Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Love in the Antipodean Garden


Love filters into the air
Like the smell of amorous roses
In the antipodean garden


The spring flowers burst open:
The bees oil their wings with desire;
Signaling the new dawn of kissing in the vines


The female kangaroo moves delicately
Across the manicured lawn
Her heart beats for Joey

Copyright © 2005 by Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Old Man from Congo

There once was an old man from Congo
Who liked to play his bongo
When the night was fair
And beautiful voices filled the air
During the all-night bingo

Copyright @ 2005 by Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Bogus Woman

The Bogus Woman is a powerful and explosive piece of theatre which Daniel Clarke, the energetic theatre director/producer, has decided to bring to South Australia as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival, from February 25 to March 19 2006.

This is the story of a young African woman who has to flee her country for her life and tries to seek asylum in London. What follows is the atrocious way in which she is dealt with by the State - humiliated, abused, interrogated and locked up.

Winner of the First Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival, The Bogus Woman (by Kay Adshead) is a work of great potential – a passionate and committed piece of theatre that must be seen by all.

It, vividly, dramatises not only the unrest at Campsfield Detention Centre but also the thuggish and often racist backlash that followed. The protagonist describes in harrowing terms the Centre’s “prison for profit” regime.

The beauty of The Bogus Woman lies in the fact that it is empty of dogma and reveals, remorselessly, the human consequences of the asylum seeking system.

In fact, this work has the power to change many hearts and minds. The piece has also been accepted as part of the Fringe Youth Education Program which is specifically aimed at schools.

The Bogus woman is a well researched play and one that must be taken seriously, whatever your thoughts about political theatre may be. It is likely to draw a large audience in Adelaide during the Fringe Festival.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rhythms of Life

Spring time in the camp!
The fight ends but friendship lost
As the new life begins

Monday, November 14, 2005

African Haiku

the young refugee
arrives with stars in her pretty eyes
dreaming of freedom

the delicate rose in her element:
how wonderful is the image of the lonely
beauty in fancy clothing

a new dawn
in Terra Australis...
cherry blossoms

behold the essence
of endless desire, the nectar of
the first flower of spring

she opens the
golden gate of wonder with glee -
fortune beckons

inspired by the stellar influences,
she reflects upon the meaning of love and
loneliness in the spring of life

the sound of laughter
along the scented lane of destiny
this joyful day

© Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Limerick in the Camp

The refugee camp was a riot
It was no place for a ballot
But I had a great yearning for freedom
In my longest hour of boredom
Before the arrival of the gentle pilot

Copyright © 2005 by Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Friday, November 11, 2005

Legal Studies for the Community Workers

The Legal Services Commission in South Australia, under the auspices of the Adelaide Institute of TAFE, is now accepting enrolments for the "Law for Community Workers" course.

The course has a very practical focus: developing relevant skills in giving legal information and assisting people to understand legal procedures.

It is aimed at community workers or staff in government departments involved in direct contact with clients of diverse cultures.

People in the new and emerging communities in Australia are encouraged to apply.

The course consists of two modules, each of 21 weeks duration. The first module focuses solely on "Conflict between Individuals"; while the second module takes a look at "Conflict between Individuals and the Government".

These accredited modules are a pathway to a recognised tertiary qualification in Justice Studies (Legal Services Stream). They may also be used as electives in the Community Services award or possibly in a financial counselling course.

The text book is The Law Handbook which is available free online at www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au

For enrolment information, please contact Justice Studies on 61 8 8207 8322 or write to the Department of Justice Studies, Adelaide Institute of TAFE, 120 Currie Street, Adelaide 5000, SA, Australia.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Rise of the Black Caesar

There once was an African called Cesor
A courageous man with a beautiful visor
Who argued with Pemulwuy all night
About who had the absolute right
To hunt the giant outback monitor

Cesor landed in Australia, in 1788, as a total stranger
He was the legendary bush ranger
Who so dearly loved the Land of Oz
And remained one of us
A colonial icon with a dagger

In the First Fleet he came in chains
But made creative use of his brains;
Laying the foundation for the Emerald city
What a pity? He did not have enough time to party!
He was probably too busy guarding the fertile plains

For Cesor, the black Caesar, life in the new colony
Was anything but funny
What with all the shackled convicts?
And relentless conflicts
Desperate souls with no honey!

Yet, the fearless colonial warrior didn’t know
He would have to stoop so low
Just to make a living
In a frontier so unforgiving
A heartless land with no dough, until now

He was the greatest hero of his time
Living as he did in the age of the dime
A strong believer in the idea of nationhood
Caring for the poor just like Robin Hood
In his prime

Thus, in the fullness of time, he won his freedom;
Having fought so hard for the kingdom
He sacrificed his meager ration
To build a new station
In the idyllic town of Wyndham.

Copyright © 2005 by Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Born Alone

There once was a young man from Sierra Leone
Whose name was Lyone
He said, “I am a refugee with attitude”
And “I enjoy my solitude”
After all, “I was born alone”.

Copyright © 2005 Lawrence T. Udo-Ekpo

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Sudanese Refugees at Work

Finding any kind of work has always been one of the biggest problems confronting African refugees during the early days of arrival in Australia. But, now, there is a good enough reason for optimism.

Recently, 25 Sudanese refugees were offered employment at the local meat works in the City of Murray Bridge – 80km east of Adelaide, South Australia. More recruits may soon follow!

The good news is that the vibrant Murray Bridge community, where residents enjoy a prosperous lifestyle, has welcomed the Africans with open arms.

Meanwhile, Nayano Taylor-Neumann of the Lutheran Community Care Refugee Services in Murray Bridge is working closely with the new arrivals; helping them to make sense of the world around them and providing resettlement services.