In the Pākehā Dreamtime
Frank Petre was a giant made of cloud,
stomping around the South Island.
Every so often
he’d stop for a shit, squatting down,
leaving behind as a deposit
a perfect little white basilica
in well-modulated classical orders,
cupolas sprouting like a verdigris mushrooms.
Is there such a thing as a Pākehātanga?
Two thousand copper-headed nails hammered into
a crucifix of ivory and sandalwood;
two thousand limestone tongues of acanthus lapping at the tears
of concrete Minerva and plaster Apollo.
Timaru, Oamaru, Christchurch,