BooksSeptember 1, 2017

The Friday Poem: ‘Every day my name is out there’ by Diane Brown


Political verse by Dunedin writer Diane Brown.


Every day my name is out there

Some say it’s pointless, we have no say

but every day they land in my inbox

or on Facebook, petitions asking

for my name: on state housing,

refugees, the TPPA, the writers

imprisoned for telling the truth,

the stoning of adulteress women,

the rising of the seas,

the whales choking on plastic,

the starving in Ethiopia

(always the starving in Ethiopia).

Today there will be calls asking

to support the banning of pitbulls

after yet another mauling.

No question, I do the right thing

the liberal left, right thing,

enter my email address,

press send, there’s a satisfying woosh

like a kererū winging overhead.

It’s out there, my name

in the ether, and I get back to doing

what I do, as if I’ve been to confession,

cleansed myself of the world’s woes

and sins. A brief moment

of engagement, painless.

The point is, I’ve let the angels

know I’m on their side.

From the new anthology Manifesto Aotearoa: 101 political poems edited by Philip Temple and Emma Neale (Otago University Press, $45), available at Unity Books.

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