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Poetry Magnum Opus

Haka (slightly R )


dedalus

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Train train a sky of blue,

a winter morning crisp and tight

like ice, like trouser creases.

 

My heart lifts, it rises,

as I head off in the wrong direction

looking at the hard-etched houses

lined against an azure sky,

viewing the sharpcut yellow stubble

of a tiny rice meadow

that can feed five families

angled between two rather squat

office buildings with a flourish

of Chinese characters.

 

The return train,

it seems I am running late

and I couldn’t care

 

less. The fellows are still

waiting for the stadium bus,

knocking back tinnies at the stop,

and then there is Aya, a sad Filipina

with purple contacts and a helluva

bad story. I have heard so many of them

that I feel like a hidden priest, perhaps

I should parade in rough Christian robes

to hide the ice within.

 

I could learn to like Aya,

trouble is Aya's been "liked" before,

repeatedly, been badly done over

 

and so I’m only half listening,

as you do, politely. Then the match

begins, and it goes on for a bit,

with oohs and aahs from the crowd.

I used to love this stuff, this rugby,

in my young youth I played on the green

lumpy fields of three continents,

one of the gay silly things I did

before old age took over.

 

Rugby, savants say, is a metaphor

for war, for the playing fields of Eton:

untrue, but it can be physical chess

 

when the many healthy resplendent lads

stop fussing around a badly bouncing ball,

with their girls all bright and smiling, pretending

an interest they could never conceivably possess

in the furthest tiniest re-cess of their capacious

rapacious female brains. Aya is looking over

now, and I'm sorry, but I'm not looking back. I am

on the track of an over-priced fizzy beer; if a man

won’t drink, he could be labelled an Irish queer

 

for trailing the ladies instead of the booze.

No, no, for all of my life I've been looking, searching,

waiting to choose, hope sadly slipping away.

 

I reckon in the end we all may lose,

even in the hardass canyons of the USA

where rugby, I presume, is a pussy game.

We had a joke going, one of them weak no-brainers,

as the pink-cheeked girls, annoyed, yanked off their boots,

figure that one out; but then Shem tapped me

upside the head. Fuckin hurt, too. Didn’t even

know the gentleman, a situation soon

and forever about to change.

 

Stick out your tongue. Wha’?

More, more, more, is that the best you can do?

Was I talking too much? Glaarh --; glaa...aaarh!!

 

Roll your eyes: flex your knees and elbows,

Jesus Christ, man, are you bleedin paraplegic?

and what happened that tongue, that tongue,

it should be licking the end of your pimply nose!

The fuckwit silly losers they send me down

these times would wear the balls off the Virgin Mary

had she had any, beggin yer pardon, Ma'rm. Sir? What?

Can I stop licking my nose and go back to the crap

daily rhythms of ordinaryl life? Ho, Irish are we?

 

Limber up, Paddy, for I’m going to teach you once,

once and once only, for the first and for the last time,

how a man should feel, how he should live ... and dance!

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Haka is a Maori war dance. The New Zealand rugby team performs it before every international match to intimidate their opponents. It works.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Hi Brendan, I am not sure I followed this one. It seemed to ramble from one thought to another and I kind of got lost in it. But I love the sound of it, the rhythm the sonics. You are certainly are a master of lyrical narratives.

 

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

love it. i understood everything. you are a master of narrical lyrics.

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Is the N in the poem a rugby player who took a train ride to a stadium to play? But, the mention of an overpriced beer meant he is in some pub. The title 'Hakka' made me think that content is Chinese-related or located. But, the content did not refer to it. A mention of a Filipina and her character is not clear but infers that she is a whore.

 

So, is the N watching rugby from some pub, frequented by Filipina whores? Is the N a typical, rugby lover or player and his use of offensive language is authentic?

 

That sort of disrupts the flow for me, Brendan. But, I agree with what was said about the sonics.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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The Hakka, or Haka, is a Maori war dance that the New Zealand rugby team performs before every international match to intimidate their opponents. It seems to work since the New Zealand All-Blacks (uniforms) hardly ever seem to lose. When they do happen to lose the whole country (including all the sheep who significantly outnumber the human population) plunges into mourning. The poem is a riff about an ex-rugby player living in Japan who arrives by train to meet up with friends and watch a game; afterwards they go on to a party with the players, some of whom are Kiwis, i.e. New Zealanders.

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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Thanks, Brendan. Your clarification confirmed the images your poem presented to me. Japan. Close enough to China :-)

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

i loved it before you edited it. maybe you were being polite by editing the boner part but that was how i acted and thought. maybe i should right some of my horror-filled thoughts in my poems instead just my feelings and emotions.

 

vic

Larsen M. Callirhoe

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