New Zealand

An Ode for .. the Deputy Prime Ministers

Deputy Duopoly

Congratulations, old chap! Says Toad of Seymour,

Deputy King.

All the best, young whippersnapper! Says Lord Winston,

Deputy King.

They start handing out the spoils of war

To each other:

Ministries, Sinecures, Baubles and Loot.

One for you, and one for me, grins the Toad,

As he reaches over and shakes hands

With Lord Winston, the Duke of Hazard,

To the cheers of the courtiers and nobles.

The evening draws on,

And the ancient frenemies

Of the House of the Right Hand

Chortle and make merry in the Great Hall of State,

Heaping regulations, treaties, and the castle library

On a roaring bonfire.

Meanwhile, down three hundred steps,

Behind the pantries and the weetbix room,

Across the mouldy flagstones,

In a forgotten and musty corner of the Castle

Where even the bottom feeders avoid,

There is a faint tapping

Echoing through the lonely corridors.

The muffled voice of King Luxon drifts plaintively

From behind the locked door of a broom cupboard –

Can someone let me out?

Victor Billot has previously felt moved to write Odes to both Winston Peters and David Seymour. An Ode for .. the Deputy Prime Ministers

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