HM Bark Endeavour and Captain Cook setting out on his voyage in 1764. Image: Wellcome Collection

The Friday Poem: Hook & Cook by essa may ranapiri

A poem from essa may ranapiri’s chapbook Polemic.

Hook & Cook

as a kid I would confuse Captain Hook with
Captain Cook their names so similar
both pirates in fancy dress
one scared of a crocodile
with a clock in its mouth
the other a man who sails on our 50 cent
one a cartoon villain a warning about morality
the other a symbol of invasion so white washed
you’d be hard pressed to see the blood on his hand

I remember visiting the replica of the Endeavour as a ten year old
enthusiastic about history
varnished stunned by the ship that evoked Disney’s Peter Pan
that hand-drawn art brought to life in proper wood
but the rock of the boat in the Tauranga harbour
made me sick
the chemical warfare of infected blankets drifting down my bloodline

a line of blood

and after Hook kills Rufio (in the Robin Williams
sequel where Peter Pan has grown up)
a sword straight on through the boy’s body
just-another-indigenous-casualty
guilty-of-a-radical-imagination
Hook and Cook’s differences
become negligible

they both mean death for us

 

Taken from essa’s new chapbook Polemic. 

Submissions to the Friday Poem are welcome and will be open until the end of September. Please send your poems to chris@christse.co.nz.



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