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IHU RETURNS – poetry compt. entry 2016

September 27, 2016

Ihu Returns

Hemi, saw your old mate Ihu the other day

been out in the community, deinstitutionalised and normalised

living with the fisher folk out in the bay


He had just walked over from Petone

Grinning up a dawn, restored, reconciled, returned

said he’d come to show the way


Had a korero with the dreadlocked bare-footed bishop

blessings all round – no miracles yet

played the guitar though (ao)


Fifty years on and nobody remembered him

‘cept the cops who were quick to check him out – tracking associates

Stopped his wine thing from going on in Midland Park


Even if he’d come back from Bolton Street

I don’t think the straights would know

who he is, was, and forever shall be


Giving out Redemption vouchers outside the Station

the suits kept their heads low and eyes averted

while those in need of hope and succour were drawn in


The clerks and cleaners, lost wives and priests dreadlocked-man

least, last, lost and alone

gathered in his sunshine


They followed him to the valley, on the No 7 bus

no donkey was available – green was in the air though

Plenty of mussels and paraoa to share that night


Shouting “I AM” as loud as a Colin McCahon

till noise control came and took him away – Disturbed the peace they said

“Guilty” he replied, “of disrupting the void”


Leaders, civic and the rest, wanted him gone

none of this ‘share the fruits of my labour’ stuff

“Give us Barbers” they cried – to keep the city hip


And so the cops and the wardens, the screws and the medics

all took their turn to prescribe their solutions

from their world view


“I am who I am” he said “My Will be done”

but the poor of Spirit still sat in the House

and the riches of the Kingdom went begging


“It is done” he said

and commended his Spirit – and the darkness returned

and the sun rested


©  Frank McDade


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