Kia ora koutou, these are some lines I wrote around fifteen years ago and came across when I was searching for something else. I read them, tweaked a bit, made changes, additions, cut lines, words  – as  you do…

The Red Hat

On a table at the Arts Centre

a hat – an upside down red felt pot

swinging red and yellow dreadlocks.


One – it makes me laugh – and two –

I like dreadlocks.  This is the closest

I‘ll get to those beaded braids.


The old black one is replaced


magically –

gauze wings lift – fantails spiral

and while Peggy sings

Is that all there is – Bogart and Bacall

appear in the mirror, clapping

follow me out on the street.

I hold my head high – at an angle.


This red hat becomes my ally

my mentor, my companion

trained to defend, made

for this purpose.

Loyalty and commitment

24 hours a day whether being

worn or not.

But, it says –

I have to rest sometime.

At those times I lie awake

eyes alert, all systems go.  I won

the initial bout but that was in the daytime.

That red hat  – a patchwork

of laughter, herbed lamb racks,

Lorca – a waltz around Te Wairoa –

Ko au te awa – ko awa te au –


Out of sight the old black one waits – I know

it’s there – it knows I know –

it will be a perfect fit.