SUPER FLUMINA BABYLONIS



Super flumina Babylonis.
     Blue
tongue-flicking vipers’ bugloss, yellow
     pokers of mullein
          waving like Longinus’ spear,
saffron orange
     California poppy eschscholzia brought
on the boots of long-gone gold prospectors.

               Waimakariri
               Rakaia
               Waitaki
Three jade swords piercing the side
of a long Waitaha woman in a green mantle,
where in river-wombs somnambulant
     the eel ol’ grey
          Papa Satan twists
     beneath white sky reflected from Antarctica.

Jezebel in the vineyard of Naboth, eh?
Send OCD Pilate some Sunlight soap,
he’s got a lot of postcolonial dirt under his nails –

               been there since his great, great granddaddy’s time.



Published in Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 political poems. Eds Philip Temple & Emma Neale. Otago University Press, 2017

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