The gist of the poem? God and Jesus must be white men. That would explain their visiting of death and destruction on brown people. She asks the "pale trinity" if crushing Haiti felt as good as similar acts visited on coloured peoples, such as the tsunami.
The poem attracted one comment, from a white reader, which was just as bad as the poem itself:
I think destruction comes naturally to us white men. It is almost like a religion to us that we will worship, forever creating new and more devastating ways to blow shit up.
The bonus is, when armagedon comes, it will be us what brings it and we’ll dance and sing and laugh at all the pretty flashing lights caused by the world falling to pieces as lava advances on the homes of those too poor to fly off to the moon where the best seats for the show will be.
That’s very well said Maxine, personally I don’t like to point the finger at God for natural disasters. Maybe because I’m a atheist.
Right. So white men worship destruction like a religion. We'll laugh when we finally destroy the world, just before we fly off to the moon, leaving the poor to their fate.
Overland, by the way, gets funded by the Federal Government, the Victorian Government, Arts Victoria, Victoria University and the Australia Council for the Arts.
Update: The actor Danny Glover has claimed that the Haiti earthquake is a consequence of global warming. A reader, Ned Wilobane, has written some lines to Gaia in response. His poem is beautifully subversive of Maxine Beneba Clarke's original:
That big Momma
that swallows us whole dying
must be a commie / to me
else what the hell she want / taxing
the hell outa
& the free
the state entity
takes my money in their fist
did it feel as good in
Russia / Germany / or China
what tickles her the best
giant cavernous devouring,
swallowing down the free man
Gaia is a commie / i’m sayin
Gaia is now a commie / to me