by Michael O'Leary

Doomsblay: One Hundred Years of Desmond and Molly, Ha, Ha Ha Ha

Everything seemed exact, yet dislocated
The old Stock Exchange building standing
In pre-neon illuminated clock flashed
An iridescent flicker onto the tramlines

The streets looked washed and clean
As after pre-Hendrix summer rain
The time flashed again – Kuata pahi
Ono karaka – followed by the date

It was their first walk together
As the 6.15 tram to Caversham
Went clanking past they saw
16th June, 1904, written in the sky

Te tekau ma ono o nga ra o Hune;
Ko te kau kotahi mano iwa rau ma wha
Day of Days, Holies of Holies
Heaven and Earth are full of your glory

They planned a coach ride to Sandymount
“Next Tuesday – it’s only 1s/6d each way,”
Hinengaro and Patrick Mika were in love
As James and Nora, in their own way

Doomsblay maybe amidst the smoke of battle,
But there is no battle in the smoke of Juno
Wai Rongoa now holds ten special gold medals
As they walked quickly past Dallas and Watts

All along the Boulevard de Dunedineaux
It was getting dark now and the last tram
Up the valley would soon be leaving, that waka
Entering into the strange seas of moemoeä

From the rising cloud of a locomotive’s boiler
A moko also appeared engraved on its surface
This Moko told an ancient story of Abelard
And his niece and their ill-fated love

Just like Romeo and Juliet
Hinemoa and Tutanekai
Kei te kata nei ano, kua mane te ngakau
A, te mutunga o taua koa he pouri . . .
The cloud face, smiling down at them
Leading them closer towards the cliffs
And they were falling, falling down
All the days from 1904, down the thousand
Miles from Tamaki ma kaurau to Otepoti
– its still the same old story . . .

Michael O'Leary

Michael Oleary's picture

I am a poet, novelist, artist, and academic from Aotearoa New Zealand. I have had several books of poetry published including 'Toku Tinihanga: selected poems 1982 to 2002' - my latest collections were 'Paneta Street' 2008 and 'Livin' ina Aucklan' in 2010. At present I am working on a project called 'Fences Fall' which is a collaboration with myself and several musicians to produce a CD of songs based on my poems.

Last updated August 09, 2011