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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 10, No. 11. July 30, 1947



This is the hostess;
An obese war-widow, fruitless, barren.
Enthroned on empty barrels in a tawdry room.
Under the neons she blooms artificially
And prattles of her future,
Aping the sturdy child.
A thousand titivations and distractions
Concentrate consideration on her good intentions.

Her special guests applaud her performance
From the plush seats,
Avoid the whipping curtains, the rattling door.
The rising gale spatters the windows,
Shivers the staircase,
Howls in the desolate spaces;
But the widow's room is yet warm.

Mr. Truckworthy feels constrained to mention his ancestor
Ravaging with bead, blanket, booze, bible;
Serving an unwilling species;
Indecent in the decencies;
Bringing the incandescence to the dark places.
"My father. . . my grandfather. . . my great-grandfather. . ."
This is Mr. Truckworthy's contribution.
Destiny of great splendour.

On his right
Mrs. Fitzconqueror tittering emptily—
Furs, feathers, frosted glasses, air-wheels, larks' tongues,
Blood freeheld by inheritance—evades the ultimatum.
She exclaims in admiration of the widow's suave mimicry.
Blind to wrinkles, fat, rheum, rent finery.

Sly Father O'Pietro glides stealthily around and between
Nodding his approval. This hireling enemy of freedom
Slips through the door secretly;
Upon the staircase emphasises the flesh.
Offers the golden dream—
Eternal convolutions of spurious thought.
And preaches authority to gild the shabby throne.

Lord Braggadocio coming late to the party
Forces his way up the staircase,
Waving his crackling credentials.
Major Powder keeping the door
Welcomes him with, "Brother, Brother!"
The widow smiles upon him.

In the far corner
The Donkey and the Dove consult together,
Split hairs, accept principles, promulgate provisional decrees,
Feel that at least they have made a real advance.
And little Verity, an amateur among professionals,
Pounds upon waxed ears, crying the wind, the greedy tide,
A voice voiceless in a wilderness of voices.

Bruce McLeod.