We Signed Without Reading The Fine Print

and so here we are
in the air
hit by initial impact
our crashing car will flip and bounce
this is far from over

falling in slow-motion
death breathing fog onto the side mirror
futures flashing on the windscreen (for those awake to see)

in the air
suffering unavoidable
how much? how long? the only questions
yes now is the time to know:

what is a life worth living?


on the highway of media-fuelled fear
somewhere between comfort and short-mindedness
we crashed into an object on the road:

faced with mortality
confronted with life
we begged to be saved
for protection around us
for protection between us
by vote of the scared, too many silent
we pawned our most precious belongings

and the devil was there, waiting on the shoulder…

please lock us down!, we cried as we saw him
hide us so death cannot find us!

sure, the devil replied with a grin
collecting our freedoms, collecting our future
you’ll give them back for sure, can you promise?

we signed without reading the fine print


and so here we are
still in the air
still falling
painfully learning a lesson:

that life
without freedom
can never be safe
and that freedom
will never be given

I wrote this piece in the early days, as the world started to go into lockdown in mid-March 2020 and fellow Australians were hash-tagging #lockusdown.

I haven’t yet published my ‘Corona work’. I have periods of writing, and then I let them sit. If they still resonate, days or weeks or months later, I publish. With this one I hoped, I guess, time would make it irrelevant. I hoped my gut instincts were false, I hoped we would come to our senses. Instead it has in Australia played out as I predicted. No, worse.

Our car is definitely still flipping and bouncing, and more and more people are waking up to the question: what is – and what isn’t – a life worth living? If we are not free to hug those we love, not free to breathe fresh air, not free to earn our living or express our opinions without censorship or fear of prosecution, what is the point? Are we even human?

No other (non-domesticated) animal would willingly trade its freedom for locked up safety. Pets to the ruling, is that what we want to be? Or connected sovereign beings providing safety for ourselves AND our tribe – humanity. If the latter, we all need to grow as individuals. Grow our integrity, our bravery, our compassion. If the latter, we all need to step out of our domesticated existence – lives comfortably provided for, but far from unconditionally! – and start taking responsibility for our innate human freedoms: our freedom of thought, of belief, of expression and speech. Our freedom of movement and assembly. The right to privacy, to bodily integrity, and to liberty itself. 

What do you feel?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s