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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 3 18 March 1970

An Ode to the Reigning Monarch on the Occasion of her Majesty's Visit to Pig Island

An Ode to the Reigning Monarch on the Occasion of her Majesty's Visit to Pig Island

Madame, I beg quarrel with
Your trip across the water—
Pig Island needs no English myth
To keep its guts in order.
Though our half-witted housewives yearn
At your image on the TV screen.

Forgive me that I cannot praise
The Civil Service State
Whose blueprints falsify the maze
It labours to create,
And plants above that sticky mess
Yourself in an icing sugar dress.

The dead who drink at Bellamy's
Are glad when schoolkids clap
A Fairy Queen who justifies
The nabob and the bureaucrat.
In a land where a wharfic's daughter can
Marry someday the squatter's son.

While the stuffed monkey, dog and sow.
Flay ludo in the void,
The Auckland pavements carry now
Six hundred unemployed.
And the bought clerks who sneer at them
Will crowd to kiss your diadem.

The girls at Arohata jail
Are very rarely dressed in silk—
Let us make a Glasgow cocktail
Bubbling coal gas into milk,
Drink up Mary, Kate and Prue,
No better and no worse than you.

Before my birth your soldiers made
A football of my skull
At Mud Farm when they crucified
My father on a pole
Because he would take a gun
And kill another working man.

I give you now to end our talk
A toast you will not like:
McSweency the Lord Mayor of Cork
Who died on hunger strike.
It took him eighty days to drown
In the blood and shit that floats the Crown.

While Big Ben bangs out stroke on stroke
And the circus wheel spins round,
The Maori looks at Holyoake
And Holyoake looks at the ground,
And there will be more things to say
When the Royal Yacht has sailed away.

James K. Baxter

(originally published in Argot, March 1963)