New Zealand’s quarter-detached poet laureate composes an ode for the Aotearoa naming debate

What’s in a name?

Scene: The Great Plains.

Two mighty armies joined in merciless combat.

On the muddied field of battle, all is chaos.

Smoke and shrieks and the clash of steel.

Under the Blue Banner of Lady Judith of Oravida,

there is lopping of traitors and strange war dances.

Under the Pennant of Pink Transgender Unicorns,

there is much diversity and kindness thereof

but a curious lack of progress on Matters of State.

Queen Cindy is severely discontented.

But lo! From the ranks of The House of Blue

strides a man, fierce and proud in his bearing.

All combatants pause and draw breath sharply.

Who is this grand paladin who steps forward?

What tidings bringeth he to our troubled land?

What pronouncement of profundity and wisdom?

Hear ye, O assembled kinsmen and foes!

saith he. I come from the land of vineyards.

I am he whom you have awaited: Stuart the Obscure.

And in the name of all that is Holy and Good

I declare that the name of Our Kingdom

shall remain the Mighty Whitey Turnip Dominion

and over my dead body will we ever be known as

The Land of the Long Orange Kumara.

As if a spell was cast by a Wizard of uncanny powers,

a long profound silence settles on the bloody field.

The silence lengthens. A cough. Then a snicker.

Then laughter swells. It echoes across the land.

Lo, there is much jeering and hooting from all.

A wave of arrows descends on hapless Stuart

and the entire leadership of the Blue Battalions

who are unfortunately standing next to him.

O grievous massacre! O woe! O peppering!

Is this the end for the once glorious House of Blue?

But not today; no, not today. A bell jangles.

From stage right appears a familiar figure.

Jester Seymour steps nimble

over the prone arrow-peppered figures

and bends down and picks up

a crown that rolls in the weeds;

and flippeth it jauntily onto his head.

He surveys the stunned survivors.

Quoth he, I just think there are some

bigger issues for most people.

The battered ranks of Blue roar their approval.

All hail Lord Seymour of Epsom!

High Commander of the Rebel Armies!

and Jester no more.

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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