New Zealand’s unelected poet laureate composes an ode for the two most shamed people in New Zealand
From the sighing mangrove swamps of the North,
did the young lovers flee;
whence scrofulous humours didst afflict their City,
that intemperate hub of commerce.
Reluctant were our libertines to suffer
the vile Grippe, the Ague, the loathsome Pox.
But ’twas the melancholic air of solitude,
sequestered in their narrow garret,
that turned them aside from reason,
and exil’d them far beyond the pale.
As knew the Bard, like madness
is the glory of this life!
They rode furious all night, leaving behind
the morbid glimmer of that plague-wrack’d realm,
until the beast–splattered outskirts of The Tron
rolled over the endless horizon.
Thus they disembarked, and tied their stallions
to a tree, and fell skyward on a mighty Balloon,
until all the creatures of the earth resembleth
small dots below, until a brief call at Queen’s Landing
guaranteed as much trouble as possible
was conjured from their lawless flight.
Lo, they ascended with waxen wing
close to the Sun, as did Icarus in antiquity,
across the great moat that defends
the Southern Isle from the peregrinations
of the rude Northern tribes and their loud ways.
After many carbon miles, they came to the Promised Land
of Level 2 takeaway latte, where gentle zephyrs
tickle the cherry blossom and flouncing lambs;
in the lake country, far from the maddening crowd.
Yet all too soon was their bower of bliss perturbed
by the rude clamour of the Covid dob line;
and the prompt arrival of Sheriff’s Men,
dour and short in their temper and bearing.
Back, back, to the North, were our star-cross’d
lovers hauled, enchain’d and gnashing in despair.
Attended were they by Counsel, Doctors of Law
and Crisis Communications Professionals,
their High Families jeered and mock’d and enraged,
hard-won reputation a pile of ash that smoketh.
The court of public opinion casteth them
into outer darkness, from which we hope
they may emerge as doth the butterfly
from the chrysalis, in due course,
in maybe a decade or so.