Poem – David Eggleton

Moa in the Matukituki Valley: A Cento

Mountains crouch like tigers, resentful,
and Moa’s seeking eyes grow blind,
upstream, wading towards the taniwha.

Moa’s a strange bird, old and out of time,
driven from the bush by the Main Trunk Line.
The world is divided between Moa and the rest.

Moa, you are not valued much in Pig Island,
though it admires your walking parody,
and poor saps poeming to the trees imitate your malady.

Moa’s a good keen citizen, very earnestly digging
in puggy clay at the bottom of the garden for a worm.
Moa cracked a word to get at the inside.

Here come the clouds, Moa, puffy like breasts of birds.
Blue’s the word for the feeling, Moa, as you levitate,
homing in on living here with your little flock of sheep.

But, Moa, if you feel you need success,
and long for a good address, don’t anchor here
in Pig Island, take a ticket for Megalopolis.

Moa’s solitude: pacing along an empty beach,
creating in his head a plan to get at the wild honey.
The door flaps open like a wing, Moa enters without

Not understood, Moa moves along asunder,
losing the path as the daylight creeps
with shadows of departure. Distance looks Moa’s way.

Now Moa’s there, stoutly bringing up the rear.
Brothers, we who live in darkness, sings Harry,
let us kill Moa, push him off.

Beware the Masters of Pig Island, Moa,
and skedaddle for it from Skull Hill:
they’d make if they could a bike seat of your beak.

Upon the upland range stride easy, Moa;
surrender to the sky your squawk of anger,
and at the door of the underworld, pass in peace.

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