Richard Pamatatau – Life Death Kindness

Pamatatau LE P&W April

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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023

Life. Death. Kindness, poems by Richard Pamatatau

Life. Death. Kindness

In this time of virus
embody kindness
reach out to people
in isolation
Some mourning a death
celebrate life

hosts the virus
leads sometimes to death
Hard in isolation
breath and people

flout life
Outside isolation
invite the virus
No kindness
Just death

Affects people
The economy needs kindness
health to have life
those loaded with virus
must be in isolation

Without isolation
a spreading virus
knocks people
steals life
Rejects kindness

Return kindness
with isolation
against death
For people
free from virus

Kindness can help with death
When isolation is shared by people
Taking shelter in life from a virus.

Lined up

That thing about the Koru Lounge
morning flights packed with people
with important Business.
lined up at the trough I mean buffet
privilege mostly white
looking very entitled.

Are they entitled?
Or just paid for the right to lounge
and be in a room where the walls are white?
Like many of the people
who feed at the buffet
like it’s just business.

The subscription is paid by the business
part of my package and I’m entitled
To feast at the buffet
As part of the lounge
Where the people
Are often quite white.

The cups are white
and just the business
for coffee to keep the people
happy entitled
to be in the lounge queued at the buffet.

There’s something about a buffet
part of the white
team in the lounge
looking like the business
feeling entitled.
Just what it is people.

Look at the people
who are not at the buffet
not entitled
not white
not in business
not in the lounge.

The entitled people don’t wonder
in the lounge at the buffet
because white is décor for the world of business.

© Richard Pamatatau

Richard Pamatatau is a former print and broadcast journalist who has moved away from the inverted pyramid to use poetry to as a more creative and freer way to tell stories.  He is fascinated by the intersection of class, ethnicity and place.  He leads courses in literature and creative writing at AUT University and is onto his second German Shepherd.

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