trout [ 9 ] October 2001
Stephen Oliver [ 1, 2, 3 ]

Q U E E N  S T R E E T  R I O T

The breaking of the shield.

Clouds beat out their gongs, call
the pohutukawa bloom to the
Auckland summer. Above glass
office blocks, black as tornadoes,
the gong beat out again, boomed
the length of Queen Street.
At Aotea Square the crowd smiles,
hangs in the balance under an
overturned moon. A hundred heads
turn as one to meet recognition.
And the dream? That becomes
the body working inside its costume.
The breaking of the shield.

Night falls with a thickness of
batons. Riot police, armed,
visored, moving upon the hobbled
hearts of the people (violent
against property and themselves)
moving from side-streets under
shields, riot police moving in one
black net to catch Auckland.
And the deed? That becomes a
moment in time. The moon thumps
the blue wrists of Queen Street
up from a darkening sea. The Lady
Mayor walks by flashing cameras,
walks by the doll-house city broken
on the black and white screen of
Aotea Square. And this hour turns
the colour of pale, lemon light.
The breaking of the shield.


[from Night of Warehouses, Poems: 1978-2000, HeadworX Publishers, 2001]




© 2001 Trout &
Stephen Oliver