Some call it Australia Day. Some call it Invasion Day. The optimists have started calling it Survival Day. In any case, after recent events it seems an appropriate time to reprint the Reverend Hellfire’s  visionary  Australia Day screed, “The Land”.  Enjoy…

 “I wrote this poem on Australia Day on Australia’s Bi-centenary,

It is, as you will come to see, a kind of prophecy,

Now 24 years later, you may judge as to its accuracy..”


The Land

 They would not curse the Land

Though we pushed them to the edges of Extinction

in our frantic exploitation..

They loved it far too much for that.

They would not lay down trapdoor, tripwire Curses

Or poison waterholes,

Just told us in words

We would not learn to hear

For at least Two Hundred years,

That the Land will hate you if you won’t listen..

Bad Luck to try and harm the Land.

The Land will hate you if you try!”


It WAS the Land itself that rose up,

Long after the Others had been led away,

in neck irons to prisons, graveyards,

shanty-towns & slums.

It turned against us when we tried to tame it,

Grains would not grow

where once were plains of waving grasses.

Cattle starved where once the native animals

prospered. Where trees were razed,

and cities raised the rain no longer fell.

The old paintings were not renewed

And the seasons fell apart.

We remembered nothing of the Others knowledge,

Disdained and forgot what “Savages” knew,

We went and made the Land a jail

Of rectangles and cubes,

And prison farms

To be worked behind barbed wire.


Unloved the Land curled in upon itself

And showed us only its Indifference.

Hostile as we blundered sweating

Through a landscape made of heat and dreams,

Cursing in our desperation

A Land we never tried to understand.

We ignored its Warnings, its Mysteries,

Its Beauty and were glad

to be content with a vision bland

One vast, unending suburban plan.

Rose up against us.

Would suffer no more Indignities.

Shook the poisons from the air

with the Wind Wings of Storm,

Washed our filth from the rivers

With cleansing floods

and swept the whole Land clean

of all our petty flood-plain clutterings whilst we cried,


and cursed

the un-naturalness of Nature…


And elsewhere sheep and cattle swarmed

like lice over the denuded hillsides,

‘Til the Land withdrew its blessing

And shriveled hot and dry the hills,

Now wrinkled like the hide of some

Vast Beast of Earth and Drought.


And elsewhere ice fell

Where it never fell before,

Or sun grew hotter than white skins

could bear.

And so it went all across the Land

It seemed all of Nature

Had turned against our hand

As tidal waters washed away

Tall buildings built on sand,

(And where we’d damn a river storing

Water for ONE million souls,

We would increase with little thought

Until our numbers equaled THREE,

then puzzled at our thirst.)


So on and on and on it went,

The Land’s wealth wasted, squandered, spent,

Two hundred years of Arrogance,

Stupidity and Greed,

That finds us gathered here at last

Beneath this flag, a drunken mob of thieves,

Boastful and cruel.

Back slapping, blowing trumpets,

Celebrating, drinking beer,

We march blindfolded backwards

Towards the next two hundred years.

 -26th. January, 1988. 




The Reverend Hellfire is a practising performance Poet and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists AND the Church of the Universe.

The rumour that he is actually a militant atheist, who became a priest in order to bring organised religion into dispute through his reprehensible actions, is a vile canard.




~ by reverendhellfire on January 29, 2012.


  1. An inspired sermon Reverend. And today they continue to ravage our native’s land, exploiting even every barren rock, tearing at its inner wealth, careless of the price to pay.

  2. How about reviewing a few of mine Hedllfire? I preach a sermon or two too, you know!
    Let us pray. R.I.P
    Be seated

  3. we often look down upon the children of nature, the tribals, thinking we know all just because we have read so many books, but when it comes to living in harmony with nature, surviving they are far better off than us.

    a fantastic poem, speaking a truth which we should better be listening to. thanks for finding me.

  4. I have already commented. You haven’t responded – and you ignore my own stuff. Go to hell Reverend, that’s where you belong, Is it hot as they say?

    • Ignore what stuff? I’ve printed every comment you’ve sent-poetry included-and generally responded. How easily you consign me to hell.
      Why do you expect me to publish your poems anyway? Why don’t you set up your own web blog thingie. Let me know if you do and I’ll put a link to it.
      But you owe me an apology.

      • I reviewed your ‘Australia Day Message’
        weeks ago – shortly after Austraia Day when
        you wrote it, You seem to have revived it since
        recently for whatever reason, If take the Romero read and review your long pieces I
        expect at least some response. I didn’t receive any acknowledgement whatsoever,

        It is also common courtesy to read and review – not publish – your reviewer’s poetry. Apparently you either can’t or won’t do so.

        It l

      • I really don’t understand what your problem is.
        Or what your trying to say. What Review? What are you talking about.
        and I dont like your tone.
        If you cant be polite you may as well just go away.

  5. Reminds me of some of the same issues we face here in Canada, especially now with the current climate-change denying, oil sands loving party.
    A well done post.

    • Yes, “the Destroyers”, as terrance Mckenna used to call them, are running rampant all over the globe. Hopefully the tide will one day turn but until then we’re left doing Holding Actions to try and preserve as much as possible

  6. […] present the Reverend Hellfire’s 2014 Invasion Day sermon. You may also enjoy […]

  7. […] (, […]

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  9. You have the right to say ” I told you so !” Not that it did much good, it seems. The truth usually hurts.
    Beautifully written.

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