The 2019 Asia Pacific Corruption Index
The great unwashed take charge

Man behind the curtain


I wonder if there is such a man
Who sits all day behind a curtain 
I wonder what he’s doing there 
Sitting by himself, behind the curtain 

Though I may not see or hear him 
I know that I can feel his presence 
This man sitting behind the curtain 
I’m curious of what he's doing

Maybe he's busy doing stuff 
Or maybe idling away his time 
Has he ever looked beyond his curtain?
Is he interested in what I do?

I don’t know if he hates my ways 
Or dislikes the friends I hang out with 
But I feel I understand this man
Who sits quietly behind the curtain 

I wonder what he’s doing there 
Sitting all day behind the curtain 
Maybe he's busy doing stuff 
Or maybe just biding his time 


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Raymond Sigimet

Thank you, Phil, for expanding this theme. Life is interesting and perplexing such that we observe as the man behind the curtain later in life or wonder about the man behind the curtain early in life.

Philip Fitzpatrick

You've captured a recurring theme in literature with your poem, Ray. It reminded me of several other works that I've read over the years.

‘The Boy Behind the Curtain’ is an autobiographical work by Australian author Tim Winton. Through a series of short stories he chronicles important events which helped to shape his life and his writing.

‘The Watcher on the Cast-Iron Balcony’ is a biographical work by poet and writer Hal Porter. It recreates the rhythms of small-town life between the wars and covers the author's early boyhood experiences, his first job as a cadet reporter, his work as a teacher, as an art student and then an actor in Melbourne.

The writer and poet is often characterised as a watcher rather than an active participant in events.

They are the people who sit quietly in the corner nursing their drink and saying little at parties.

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