The Dispossessed

The DispossessedThe Dispossessed

21st Century

Our 21st Century society is filled with both opportunities and challenges. Great advancements in engineering, communications technology, science and medicine have paved the way for improved infrastructure, lifestyle, health, employment etc.

But despite increased possibilities for resourceful and innovative people to become wealthy and successful, there are also those unfortunate human beings who fall through the cracks. Sometimes their predicament may be from making poor decisions, or simply being born into a life of poverty. It may also be through no fault of their own such as retrenchment, illness, or disability. Whatever the reason, there will always be this group of people I choose to call… The Dispossessed.

The Dispossessed

Record economic growth

And technological boom,

Often masks the dispossessed

Who live a life of gloom.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

CEOs make millions,

Young executives wear suits.

The dispossessed count pennies

For a worn out pair of boots.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Wall Street’s stocks are rising,

Shareholders clap with glee.

The dispossessed beg on the streets

For enough to buy a feed.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

The banks make repossessions

Of average families’ homes.

Unable to make payments,

No further hope of loans.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Rents are always rising

While wages stay the same.

More and more are dispossessed,

The Financial Crisis game.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Remember when the land was new

And people moved out west,

To make themselves a better life

And not be dispossessed?

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Why can’t the same thing happen now,

Raise ghost towns from the sand,

Send waggon trains of dispossessed

To find the promised land?

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Make land freely available

To first to make a claim.

Have squatters’ rights just like before,

A new wild frontier to tame.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

Settlers need to plant some crops,

And learn to work the land,

Raise sheep and pigs and cattle.

Together make a stand.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

They say, “Build it and they will come,”

That saying’s very true,

Rebuild all the dying towns,

And people will come too.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

No longer feeling worthless,

They’ll work hard to succeed.

New industries will rise again

Away from city greed.

≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈ ∞ ≈

The problems of society

Are not easily expressed,

But please do not ignore the ones

I call the dispossessed.


Australia My Country

In my own country, Australia, we have approximately 90% of the population situated along, or close to, the coastline. Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries

As of 15 January 2016, the population of Australia is estimated to be 23,969,900. Relatively speaking this may sound like a small population for such a large country with fewer than three persons per square kilometre of total land area, however, Australia is the world’s driest continent and much of our land mass is desert. Australia is only the 52nd most populous country in the world but our population is expected to exceed 28 million by 2030.

A recent rapid population growth is largely due to the influx of immigrants from mainly Asia and the Middle East. This has resulted in major city populations (especially along the east coast) to increase at unsustainable levels. As our urban services, infrastructure and water supplies were not planned with such a large population increase in mind this is greatly adding to the problem of dispossession.

Meanwhile our rural and outback country towns across Australia have been gradually dying and losing much-needed services such as doctors, hospitals, schools and banks due to decreasing jobs in agriculture and the farming sector and support services.

There is an urgent need to look at redistributing the population towards the rural and regional areas to ensure these necessary services and amenities are retained and the towns reinvigorated. This, in turn, will help to take the pressure off the larger cities and aid in reducing the poverty crisis. The government needs to decentralise industries and move a significant number to the rural and remote areas to boost employment opportunities and inject new life-blood into those communities.

With the increasing population, as well as the end of the mining boom and reduction of coal reliance around the world, more emphasis needs to be placed on returning agriculture and food production as this country’s major resource. This will also create more jobs in country areas.

Future immigrants should only be accepted if they are willing to settle in rural and outback Australia, and the homeless and long-term unemployed should also be encouraged and given incentives to relocate. Housing, for instance, is much more affordable in the country. There is no reason that new towns or even cities cannot be built even in remote desert areas. Take Las Vegas, Nevada as an example.


by John Hansen © 2016

John Hansen
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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction, and thoroughly enjoying this, especially flash fiction. I have been fortunate to have two poems made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. My services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years are now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

8 thoughts on “The Dispossessed

  • July 13, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    John the truths are out there, just that not many listen or take heed to make the necessary changes and improvements to peoples lives. I see the Dispossessed in my city too. Squeezes kids, cardboard signs, all looking for handouts. Some I truly believe just do it as an aside revenue generator, but many do it out of necessity. It’s sad to see so many on the streets. Especially when they have all four limbs in tact, I’ve always felt that as long as I have these body parts working, I would never be out of a job, I wouldn’t allow my dignity to drop that low, however many are heavily medicated in more ways than one, that’s also what makes the streets a dangerous place to live. Reading about your country, I also agree, if more of your settlers were moved into the parts of the country that can sustain them, then why not, send the immigrants there. Let them be the squatters of land to build up a life for themselves and contribute to the growth as well of the economy. Too many people want government dole, hand outs and they suck the $$ out of our governments, while honest men and woman work hard to support these types. Your poem is expressive and reading it awakens a need for these Dispossessed to get creative and off their asses to work at growing your economy and contributing to the society that allows them to be there in the first place. Well written my friend, I concur with all you pen here.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:02 AM

    Thank you for your insightful comment that supports my beliefs, Vincent. It seems to make sense to me, but the Government obviously sees things differently.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    It is a good idea to give those “dispossessed” a goal and some form of monetary value. It does make sense, also I have to agree with Vincent as well. There are those that live off of government handouts and have become complacent and entitled and there lies the bad penny, it is this reason why your idea, which I completely agree with, cannot work. There are always those who take advantage and ruin good things. Great idea, very empathetic. I wish it were so simple to do.

  • July 13, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    It is probably a pipe-dream of mine, Paul, but there have been greater undertakings in the past. Everything always sounds better on paper, as soon as men actually get involved, greed and corruption takes over. Thanks for your comment.

  • July 13, 2017 at 3:52 PM

    Resolutions have to start somewhere, even if they are pipe-dreams. I believe every accomplishment starts with a dream. When Las Vegas was still in the pipe-dream stage it attracted organized crime, mobsters, who poured millions of $ into it, along with contributions from wealthy business men and the Mormon Church. Building towns in the Outback for the Dispossessed may or may not accomplish your dream, John. Maybe employing the dispossessed to build the town would give them a much needed income, however, there will be someone in organized crime who will see opportunities there, build it up so high that only the wealthy can afford to live there, then the dispossessed will be back on the streets.

    Your article is very thought-provoking, John, and well written.

    • July 13, 2017 at 11:55 PM

      You make some good points, Phyllis. Maybe it would not be a straightforward idea, but I agree that the dispossessed could be employed in the building of the towns to house them. Thanks for reading.

  • July 13, 2017 at 9:30 PM

    Great work John, and there will always be inequity, extremes in circumstance and vast differences in wealth. Strangely I am dispossessed in many ways, having worked til I broke, then years of recovery and now a lifestyle that is limited by disability, although I am high functioning. My world now is of the mind, philosophy, creative expression and my social interactions very limited. So well written John, and projecting into the future, which at times seems very uncertain. Great work.

  • July 13, 2017 at 11:58 PM

    Thank you, Tony. Thank you for sharing that. I now understand why you spend so much time writing. I would too in your situation. I guess I am somewhat dispossessed as well as I am a carer and my wife has a disability. We do however live in a lowly populated rural area already.
    You are right that the future is uncertain. I don’t think anyone really knows what to expect.

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