Election Address

Bill Manhire

I expect you know why I have asked you here
at this late hour. The stars, gentlemen, the stars!
They shine as ever, here at End-of-the-line.
Do sit awhile and admire the heavens.
I have robes and a chain, and I have power
in useful ways: your electricity
is mine, as is the public swimming pool.
I license the posts you hope to score beneath.
I can require the trams to go more slowly, for as you know
at speed they wildly sway from side to side.
Indeed I pledge now to slow them. Also I retain
the men who plant flower after flower
along our rugged coast. And yet it is true
End-of-the-line suffers from its libraries,
by which I do not mean a money thing.
No. People should not be handling our books
when they spit and dress like that. And ocean gales
come constantly to harry us,
and seaweed and driftwood, which we gather,
can barely compensate. Oh we live in an old something
of the sun, and yes, I get many letters, rates,
I read them all. Drains or pigeons? Make a wish!
I do not care, sir, that you do not swim.
Yes, I was troubled by the recent earthquake.
I do not believe that I am rubbish.