New Zealand’s rebel poet laureate composes an ode for Sir John of Key

The messenger from the North

Lo! There cross the wide plain marched a great host.

The King of the Dead, woken from slumber,

had risen from his Vast Cold Tomb in Parnell

and walked again amongst the living.

Summon’d he a great army of zombie hobbits.

Clad in BBQ apron and holding a beersie,

he tramped with dread intent on the Gates

of the Smug Hermit Queendom of Xanadu.

And he spoke to the zombie hobbits;

and proclaimeth tinctures and cloves of garlic

would hold the pestilence at bay.

Lo, said the King, throw the Gates open.

Lo, offer zombie hobbits potions outside the taverns.

Lo, throw the serfs a groat to drink the elixir.

Lo, for we shall eat and drink and be free

as the lambs gambolleth in the spring meadow.

The merchants grow weary of thin takings:

now is the time to be bold and risk and sacrifice,

although the sacrifice may not be mine.

And the people looked one way and whither:

and said do we believe the Red Queen and her counsel

who fear not hunger with their generous weekly salaries;

or do we heed the King of the Dead and his counsel

of dude bros talking outeth their arses on talkback radio?

And the people were dismayed,

and they fell to squabbling amongst each other.

Thus was the Queendom divided,

and battle was joined and bloody vengeance obtain’d.

Victor Billot has previously been moved to write odes for such New Zealand luminaries as Willis and Rawnsley, Dr Siouxsie Wiles, Duncan Garner, and Garrick Tremain.

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