There has been an awkward interlude to the current Obama visit. Tour organisers are in damage control following their prevention of a scheduled and traditional “Welcome to Country” by an indigenous elder. Apologies and repairs are underway and the welcome is now happening at a subsequent event. This is the day the Prime Minister is introducing a Bill for a referendum on the Voice in Federal Parliament. Irony abounds!
I asked OpenAI to compose a sonnet lamenting this clash between the mores of ancient hospitality and fast-paced modern anxieties.
In lands of beauty, where nature prevails,
And ancient spirits linger in the breeze,
A foreign leader’s visit causes travails,
As barriers block an elder’s gentle pleas.
The wisdom of the ages is ignored,
As modern ways impose upon this place,
Where culture, tradition, and respect once poured,
Now snubbed and shamed by a powerful face.
Oh, how we mourn the loss of dignity,
As pride and prejudice take centre stage,
When once we welcomed all with unity,
Now fear and mistrust fill this earthly stage.
But hope still lingers in the heart of man,
That one day we’ll honour the ancient land.