At Mount Sinai, the Ten Commandments were given
Still, my ancestor never much liked … 10, 9, 8 or 7…

MOSES*

London, Criminal Court, December 1835
My  antecedent long gone now was very much alive
Mordacai Moses, of Jewish persuasion was in the dock
Judge bows deeply at the stroke of the Newgate court clock

No Nonsense Littledale presiding this appeal to his sentence
Good man! you are wasting court’s time with this pitiful defence!
You have already pleaded aplenty about your impeccable character and when …
You were merely duped by artful & dodgy men


But if you insist …
With calling witnesses the Attorney-General will persist …


Samual Flaum (‘the little man who sold me‘) first off, with his allegations
Sotto voce was his attestations
Mumbling of the gangs trickery traversing the Hapsburg Empire
and in London’s Coffee Houses how the counterfeit gang would conspire

Next, Bow Street Officer George Ruthven, uncontested
Giving evidence how he’d arrested
The three counterfeiting co-conspirators
Identified by Mr. Flaum’s Judas Iscariot kisses

Catching Moses red-handed with the engravings on his person
Foolishly trying to hide them behind a dark velvet curtain
At this Littledale was not prepared to waist any more time
Calling the bailiff “Take the prisoner down …

Forging and uttering is the name of your crime
You will be paying for your transgressions a very long time …
Serving your fourteen years in the colonies together
with your friends Harris and Ball whom are transported forever …’

So my dear ancestor, manacled, broken, and bereft
With nothing more than a shema yisrael left
Now with one foot in old blimey and one over the sea
From prison-hulk Leviathan to Sydney-town is where you are going to be

Godforsaken, adrift unable to stop it
116 days transportation on the leaky ship Moffat
To a land upside-down on the backside of the world
A patriarch of an Aussie family yet to unfold …

Wearing thongs T-shirts and stubbies
Your daughter’s daughters will all be married to hubbies
Watching Test Cricket on Summer TV
Zoning out on parliamentary question time on the ABC …

So beloved forebear your story is near ended
Blame my friend Ron who suggested to extend it

Hold on to your halo
Actually, it’s the best bit, still to go …


A major hurdle for Moses at Sydney Head
Its a gale so wild the ships’ company’s hope all but dead
‘Pilot come quickly, save us please!
Life is so cruel!’ cries all the ship’s internees

So while the mainsail is in ribbons and torn
Both anchors lost and all hope all but gone
Mr. Watson is there to save the day
Setting sail in his cutter, to meet the fray

Miraculously, to safe harbour Mordacai is steered at last
Rejoicing for his new-found life … and goodbye to his past!

Dedicated to ALL Boat-People and Internees
As well as the original occupants of this land, forgive us please ? …

*Alias Mordecai moses wansower, mordacci moses, warsower mordecai moses, mordecai moses, marous warsawer marcus warchawer. Born 1779. Place of birth warsaw. Gender male. Height 5′ 4.75″. Religion Jewish. Has tattoo no. First recorded 1835.

Sydney 2019

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