Peters hydrating at the Newshub Nation debate. Photo: Tim Murphy

The Duke of Hazard

Lord Winston, the Duke of Hazard,

Rose late and yawned.

The Palace was loud with the hubbub

Of busy courtiers preparing to flee the city.

Outside the gates, the followers of Baron Luxon

Prepared for their assault upon the city walls.

The Duke of Hazard wandered into the Great Hall

For a leisurely breakfast of toasted non-binary unicorns

Drizzled in a light sauce of woke outrage.

At the head of the Great Table,

Sits King Chipkins the Lonely with head in hands.

He looked up with forlorn hope in his eyes.

“I’m 500 troops short,” he starts.

“I don’t suppose you might … er … ”

Winston merely shakes his head,

Tossing a few toasted unicorns into his mouth.

Lord Winston ambles out across the drawbridge,

Where low ranked list MPs are flinging themselves

Into the moat in despair.

Lord Winston saunters past the enemy camp.

They eye him malignly but their swords are left sheathed,

For none may challenge the Duke of Hazard.

Toad of Seymour grabs his sack of treasure,

A glistening motherlode of the Baubles of Office.

“Back away, Duke!” he warns Winston,

“It’s mine – mine – all mine!”

But the biggest baubles of all magically appear

In the quicksilver hands of Winston, Master Prestidigitator.

The great illusionist juggles his purloined emeralds and rubies

Before the bamboozled Seymour.

“Look and learn, young fellow,” winks Lord Winston

With a crocodile like grin.

Winston wanders into the Grand Tent of the Baron

And idly munches on a shiny apple he plucks

From the vast tables of premium class catering.

He spots Fair Lady Nicola

Stuck beneath a large pile of parchments

With crossed out sums and red ink scrawled all over.

“Working hard or hardly working?”

Jokes witty Lord Winston.

Lady Nicola colours a deep rosy shade of dainty rage.

“Must we be wagged by this loathsome tail?” she complains

To Baron Luxon who sits staring into space.

The Baron momentarily returns from his journey

To the astral plane

And snaps to attention with a blink.

“Well, none of us want to be wagged,” sighs the Baron,

“But I will sacrifice all for The Crown.”

And he and Lord Winston, Duke of Hazard,

Stroll out into the blood red dusk to speak

On what manner of sacrifice may be required.

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes for such luminaries as Christopher Luxon,  David Seymour, Nicola Willis, and Chris Hipkins.

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