Friday 24 December 2021

From A Smug Hermit Kingdom

Being locked-down here is hardly a hardship.

SURVEYING my hermit kingdom,
I feel entitled to a little smugness.
The flowers from the Silk Tree
Are floating like pink paratroopers
Into all the corners of the garden.
Clematis blooms, her spiked earrings
Drooping languidly above the mown lawn.
Being locked-down here is hardly a hardship.

Of course, the hermit bit is all wrong.
In this kingdom I have not been alone.
A wife, a daughter, a solipsistic cat
Have kept me company right through.
And when we got to the traffic lights,
There were old friends to greet,
And food to eat, and the thrust and parry
Of much-missed conversation, face-to-face.

One name, Jacinda, rose out of
All this agreeable contention.
But in my little kingdom, if not in others,
It was spoken kindly, with forbearance.
Occasionally, with just the tiniest edge of asperity.
Elsewhere, it is spat out in anger,
And anguish, and wild desperation.
Not every kingdom is as calm as mine.

So, maybe, we all deserve the taunt of smugness.
A small people, distracted by small causes,
While beyond our fortunate borders the Plague rages.
Perhaps, all things considered, we have earned the rebuke.
Still, there are worse things to be called.
Smug suggests pride in a job well done,
And the grim satisfaction of knowing that
There are much worse kingdoms to be locked-down in.

Chris Trotter
23 December 2021

This poem was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 24 December 2021.


sumsuch said...

Well said about silk trees at this time of year. 35 years a professional gardener and I hadn't noticed til a client a week ago. A pink tinged snowfall. And clematis seedheads are often decorative as well. Haven't looked it up but I believe clematis has 3 equally legitimate pronunciations according to the OED.

greywarbler said...

Angels' wings lifting you on a flight of fancy Chris? A poetic response, (not a pathetic response I hope).

John Hurley said...

Chris I can cover every argument in the density debate.

1. Elephant in room: "huge immigration" Paul Spoonley

2. I lived in a mouldy villa with 10 others
Bad housing exists for 100 years of misery

3. No Generation Z does not want to live in a box and take the kids to a park

4. Michael Joseph Savage says NZrs need space and sunshine

5. House on 1/4 Acre does not downsize to an apartment. Miniaturization is expensive and has to be done well.

The density pundits are full of bullshit. They either have nice gardens or live in high rises in downtown Auckland and are prepared to turn a blind eye (I suspect they loathe ordinary New Zealanders) to substandard housing in the interests of open borders. I've followed them on Twitter.

Bernard Hickey disgusts me. He lines up one generation against the other. Chloe Swarbrick (who poo-hooed Winston on the nation) is the young heroine. Tamatha Paul calls home owners "privileged" (you have two and I have one, logic).