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
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.