5 thoughts on “Fixin’ the South. A Pome.

  1. I just loved this. As a born and bred Southlander it really hit the heart.Still love heading “home” to Tuatapere, Riverton and Invercargill.

  2. Okay brother, in the best traditions of Banjo Paterson versus Henry Lawson …

    MISTER POET, JUST LEAVE THE SOUTH ALONE
    I have heard about this poet, hell-bent on fixing the South
    He might live to regret the day he ever opened his mouth
    Tell me when he last ventured south of the Aparima River
    Or waded in Te Waewae’s foam and felt his body shiver?

    He’d move Invercargill up to Winton, that I heard him say
    (With Turnbull Thomson and chainman turning in dismay)
    Could he guarantee to retain those wide streets as they are
    Including Otepuni corner, where Eleanor berthed on ‘Star’

    Now reconfiguring Bluff, the very thought gives me a chill
    What has he got in mind for that steepling, bush-clad hill?
    Another island off the coast would look totally out of place
    And what would cyclists do for fun in the big six-day race?

    Bringing oyster beds close to shore maybe has some merit
    (Tell me, has he checked with kaumatua Michael Skerrett?)
    I’d hate such improved accessibility to hasten their demise
    We remember why toheroa beds suffered a great downsize

    And why mess with Winton, or Central Southland College
    Surely, he now indicates a distinct lack of local knowledge
    The scene of my triumph in the District High Schools mile
    A feat that gave old Bernie’s face that wide, eternal smile

    The Longwood Range doesn’t need Riverton on its flanks
    Colac and Orepuki both say thanks, but no bloody thanks
    Gemstone Beach will not move, that I thought he’d know
    As long as Te Waewae drains the Waiau’s diminished flow

    Papatotara has matured in rough-hewn pioneering fashion
    Since Hugh Erskine back in ‘85 arrived with Irish passion
    His name is ensconced amid the sea breeze blowing there
    I’d suggest the poet’s adjustments be introduced with care

    This Pilgrim longs to breathe the South’s air of well-being
    To re-enforce the majesty his mind’s eye is always seeing
    Why the poet wants to change all that, reasons I’m at a loss
    The place names he mentions are like Stations of the Cross

    Yes, seems to me he’s fixing up something that isn’t broke
    Has living in the city made him an ideas impractical bloke?
    Of his grand proposals there’s only one that looks profound
    We agree, Tuatapere sits on God-blessed, hallowed ground!

    © desperado 2018

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