Leader – A Calm Persona

cooking hands handwashing health

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Leader:   A Calm Persona is What We Have


We feel safe; well, as safe as one can be

under the climate of Pandemic Covid-19.


We feel safe; well, as safe as one can be

under a leader whom the country trusts.


Groups over 500 persons may not congregate;

as yet, small groups, remain at liberty to meet.


All persons arriving from other countries,

other than the Pacific Islands, must self-


isolate for the next fourteen days. Haeremai,

we welcome those who respect the care


and the rights of all: here or abroad. Just read,

listen, put in place, quick shifting emergency rules.


And we will feel safe under a leader we can trust. She,

who advises, that rather than shaking hands we might


do what is known as the East Coast Wave like so:

a raise of the chin, then drop, quick and slight


and which indicates all is cool. It’s an Iwi thing

or you might like to do the Kahungunu Wave;


the difference being, that here you raise

your eyebrows in greeting, in affirmation


in exasperation or, in seduction. We feel safe

with these new/old ways of interaction suggested


to us by our leader, P.M. Jacinda Ardern: the leader

we know we can trust with her calm, confident persona.


I know all the instructions around self isolation.

I’m in an age group within high risk. But tomorrow


my favourite community group (all at high risk);

U3A Poetry Appreciation, and we have approval


to proceed. Our subject will be Flight and Transportation

chosen many months ago though I cannot see our members


giving either the East Coast or the Kahungunu Wave

as we assemble. I’ve chosen three poems, all of them dark.


Where are the poems for Twenty Twenty: a world now in pandemic;

our unbelievable world of fear and flight;d never again the same.


Benita H. Kape (c) 16.3.2020


Haeremai = welcome

Iwi = Maori tribe (specific)

Kahungunu = an East Coast (N.Z) Tribe


Burnished Clay – Eyebrow – a little heavy to raise.


Black Heron

Black Heron - Paul Wheatley

To Remind Me of Something and Everything                                    (Inspiration from a video by Paul Wheatley)

Black Heron, Lake Kotu, Gambia

ingenious, those feathers, layered:

lifting and spreading as a closed

circle circle circle

covering completely

your bird body head to toe.

You disappear and we are left

with an umbrella; a black umbrella

held up by a beak and two legs

with your bright yellow claws

stepping a ballet

of claws and feather spread.


Telescoping, a tuft of feathers,

at your head, a half layer,

further indicating your unusual beauty

and your trajectory

as you move around the shallows.


Some say you are your own sunshade,

a canopy as you capture a meal;

a camouflage that captivates us.


No umbrella I open would ever be

as beautiful though I might paint

handles a bright yellow

to remind me of you.


Benita H. Kape (c) 12.3.2020