Pukapuka Books


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pukapuka Poem #16 Beware of Falling Hippies - Michael O'Leary


Beware of Falling Hippies

(for Murray Thompson)

the enemy within
is about to make its final
it has captured your bowel
it has established its position
on the peninsular of your liver
the cancerous shock-troops
are preparing for the next

the photograph of us
with James aged four
appeared in the O.D.T.
we had replaced the
council’s sign ‘Beware
falling debris’ put
there after a storm
with our own version:
how much we loved
the beautiful place we lived
in, Seacliff seems a world
away for me now, even
though I carry it with
me wherever I roam, but
not for you who remained
there down all the years
and your whänau
who have all
returned to be with you
in your hour . . .

I remember you first showed me the cover
of ‘Slow Train Coming’ and you eulogised
that album’s virtues. Well, old Comrade
it looks like that train will be stopping
to pick you up soon, in fact I can almost
hear its lonesome whistle blowing, up
around the bend, coming through
the Cliff’s Tunnel above Blueskin Bay . . .

and we are all
beginning to fall

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