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The Fair Queen of the Stable

The Fair Queen of the Stable

Participative Inquiry into Systemic Corruption by Sophia Montgomery (sophia.montgomery@csu.edu.au)

March 2023

Participative Inquiry into Systemic Corruption by Sophia Montgomery

My project uses participative inquiry incorporating the technique of poetic interpretation to understand and represent the veiled essence of systemic corruption, using two Royal Commissions for my case studies.  In this poem, I create an allegory to unravel the forces behind a bank’s treatment of business owners in the name of Financial Stability.

A participatory worldview sees that order and energy are complimentary opposites from which the infinite and transformative arises.  But in a materialistic worldview, order is sovereign, and energy is demonised.  The regime of order, whose personification in my poem is the ironically named ‘Fair Queen’, pretends that its finite constructions – financial stability and fairness – are, and will provide, the infinite.  But the denial of the infinite inevitably locks the system into a cycle of scarcity, causing the ‘Fair Queen’ to sacrifice others to keep herself stable.


“Get rid!”, they squeal

Hot collars as

Financial crisis rolls in.

We’ve taken you over!

Don’t like your kids!

The wolves knocking at our door!


The old father leaves

Sensible subjectivity .

The pantheon

Of prudence

Follows his ghost.


A new regime of ‘fair’

A howling step-aunt

And her collection of ghouls

Sit around the paper

That now serves

As cardinal hinge

Between heaven and hell.


How can we wrangle

To meet our objectives?

The Queen of Safe

Interrogates the Rex of Lex


Subjectivity our mode!

Clauses our weapon!

The stable our goal!


The shepherds

Watch their flocks.

But the stars muffled

The kings absent.


As the locks click

Into place,

The clause-wolves

Enjoy the torture

And blameless victory

The spoils already theirs.


The children scream

As their paper guardians flutter.

Regal experts march in.

Humiliating games

Set up to fail.


Fire sale.

Land grab.

Souls and hearts


As the Queen of the Stable-Fair

Watches on.

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