2NCR 92.9fm (link to live stream) Northern Rivers Community Radio in Lismore. Before I left, I went back to get a couple of copies of my books, “Love in Nimbin” and “Lust in Nimbin” to give to the presenters.
I grabbed my books and saw my box full of handwritten notebooks. I randomly opened the note book called “Do what you love” and there was two “lost poems” from 2017 that I had missed adding to my books when I hurriedly published them for Mardi Grass 2018. The poems I found were one about and experience I had when I first arrived in Nimbin. The other poem was one that I had written at a Medical Cannabis wotkshop during a symposium put on by the Hemp Embassy in Nimbin. This has inspired me to add these two poems to the second and revised editions of Love in Nimbin and Lust in Nimbin.
I am pretty careful with the storage of my manuscripts and this episode reminded me that I need to continue with my storage practices so that I leave behind a legacy of the original writing.
This morning, I awoke on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve and Facebook reminded me of a seven year old post which was one of my early poems that I had totally forgotten about. I will publish this poem in one of my upcoming books, however I have also decided to share it with you as a gift of love to hopefully put a smile on your face.
On the table.
He laid her on the table.
So white and clean and bare.
His forehead wet with beads of sweat.
He rubbed her here and there.
He touched her neck and then her breast.
And then drooling felt her thigh.
The slit was wet and all was set,
He gave a joyous cry.
The hole was wide…he looked inside.
All was dark and murky.
He rubbed his hands and stretched his arms…
And then he stuffed the turkey.
I remember as a young man hearing the story of Henny Penny who planted wheat to grow seeds to make bread for her family. Every time she wanted help the other animals were too busy to help. However, when the bread had been baked all the animals wanted to have some but Henny Penny didn’t give them any bread because they hadn’t helped.
I wrote this poem to expand on the lessons of Henny Penny.
Henny Penny planted seeds but no one would assist
They said it is a good idea so Henny did persist
The seeds they grew to wheat and trees, rye and barley too.
Henny Penny planted these and ate the berries blue
The others smelled the cooking bread and gathered round in lust
Give us some you selfish hen the farmer gives us dust
I only have enough to feed the ones that I can trust
I made enough for all that helped to harvest sow and crush
You saw me plant and carry water, working in the hot
You could have helped, we would have enough for all but now we’ve not
Myself I need the energy to plant a row of seeds
Here have some crumbs. It’s all you get. What lazy people need.
Henny built a humble home for all her family
Her door was always open to visitors for feeds
The selfish ones watched from afar with envy lust and pride
Coveting the simple things like Henny’s hot fruit pies
Henny would be nice to you when you’re not a selfish jerk
Hot fruit pies and fresh baked bread for those that do the work
A rattle snake came along and offered her some money
She laughed said to go away. I can’t eat that it’s funny
You want a piece of glory of God’s delicious bread
Now you offer gold and coins when I wanted help instead
You can use the money to buy some new fruit trees
Or you could help and climb that one and pick the seeds for free
The Earth provides us everything in abundance and in joy
The fruits of all my labour are for my children to enjoy
You can get this poem and more like it from my book “Love in Nimbin” Book 1 of Love and Lust in Nimbin available by at fantAsian Eatery, Nimbin or by mail order for $19.95 AUD plus postage. You can place an order by emailing Thundercloud at email@example.com