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Bill Sutton          
New Zealand

Kitchen - Charles Olsen
New Harvest

Last night I dreamed of the new harvest
coming across the sea
to Aotearoa, not whales nor even
tuna this time, but people:
men and families, starving, desperate,
paying in body parts to venture
down past cruel powerful Australia
to a place that once, they were told
projected a kinder face.

To be greeted here by what?
Helicopters and grey warships,
men and women with loudspeakers
ordering them to go back
to where? Tin-pot Fiji
ruined by decades of dictatorship?
Or those other islands, some already
half submerged, and the others
ravaged by the super-cyclones
spawned from the great warming?

There is no other refuge
and now the words become harsher
Go back! You cannot stay here!
Go back or we will destroy you!
and then the missiles.

District 10

I'm a lot less interested
in 'the green fire of the ferns'
than the barbed wire fences
bordering our Polynesian suburbs.

The ferns can speak for themselves
but the suburbs squat at our fringes
speaking to us in a language
we prefer not to have to acknowledge.

We own the commercial property
and many of the houses. There is
a backlog of rent to be collected.
We own the wholesale drug trade.

Some people persist in voting
but politicians can be purchased
and the poets have been relocated
to Taradale and Havelock North.

The problem caused by children
wilfully by-passing the barriers
we spent our lives erecting and maintaining
is being vigorously addressed.

A Kiwi Defies Great China

China says that I am a high-cost producer
but China is mistaken.
All I produce these days is urine and feces
for which I require no payment
only food and drink, which I have
enough of to last until I die.
I scatter my product liberally
wherever it is most needed -
in water, where it fertilises the fishes,
or on land where it fertilises farming.
Out-compete me, China, if you can!

Bill Sutton grew up in Waihaorunga and now lives in Napier. He has been a DSIR scientist, Labour MP, regional councillor and policy analyst and has published poems in Takahe and NZ Political Review.