Great South Desert

My poem ‘Great South Desert’ was recently featured in the New Zealand Poetry Society 2019 anthology The Perfect Weight of Blankets at Night. It features many iconic landmarks of the future.

Te Ika a Maui and Te Wai Pounamu are amalgamated,
welded by the gnarled spine of a metamorphic taniwha
who manifested in the Great Uplifting of 2035.
Shattered cliffs bombard the Kaikoura coast with rubble.
Genetically reimagined moas gently graze amongst
abandoned dairy installations of the Maniototo badlands.
Goat herds, feral and feckless, wander the Great South Desert.
Typhoons deconstruct malls, peeling roofs like bananas
throughout the Golden Triangle conurbation.
A permanent storm cell hovers from Karamea to Haast
sluicing depopulated extra-terrestrial terroramas
of munted infrastructure and imploded mine shafts.
Ten metre hi-voltage fences fortify the opaque globe
of Club Xanadu on Wakatipu’s privatized lakefront
where drones emerge from ash clouds delivering pods
of platinum class refugees to the shimmering pleasure dome.
Waves trace salty fingers on the lip of coast, exposing landfills
of toner cartridges and mummified, post-dated vindaloos.
Dull humid heat baffles survivors hiding from the killer sun
in their valleys, and above the hypersaline, blood warm lagoon,
the skeleton of a dead stadium stands sentinel.

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