Due to a recent government edict, approximately 5 million Australians must wear masks whenever they leave the house.

We wear a mask because we’re told
That COVID has us in its hold,
And if outside we dare appear
Without this prophylactic gear
Authorities will slap a fine
Because we failed to toe the line—
__We wear a mask!

‘But what’s the difference now?’ you ask,
And take me, rightly, straight to task
By pointing out that well before
We ever faced this social war
The population, by and large,
Remained impassive to each charge—
__They wore a mask!

There are, in fact, two masks we bear:
The one we show, the one we wear.
The last is easy to remove
Though passers-by may not approve;
The first has neither strap nor gauze,
Yet leaves us mute to leftist laws.
__Defy the mask!



David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.

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9 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    Great work – the message and the poem, brilliantly and powerfully woven together!

  2. Peter Hartley

    This poem drives its point home brilliantly and it’s scansion is superb, and that redundant unpossessive apostrophe is my b****y spell-chequer.

    • David Watt

      Hello Peter, spell check intrudes when we least expect it.

      The iambic rhythm seemed to come together pretty well in this short piece.

      Thanks for your encouraging comments.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    Some commentators have called the required Wuhan Flu mask, both here and in other locked-down nations, as “the dhimmi diaper.”

    A “dhimmi” is a non-Moslem resident of a Moslem country, who has limited civil rights, faces overt discrimination and punitive taxation, and is considered a second-class citizen. He must always be subservient to authority, and can never express disagreement, or even a personal opinion.

    These stupid “masks” DO NOTHING WHATSOEVER to prevent the spread of a virus. Every doctor (including the insufferable little creep Fauci) knows very well that a simple paper or cloth mask will never stop a virus particle of a few microns in size.

    The injunction to wear these useless masks is purely to instill fear in the population, and to force persons to declare public loyalty to governmental Diktats and to bureaucratic arrogance. The mask proves that you are an obedient dhimmi in the eyes of our Deep-State masters, and that you will submit to doing something stupid as a way to get along with your neighbors, and thereby avoid ostracism or arrest.

    Wearing your dhimmi diaper is parallel to the requirement in the old Soviet Union that you have a picture of Stalin on a wall in your house. It didn’t mean a thing, but you had to do it.

  4. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I like the way this well crafted poem highlights the unpalatable truths and builds up to its cry for preservation of free speech and encouragement to all who are gagged by draconian PC measures and cancel culture. “Defy the mask!” is my mantra from this poem forward. Thank you, David.

    • David Watt

      Thanks for your kind comments Susan. The cancel culture and masking of free speech is a blight on society that we can do without.

  5. David Watt

    Thanks very much Joe T. I am gratified that the poem presents well and carries its message. The powerful topic of free expression lent force to the poem..


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