new zealand electronic poetry centre

David Eggleton


online works


Uruwhenua, Gateway to the Land

         
A Commission of Enquiry is launched
after a river dredge fishes up
a greenstone door into the underworld.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The Prince of Whales, the Princess of Dolphins,
endorse the New Zealots,
who erect a novelty bivouac
out of fifth-generation native bush.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The rabbit king of the high country
shows the world how to dropkick
a cereal box clear across the South Island,
and have it land between the posts in Hokitika.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
Elegant census-takers of the revisited past
construct a wish-list of possibilities,
where the end justifies the means.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The Last Victorian, fallen from her pedestal,
plugs the brain drain,
and floods the nation
with nursers of soft and fluffy neuroses.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The use of live birds as ear-rings
leads to savaged scalps
for a shearing gang gone on the bash.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
As Pakeha begins the oratory of taxes,
an improving circus of missionaries,
land surveyors and bush sawmillers
pushes rusty, squeaking wheelbarrows
through a landscape of shrinking violets.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
Off the trays of vintage trucks,
tramping down the Foxton Straights,
butter cartons are flung to the four winds.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
A Captain Cooker, in top hat
and frock coat, runs squealing
from the fancy dress lucky dip.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
A liquored cabinet of prime miniatures
totters and falls to shatter
in a genderquake of epic proportions.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The terrific talons of the kiwi
shred dollar bills of all denominations,
devaluing the stakeholder’s quizzical stare.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
Confiscated marijuana plants
are woven into a salutary hemp noose,
hung from the turret of Sky Tower.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The South Pacific midriff,
colonised by bar-bells,
undulates its bare expanse:
an army of teenage girls
marches on its belly-button.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.
 
The spirit of the beehive roars
through the mouth
of a gothic horror queen.
Uruwhenua, gateway to the land.





From Fast Talker (Auckland UP, 2006)



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Last updated 12 April, 2006