He Who Shall Not Be Named

Our Prime Minister has vowed she
will not speak the name of he
who killed fifty worshippers
in a Christchurch mosque,
injured many others badly.

He streamed his semi automatic
killing spree live on social media
now seeks publicity in refusing
a lawyer, to preach his racist
hate cause in a court of law.

Our public figures and news
media do not name him in
speaking of his actions, one
calling him “He who shall
not be named.”

This terrorist awaits his trial in
maximum security at the far end
of the country from Christchurch
from the community he devastated.

In solitary confinement ?
Some would be glad to kill him,
including brown skinned prisoners.
Could he radicalise others ?
Two years ago a disruptive man
was absent from much of his
trial for killing three people.

Citizens of his Australian home
town are appalled, his family is
well liked, respected. His mother
and sister are in hiding
under close police protection.

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He Who Shall Not Be Named

After The Shooting

After the shooting came
the 111 emergency calls
police cordoned off
roads near the mosques.

After the shooting police
stopped ambulances at the
cordons while they checked
the shooting had stopped,
no gunmen to be seen.

After the shooting ambulances
were escorted by police
to the mosque, waited for
police to search inside
check for lurking gunmen.

After the shooting …
a river of blood
flowed down the steps
from the mosque
to the parking area.

After the shooting those
ambulance officers still see
that river of blood which
flowed on as they stepped
over dead bodies, lifted
the injured on to stretchers
rushed them to hospital.

After the shooting
they keep on seeing
a river of blood.

After The Shooting

She Stood At The Gate

She stood at the gate
of the local mosque
where a river of flowers
lined the fence alongside her.

She stood at the gate
wearing a black hijab
though she was a European
New Zealander, like so
many other non Muslim
women in new Zealand,
like Maori, Chinese, Samoan
women sharing the brunt
of white supremacist gibes
with Muslim women daily.

She stood at the gate
her bushmaster rifle ready,
flowers stuck into her
gun harness like her fellow
uniformed police officers
ready for more attacks.

She Stood At The Gate

Burnt Earth

Under the dry summer’s brilliant
blue skies grassy paddocks had
burned to sienna brown across
the north of our South Island.
Farmers had mowed those paddocks
to retain their last vestiges
of fodder for sheep and cattle.

Sparks flew as blades hit
stray stones in the soil
setting alight dry grass
shelter belt trees, pine plantations
all consumed by roaring flames.

For days firemen’s hoses played
over vast acres of flames
helicopters flew endlessly in
from the ocean emptying monsoon
buckets over the fires saving
houses but not all animals.

Evacuees waited for days in
town to go home again only
finding out the fates of their
homes and animals after
police escorted them home.

Burnt Earth

A Walk In The Park

A photograph sprawls across the
newspaper’s front page, hits hard.

A stream of people pass under
trees along a gravelled path
lined by high leafy shrubs,
some talking on cell phones.

They are led by a heavily armed
police officer looking right to
left, then back again, for gunmen.
Further back beside the path
another armed police officer looks
back over those still oncoming.

Many people have been shot
in two nearby mosques, no one
knows how many gunmen,
or where they lurk.

So armed police escort
walking wounded the short
distance from one mosque
to the hospital across the park
while many ambulances
transport the severely wounded.

A Walk In The Park

Friday 15

On Friday 15 this month
the world wide movement
Schools Strike 4 Climate Change
took place around the world.
Our high school students that
day demonstrated out of school,
gave media interviews, called
for urgent measures to halt
climate change, save their future.

On Friday 15 this month
our front flat neighbour retired
for good, selling back his taxi cab,
withdrawing from the taxi company
staying home each day starting an
exciting new life. What now ?

On Friday 15 this month
in two peaceful Christchurch
mosques a gun man sprayed
bullets through two congregations
prayer killing fifty wounding
forty two men, women, children.
city lock down, ambulances
police cars sirens screaming
armed police walking streets.

Children and adult survivors
of mighty earthquakes
now traumatised again.

Friday 15

Christchurch 2019

Violent earthquakes in 2011
ploughed, ripped up Christchurch
shredded its core eight years ago.
People reeled on its rubbled streets
as buildings disintegrated, vast
slabs of masonry crashed down.
Citizens regain their equilibrium,
rebuilt, still rebuild their homes,
city amenities as recovery continues.

Yesterday fascist hate attacked this
recovering city slaying many in two
mosques, shattering the heart of a
whole city grieving for the dead and
wounded who came here as refugees.

Schools, businesses, locked down
four hours till 6 pm, police cars,
ambulances thronging the streets,
citizens told to stay inside. Worshippers
gradually let out of the mosques.

All orchestrated by a citizen of
another country choosing a
foreign city for his target.

Christchurch earthquake 22 February 2011

Murder accused is Australian.

Many Muslims here arrived as
refugees and asylum seekers.

Christchurch 2019