New Zealand’s masquerading poet laureate composes an Ode for Jacinda Ardern

North of the Wall

So it came to pass in that benighted year,

Cindy the Kind saith to her courtiers;

I wish to inspect the grand estates of the North.

And so the Queen and her Court floated skyward

in the Royal Hot Air Balloon HMS Mandate,

escorted by an honour guard of Pink Nonbinary Unicorns.

Far beneath on the green pleasant fields,

small puffs of smoke unfurled gracefully

and bands of merry serfs appeared

to be roaming and setting fire to haystacks.

Can we go a little faster? asketh the Queen.

Thus the Chancellor redoubled his efforts

printing paper doubloons from his small press;

and he fed them verily into the flames

of the hot air machine that keeps all aloft.

Near the Great Wall of the North,

great headwinds battered the balloon;

but the Queen spoke into her crystal zoom ball,

and as if by magick, at her knee

appeared the Young Princess,

and the headwinds subsided temporarily.

Through the gold bricked streets of the City in the North

did the Queen ride with her minions,

and it was deathly quiet except for the moans

of the undead who shuffled bereft outside the malls.

Yet hold, a blast of trumpets! The clatter of hooves!

Tidings from Queens Landing! Cries a messenger.

The rebels are at the Gates of the Palace!

Knaves who refuseth tinctures and elixirs.

Rideth they chopped hogs, and present colours

of an unholy Alliance: the pennants of the tribespeople,

and the banners of House Trump, and they prance and cavort

and demand the head of Saint Asphodel of Bumfold.

To Queens Landing to defend the realm! Cries the Monarch.

The Pink Nonbinary Unicorns prepared press statements

and position papers and Ministerial briefings

to unleash in mighty fury against the treasonous plotters;

and the Chancellor worked up a light sweat shovelling

paper doubloons into the hot air machine, but no matter

how much he shovelled, the balloon seemed to be slowing

and sinking closer and closer to the ground.

Victor Billot has previously been moved to write Odes for such New Zealand luminaries as Tova O’Brien,  Brian Tamaki, Willis and Rawnsley, Dr Siouxsie Wiles, Duncan Garner, and Garrick Tremain.

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