ReadingRoom

A poem for... Kiwibuild

New Zealand's unofficial poet laureate Victor Billot pens topical verse every Sunday. This week: the rotten egg laid by the outgoing coalition government

Let’s keep moving

I was sitting in my cheap motel room
next to the window, smelling petrol fumes
when on the TV came a lady in red
and with a kind smile, let’s keep moving, she said.

I have kept moving for many long weeks.
A house with a roof is all I humbly seek.
While stuck in lockdown it seemed I had found a bed.
But now I keep moving, just like she said.

My young brother and his wife to be
were planning with great hope for a small family.
From tenancy to tenancy, from garage to shed,
they have to keep moving, they sadly said.

On sixty thousand a year, they aspire to a tent.
But the man down at Westpac said I advise you to rent.
You need to choose between a mortgage or staying fed.
Just keep on moving, is what that man said.

So in a lather I called on my Labour MP.
She said most sorry to hear, but it’s not 1933.
That was then, this is now, Mickey Savage is dead –
next term we’ll sort it, now get moving, she said.

I seem to recall in my mind’s dimmest recess,
Kiwibuild was going to sort out this mess.
Then Phil T. disappeared without one homestead,
but don’t worry ‘bout that, let’s keep moving, she said.

Late in the evening I walk along these great roads.
We seem to build lots, we seem to build loads.
Then the lady in red appeared on a sign overhead,
and in big capital letters, let’s keep moving, she said.

Parked up in its shadow was an old Mitsubishi
where under a blanket slept kids one, two, and three.
And that empty slogan repeated in my head
as I quietly kept moving, just like she said.

Victor Billot has previously been moved to write odes for such New Zealand luminaries as Garrick Tremain, Todd Muller, David Clark, Winston Peters and James Shaw.

  

*Made with the support of Creative New Zealand *

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