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Take another look

Take another look

You rise early to watch the rumours climb
Above the dark Takaka Hills – There’d been a meeting

& the young balheads outvoted the old
& we had another year! The party was at the Roots Bar!

I had my doubts, but you knew it was all small-town cowshit
Because you know about dispossession, & balheads

& lawyers, & votes, & the slow twisting of rules –
& how balheads turn from the ways of aroha & justice

Into paths of accumulation & accumulation
& accumulation – So why should they treat a tribe

Of hippy tourists & freedom campers any different?
& I watch you spit in the rich carpark clay

& press fresh Reilly Street mud into my squinting eyes
Saying – take another look brother – take another look


‘The Roots Bar,’ a bar and eatery, near the carpark

‘Rumours,’ on the day before the carpark was to be closed there were rumours a Tasman District Council (TDC) meeting had decided the carpark could stay open for another year. The rumours were false.


The Teacher knows ‘about dispossession & balheads & the slow twisting of rules’ because his tribal lands have been confiscated by balhead rule twisters. He knows balheads ignore the ways of justice as they carry out their nefarious money-making schemes. My understanding of the ways balheads twist rules and break treaties stretches and grows.

I’m living out an ancient story. In the Gospel of John, the Teacher spits into clay & rubs it into the eyes of a man born blind. ‘Sight’ is gradually restored. It’s an archetypal story of spiritual awakening. It’s now my story. I’m waking up to the presence of balheads in the Tasman District and beyond. I see how they twist rules and turn from the way of aroha and justice into the paths of accumulation & accumulation. They plunder and wreck the natural world and call it, ‘economic growth.’ The Teacher calls it the betrayal of the land and the waters.

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