MOSES*

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

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London, Central Criminal Court, 19th December, 1835
My ancestor Moses was to be transported alive

Mordacai Moses alias Warsawer standing in the dock
Judge bows at the stroke of the Old Bailey clock

No nonsense Littleday presiding this appeal to his sentence
‘My god a waste of court’s time with such a defence!.

“‘already pleaded about your impeccable character when …
You were duped by ‘artful & very dodgy men’”

‘But if you continue to insist …
With witnesses court will persist …’

Little Mr. Fluem was first off with his allegation
In a high pitched-voice was damming in his attestation

Telling of illicit trickery through the Hapsburg Empire
How in London’s Coffee Houses Moses’s would conspire

Bow Street officers Ruthven & Fletcher, uncontested
Then evidenced how they’d arrested

The three counterfeiting co-conspirators
Identified by Fluem’s Judas Iscariot kisses

Caught red handed with the notes on his person
Moses hiding them behind a dark velvet curtain

At this judge L was not prepared to waist more time
Called out ‘bailiff take the prisoner down!’

‘ … You will serve your sentence in the colonies together
with your friends Harris & Ball transported forever

‘Forging & uttering is the name of your crime
You will be paying for your transgressions very long time’

So my dear ancestor you are manacled, broken, and bereft
With nothing more than a shema yisrael left

With one foot in the old country and other over the sea
From prison-hulk to Sydney-town is where you are going to be

Godforsaken, adrift unable to stop it
116 days transportation on the leaky HMS Moffat

To land upside-down on the other side 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 …

One last hurdle remained for Moses at Sydney Head
A gale so wild the ships’ company’s hope is all but dead

‘Pilot come quickly, save us please!
Life is so cruel!’ cried the ship’s internees

So while the mainsail was in ribbons and torn
Both anchors lost and all hope all but gone

Mr. Watson was there to save the day
Setting sail in his cutter, so meeting the fray

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

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

Sydney 2019