New Zealand’s rural poet laureate Victor Billot composes an ode to mark Friday’s protest march against the government

The Great Rebellion

And so it passeth in the year 2021,

the barbarian lords from beyond

the Great Wall of the Polls

marched upon Queens Landing.

Squires of the far reaches rolleth onwards

atop their sixteen wheeler carts,

with air conditioned cabs and musketry,

and sacks of capital gains from grand estates thereof.

Lo! Their cause is just and mighty.

For all knoweth in the land,

a twenty four wheeler cart and musket signifieth

one’s special status in the eye of the Lord.

Betwixt plains yellowed by the Great Drought.

Across black rivers that stinketh of oxen shite.

Past the peasants camped by the roadside

who have neither hovels nor stale crusts of bread.

Past the Pharisees of Lambton Temple;

past latte sipping scholars in their robes;

past tribesmen toiling in Sherwood Orchard;

past Lady Judith of Oravida who asketh for a lift.

Meanwhile in Queens Landing, Her Kindness

is practising her banging DJ set.

All is well in the candy striped Tower of Kindness.

The plague is outside the gates.

But the screeching and revving and barking

reaches up high into the ninety-seventh floor.

Pink non-binary unicorns are dive bombing carts

and musketry is deployed. Lo, it is verily chaos.

Why doth these liege men protest? Cindy queries.

They wish their nine million oxen to continue

to shitteth in the waters, O Queen,

advise the Three Wise Men of the Focus Group.

They refuseth your tithes on their forty eight wheeler,

late model, air conditioned carts with heated seats.

Send out Lord of the Potato O’Connor to parley!

commandeth Queen Cindy; he speaketh their lingo.

Sadly the Lord’s head returns, lopped, on a platter.

The Queen drummeth her fingers upon the throne.

Who will free me of these turbulent dairy capitalists?

asketh she, in plaintive and mournful tone.

In her fine gown, the Queen ascended her balcony

with her Technics SL-1200 turntable and vinyl collection

and droppeth some phat beatz

and waveth and smileth at the rancorous mob.

And so it came to passeth,

there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

What hopes do we have against such fell magick?

asketh the gloomy yeomanry.

In muddy disarray, their legions disperse to distant provinces,

followed by Lady Judith still trying to catcheth a ride.

But upon the Great Wall of the Polls, under night’s shadow,

a fine series of cracks has appeared; and dust falleth

from once impregnable stone.

Victor Billot has previously been moved to write odes for such New Zealand luminaries as David Seymour, Jacinda Ardern, Todd Muller, The Son of Key, Mike Hosking, and Garrick Tremain.

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