Henry Briffa

Henry Briffa

Henry Briffa, born in Malta, runs a Psychology practice in Melbourne Australia. His chapbook Walking Home was published by Melbourne Poets Union in 2019. In 2018 he received a special commendation in the Queensland Poetry Festival Elder Emerging Poet Mentorship Award. His poems have been published in local journals and overseas.

The George Cross Għana*

A duelling guitar, tuned to the key of G
accompanies a slam poet of the ‘50s.

Battlers from St Albans,
havin’ their go at Melbourne establishment

this pair keen to show
the’ re a better poet /guitarist than the next.

Lyrics lace impromptu rhymes on Maltese proverbs.
folktales of Ġaħan slaying the giant,

so the little guy gets a fair go.
The scale somehow Abyssinian,

heavy with historic battles
while some riffs express

longing for home
the voice, sounding like a wail

a signature of this
regular competition

about who can best
express pain.

Living relics
of a post-war pop culture

now viewed on U-tube back home
as some quaint Aussie joke.

*Traditional Maltese impromptu poetry with accompanying folk guitar
still found in the Maltese diaspora but now rarely heard in Malta.

Ġaħan is a wise working class hero in Maltese folktales

For other contributions by Henry Briffa, please follow the link below:

Poetry in this post: © Henry Briffa
Published with the permission of Henry Briffa