The Poetry of Brian Langley

The idea for this poem came into my head when a high profile corporate criminal was released from prison after serving a relatively short sentence considering the amount of money that was involved. At about the same time, a young black lad received notoriety by committing suicide whilst in prison. He had been convicted of stealing some art supplies from his classroom.

(His death was the trigger for a United Nations, Human Rights Commission inquiry
into mandatory sentencing in Australia's Northern Territory)

This poem does NOT appear in any of my booklets



Now if you lead a life of crime
And you get caught, you'll do the time.
Now this is just, I hear you say
Our crims should all be locked away.
To pay the price that fits the crime
Each felon should complete their time.

Now if you're black, or if you're poor
They'll lock you up and close the door.
And keep it shut for many years
Ignoring all the hurt and tears.
Your family will remain quite poor
While you are locked behind the door

But if you're rich with lots of clout.
It wont be long before you're out
And while you're in, your money grows.
Your kids get rich. That's how it goes.
They pay the lawyers who have clout
And pretty soon, you'll find you're out.

© B. Langley 26/3/00

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