Published 7 September 20097 September 2009 · Main Posts for the good of mankind I must now slaughter you without mercy Overland Overloaded If you’re not heading to Passionate Tongues tonight, La Mama Poetica will come alive with words from Angela Meyer, Ben Pobjie, Sean M Whelan, Briohny Doyle and Barry Dickens. Poet Lynne Dale‘s vox pop ( several posts below) has got all of us Overland Overloaders thinking about the largely invisible (in terms of visibility in the bars, pubs and libraries of the poetry reading trail, rather than in the poetry itself) domestic lives of poets. Overloaded’s Ben Pobjie is the father of three children, including six month old twins. On poeticising fatherhood, he waxes: It seems like only yesterday You were a tiny child sleeping in my arms, innocent and unaware and peaceful And now you’re such a strapping lad, tall and strong and buoyant And so I think it’s time for me to tell you That you’re a terrifying genetic freak and I’m going to have to kill you It seems like only yesterday I bounced you on my knee and read you bedtime stories every night And now here you are out in the world, seven metres tall and impervious to conventional weapons And so it’s come to that time in every father’s life when he must say, Son, You are an abomination and for the good of mankind I must now slaughter you without mercy It seems like only yesterday I fed you with a spoon It seems like only yesterday I watched you in the bath Playing happily with toy boats and squirty Bert and Ernies It seems like only yesterday and yet it’s true They grow up so fast In fact in your case you grew up in less than 72 hours and began glowing with an unholy radioactive aura And now I have to get out my plasma cannon and my magic sword And hunt you down Before you melt anymore trains with your breath It seems like only yesterday You were my beaming boy And now I suppose you still are, in a way Although your smile has taken on a terrifying aspect of pure evil And though it seems like only yesterday I said to you I’ll always be there for you Now I can’t help feeling that my only purpose in life is to wipe all trace of you from the face of the earth so that the human race can start anew with hope in their hearts that this nightmare will eventually pass from their memories and let them sleep at night without waking up screaming with visions of your unstoppable destruction hammering in their wretched, horror-twisted brains And I guess that’s what fatherhood is all about. -you can catch more of Ben’s work at La Mama Poetica this evening. Overland Overloaded More by Overland Overloaded › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202326 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.