Spring 2017

2018

2017

Three poems

By Richard Pamatatau

Wen-Juenn Lee
© Wen-Juenn Lee

Ethnic beef

*

If you don’t mind me saying you eat like a savage

the Australian lady said at the Wellington dinner party.

Are you by any chance a person who is ethnic

said the marketing woman for tinned corn-beef.

Does she know what an ECG is said the ginger-haired doctor

when speaking about my mother at the outpatients’ clinic.

*

How the ginger doctor treats an Island woman at the clinic

could be construed as culturally savage.

But at medical school they try to teach them a doctor

must have great people skills like the host of a party

if they don’t want unhappy clients who have a beef

based on treatment that framed them as ethnic

*

Another day another night market, just what you want from ethnic

People who are often fearful when they present at a clinic.

They sure know how to use spices with beef

because cooking is where they are not seen as savage

and are more than welcome at the party

the same way at a car crash we welcome a doctor

*

Did you say you are a doctor?

Gosh you have done well for a person who is ethnic.

Your English is good so you will be able to talk at the party

which is in some ways a bit like a society’s clinic

A tad at times savage

And not really the place to have a beef.

*

Have you tried the beef?

It’s very good and just what the doctor

ordered when your hunger is savage

It’s been made with skill by an ethnic

person who is a doctor and works in a clinic

and recently joined a political party.

*

Isn’t this the most divine room for a party?

Even the designers won’t have a beef

it’s fun and chic not a medical clinic.

Our mix of guests includes a doctor

who, as we like to mix it up is ethnic

And not the least bit savage.

*

There are times when savage thoughts emerge at a party

And ethnic people have a legitimate beef

especially when seeing a doctor at a clinic

*

Garden poem 2.

*

My garden is a sex on site venue

butterflies hunting

a hook up.

The flowers a nectar bar to keep their juices flowing.

Heat-seeking sex machines

after the many always not the one ever.

*

You think they flutter at peace with the world.

Summer!

Flowers!

Pretty!

Fragile creatures!

*

Gorgeous orange velvet wings shimmer in the sun.

Luscious red on black, silky whitey green.

*

Colour to pull

they want to do it and do it and do it

on the wing

in the air

on a flower.

*

No hook-up apps needed when the chrysalis pops.

They made it and now they want to make it.

Biology shouts and makes a move.

*

Male butterflies hunt

hot colours, sassy wings, great bodies.

Female butterflies like a sex smell, big wings

and courtly conversation.

Female butterflies be fussy:

No tickee, no washy.

*

My garden is a sex on site venue for butterflies

The flowers a nectar bar to keep their juices flowing.

*

Palm compass

*

Dawn

cool and wet.

No movement in sea washed silver and pink.

Flapping sails eager for air.

*

Tupaia rises;

Shoulders cloaked,

Deck creaks underfoot

Gazes.

Palm to the breeze.

Turns.

Watched by the crew.

Points that way.

Breeze fills canvas;

Endeavour slips into day as sun burns silver and pink to blue.

About Richard Pamatatau

Richard Pamatatau was a journalist in print and broadcast for 20 plus years who now teaches journalism at AUT University. He believes everything pivots on facts and is using poetry to play with ideas and push the boundaries between what is and what may be. Ultimately for a poem to live it has to beckon and engage while bringing something to either the reader or the listener.