Christchurch Earthquake – 04 September 2010

The date was 4 September and the time four thirty five
When the ground beneath our city gave a jolt and came alive
The earth began to shudder and I heard a mighty boom
And the stuff inside my bedroom started flying round the room
I heard a lot of smashing as I lay there in the dark
And the dog was clearly terrified and gave a helpless bark
I knew that in an earthquake one should stand beneath a door
But I couldn’t cut a path through all the debris on the floor
It seemed to last forever as the quake intensified
As I clung on to my pillow and I prayed it would subside
When the shaking finally ended and the rattling was no more
I could tell we’d had a big one, there’d be casualties for sure
And I knew that Christchurch City isn’t on the Alpine Fault
Meaning some poor buggers somewhere had a monumental jolt

My daughter came into my room and on the bed we sat
Comforting our anxious dog and looking for the cat
We waited for the sun to rise because we had no power
And there wasn’t any water so we couldn’t have a shower
We texted friends and family and all were quite okay
But we knew that we were going to have a most peculiar day
We found a battery radio and we tuned into a station
That provided all the details and disaster information
When daylight finally came and we got out of bed and dressed
We went into the living room to clean up all the mess
Once we got it sorted, it was not that bad to see
But what I really wanted was a decent cup of tea

Our quake was over seven and it caused a lot of trouble
There are buildings in our city that are now just heaps of rubble
There are people with no water and no place to call their home
There are some who are so nervous they can’t bear to be alone
Our sleep has been disrupted by these constant aftershocks
So we reach for something calming like a whiskey on the rocks
When the shock has left us we must face the nitty gritty
Of rolling up our sleeves and reconstructing this great city
We’ve shown we are Crusaders – we’re resourceful and strong-willed
We can only count our blessings that not one of us was killed



I arrived at work one morning and my boss took me aside
He said: “We’re in a bad recession and we’re on the downward slide”
I’d known for quite a while that their funds were not abundant
Yet still it was a shock to learn that I’d been made redundant
I cleared away my desk and mug and logged off my PC
And we all went to the lunchroom and we had a cup of tea
I said goodbye to friends I’d made throughout my working years
Then I bought the local paper and I checked out the Careers

There were jobs for Anthropologists in curatorial roles
There were jobs for agile ladies dancing naked around poles
They were looking for a specialist in caramelizing nuts
They’re still looking for a stylist down at Canterbury Cutz
There were vacancies in real estate, if you like to sell
Or for Senior Developers who know their SQL
I saw one in Logistics but when I double-checked the ad
I decided that I’d flag it as the pay was really bad

I’ve applied for twenty jobs for which I knew that I was skilled
I’ve received just two responses saying “Sorry it’s been filled”
We’ve received a lot of applicants with CVs that impressed
But we thank you for your interest and we wish you all the best”
Some they simply don’t reply, they let you sit and wait
As we read the dire headlines of the unemployment rate
And so my life of government dependency begins
I’ve packed away my resume and headed off to WINZ

The Guilty Game

As many people go through life, they play The Guilty Game
Deciding who is innocent and who should take the blame
There will always be a pitcher and a catcher on the field
But the referee’s identity is always unrevealed

The pitcher throws reminders of the need to toe the line
If the catcher hasn’t met their expectations at this time
When the catch is taken squarely it is hard to leave behind
As the scene gets stuck on replay in the catchers guilty mind

Guilt is like a poison we can take or throw about
We can use it for control or we can wallow in self-doubt
It destroys our self-esteem – leaves us hollow and depressed
Makes us fearful of the future, puts our friendships to the test

No amount of guilt will please the unknown ‘Referee’
Forgiveness is the only thing that truly sets us free
Refuse to take a part in it the moment it begins
And never play The Guilty Game ‘cos no-one ever wins

Who Gets to Play in National’s Sandpit?

Here in New Zealand Election Day looms
Christmas is over, the bullshit resumes
The National Party have told us today
Which kids they’d have in their sandpit to play
The Greens aren’t invited, they’re too left for some
And Dotcom is hardly a National chum
A union with Hone would not be supported
Though Maori could be if they get themselves sorted

Supporters of Dotcom should not get excited
It seems very likely he’ll be extradited
He could even pull the wool over their eyes
But alliance with Dotcom would be a surprise
So unless he can get the support that he seeks
From cynical voters and unhappy geeks
He’s highly unlikely to be a contender
Unless he can muster the requisite members

Talking of who’s an unlikely contender
Brings us to Winston – that serial offender
Of keeping us guessing until we are stumped
It’s anyone’s guess which way he might jump
And though his support from the pensioners rocket
Whenever their gold card is pulled from their pocket
If National offer him baubles of office
It flies in the fact of their previous promise

And talking of parties in National’s sight
The Conservative Party could get the green light
Although Colin Craig seems like a bit of a loon
Suggesting that man didn’t walk on the moon
Smacking his daughter and spraying from planes
Stiffly opposing the marriage of gays
He could see support for him swiftly go south
If he doesn’t stop putting his foot in his mouth

And although the battle has barely begun
They’re rallying troops like Boscowan and Dunne
But ACT needs a leader to win them a seat
Or the rug could be pulled out from under their feet
But whether they quench their political hunger
Canvassing seniors or those who are younger
It’s all about power – not our satisfaction
And another three years of political action


It came upon a midnight dreary
My brain is wired but spirit weary
I’ve tossed I’ve turned, I’ve counted sheep
But only had an hour’s sleep
It came around to 1:08
I’m worried now and in a state
Money isn’t that abundant
What if I got made redundant?
Could I survive on DPB?
Perhaps I’ll make a cup of tea
The time ticked on to ten past two
I’m not sure if I need the loo
Maybe if I have a drink
I’ll drown the urge to over-think
I gave some thought at 3:16
To bits of last night’s news I’d seen
The drunken teens, the smacking law
And did I lock the laundry door?
Grocery prices, rising crime
Surely that can’t be the time?
That maniac in North Korea
And just a touch of diarrhoea
The hour was nearing 4 o’clock
I’ve counted half the fucking flock
I’ve had three shots of cherry brandy
Some sleeping pills would come in handy
At 5:05 my mind went still
And peacefully I slept until
A sound cut through my sleepy bliss …
“You’re listening to the News at Six”

(Are you serious??)

Japanese Commercial Whaling

In the southern seas below us, a gory hunt is taking place
In international waters – slightly north of our Scott Base
Against a wave of protest and of global condemnation
A grim pursuit is mounted on a shrinking population

While most enlightened nations have now banned commercial whaling
Attempts to stop the Japanese are obviously failing
The whales are butchered on their decks – stained so red and bloody
Yet they argue that its research for “scientific study”

But this excuse is not the truth – the facts have been disguised
Because whaling in Japan is still extremely subsidised
And ultimately what might be these mammals’ great life-saver
Is that local hunger for their meat is falling out of favour

What pointless shame these charming creatures are annihilated
While in Japan the kill is merely being accumulated
And though they’ve tried to market meat to younger generations
The price they get falls well below their market expectations

And shouldering the burden of this money-losing practice
Are the working people of Japan – those who pay their taxes
But hopefully the call will be for subsidy removal
As the industry collapses midst a trend of disapproval

So probably it’s this that will prevent the mindless slaughter
And not the conservationists that fight them on the water
Removing threats of losing face may be what change entails
So that one day we shall see the Japanese just watching whales

Humpback Whale Splashing

Ministerial Credit Cards …

A scandal has erupted that has everyone incensed
Over ministerial credit cards, used at our expense
After months of close inspection, the pencil pushing wallahs
Have published a report that cost us fifty thousand dollars
It says that there’s been spending sprees on stuff that is fantastic
That has been accumulated on the ministerial plastic!

The wickedest offender clearly has to be Shane Jones
He’s been at the hotel mini-bars and eating Toblerones
He’s been spending up in menswear stores and chartering a plane
He’s been hosting groups of architects and buying them champagne
And though the pornographic films will cause humiliation
I bet he’s glad that Helen’s not still leader of the nation!

For Parekura, ethnic food appears to be the kicker
While Grosser swans round Europe getting stuck into the liquor
Judith likes a Bollinger with salmon and fresh figs
Chris Carter hires a limousine for ministerial gigs
And so to all the Ministers, here’s what we say about it
The ministerial credit card – don’t leave home and flout it!

Amex Card

Musical Chairs (Electoral Version)

Our General Election gets closer by the day
And we scrutinize the line up and the silly games they play
All the party leaders are trotting out their wares
It’s like a children’s party and a game of musical chairs

Jeanette is dead against it, the game just isn’t fair
As some unfortunate ‘failure’ is left without a chair
She has a few conditions for the game to be okayed
If the timber is sustainable and chairs New Zealand made

Pita doesn’t like it and won’t participate unless
There’s an extra seat for Maori to ensure him of success
Lockwood’s been excluded as he said without a snigger
That Maori would need two seats as their bums are usually bigger

Helen sees a golden chance to bring along her bucket
With some dirt to put on John’s chair and she liberally will chuck it
She knows she must be careful because when the music stops
She could end up sitting in the chair that’s covered in the slops

Winston likes a party and has pressed his 10 piece suit
But the origin of funding for the chairs is in dispute
Were they a donation from Sir Bob or Owen Glenn?
And will he make it through this round and get to play again?

Rodney’s in a panic and has telephoned the coppers
Because one chair’s been stolen and Winston’s telling whoppers
Trevor’s had a punch up and Bill is in a state
As some Young Labour hopeful has brought along a tape

My Frustrating Things

Personal tax cuts and broadband made faster
Is this a godsend or fiscal disaster?
Election year bribes that are tied up with spin
Aren’t on the list of my favourite things

Changes to rules for financial advisors
Extra policeman and teacher pay rises
Working for Families, more for our schools
Why not beforehand? We voters aren’t fools

Sensible voters will all use their noodles
Fob offs and snow jobs and spreadsheets with doodles
Are just a bunch of election year bribes
Buying our votes while you fill us with lies

Interest rate hikes
Petrol costs soar
And the price of cheese!
I simply remember Election Day nears
And then I feel more at ease