Fair Australia Prize


Casual [Kazh-ooh-uh l]; adjective
From the Latin cadere, meaning fall.
As in: the employer had a casual
Attitude to ladder safety. As in:
The human person fell casually off
The ladder, and lied casually down
In pooling brain blood, not moving
Very casually. That there never
Was a ladder in the first place, just
The casual idea of a ladder – reach.
As in: having fallen from one casual position
To another, surely – there are no complaints
Here, everything is so casual. And compliant.
From the equally Latin casus, meaning event,
As in: workers gathered casually in the square
And demanded the language of oppression be
Casually dismantled, casually held to account
For all the casualties in its relentless causality.
As in: every casual meeting is a chance to say
Words that are events of human forbearance;
Words that still belong to the people, casually.



This poem is from Overland’s new print issue. Copies are available for individual purchase or by subscription.

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Mitchell Welch is a writer, editor and poet. Originally from Brisbane, Mitchell now lives in Melbourne where he is writing a novel and working as a cemetery administrator. In 2015, he won the Fair Australia Prize – Poetry. He volunteers for Overland as an ongoing poetry reader.

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