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Paul Maunder's blog

Heritage

A few years back I contributed a chapter to a scholarly publication called Heritage, Labour and the Working Classes. The chapter focused on the experience of trying to establish a museum of working class history and encountering a group of middle class practitioners operating within an identity politics ideology and oscillating between working for the government funder, establishing consultancies to prepare feasibility studies and contracting to curate exhibitions.

The editors of the book defined heritage as ‘not only tangible artefacts, buildings, places, sites and monuments, but also intangible traditions, commemorations, festivals, artworks, songs and literature.’ They went on to say that, ‘These chapters show that working class people have a remarkable ability to avoid reactionary nostalgia and self pity, and can build on their history, traditions and sense of place and community in novel ways.’

The Blackball Museum experience was, at the time, a ‘getting one’s fingers burnt exercise’, healed only by eventually managing to house relevant stories in a couple of containers, which, as an institution supported by unions, has proved remarkably resilient.

Forgetting that previous lesson (perhaps one of the dangers of old age), Te Puawai Co-operative Society which I helped set up has embarked on another heritage project: this time to repair and upgrade the old Jack’s Mill School near Moana so that it becomes a Kotare-style residential school exploring issues in a progressive way through enabling the exchanging of grass-roots knowledge. The site celebrates a past story of progressive education under the first Labour Government, a first exercise in technical education which resulted in the children of this rough-and-ready Coast sawmilling settlement designing, building and furnishing a much-celebrated child-size cottage. We were very grateful when the Ministry of Culture and Heritage granted us the $199,000 required from a covid-inspired innovation fund.

There are problems however: the site is owned by DOC who have a community agreement with the Kotuku Heritage Society and it is a Heritage 1 historic site so Heritage NZ are also involved, and of course Council has to provide resource and building consents. This means three bureaucracies and two community groups have to agree. Partnering with the community group has always been simple: the site is unpeopled and under utilised with most of the effort going into preserving the children’s cottage. This additional purpose was obviously a great idea.

Cash-strapped DOC were also grateful and very pleased that the money would be injected into the property. At the same time, we started to become aware of the heritage game: that a building should reflect itself in a passive manner, like replaced with like and so on. Fair enough, but old people looking into the mirror do not always appreciate what they see. And the heritage game can see a curious regression to infancy with adults playing with toys from the past.

Conservation Plans come into play, the guts of them being advice of replacing like with like with the addition of modern treatments of timber, sometimes to repile, to check the electrics, paint in heritage colours, no heat guns to be used, keep a record of changes and so on ­­- sensible practical requirements encased in value-laden description which seems to hide literary ambition. These plans are lodged with HNZ who become the national custodians of heritage sites, but devolve the administrative role to local bodies. Here we encounter the syndrome I wrote about previously: bureaucrats and consultants passing through a revolving door.

Everyone was supportive of the project until an application for resource consent found council requiring letters of approval from DOC, HNZ and the heritage society as affected parties. The heritage society were immediately forthcoming. DOC remained mute and HNZ wanted to impose conditions that were problematic: waiting for a new conservation plan, sign off of detailed plans and methodologies… The new conservation plan will take months and still won’t mention the upgrade of water and sewage and the fit out of an ablution block, kitchen and dormitory, all of which will have small impact on the fabric of a building which is in need of the repair that will happen. Plan approval on what grounds given that the building consent means that work meets the building code? Do HNZ have other measures for the installation of showers and toilets? And of course conditions will lead to nervous building officers and greater expense.

The exercise became fraught to the point of wondering whether it was feasible. Generally, the web of regulation is leading to the demolition of heritage buildings, for repurposing is made problematic and expensive. Buildings instead, become passive mirrors of themselves as sentimental commodity, slowly sink into dereliction and are then pulled down. But as query followed query, I suddenly read a paragraph in Tolstoy’s War and Peace (I’m doing a study of Tolstoy at the moment): ‘He thought of the meetings, remembered how carefully and at what length everything relating to form and procedure was discussed at such meetings and how sedulously and promptly all that related to the gist of the matter was evaded.’  I suddenly realised that this was simply an exercise in form and procedure, to be dusted off only if there were a disaster and they could then be pointed to.

In turn I wondered about the generality of this phenomenon throughout the bureaucracies and if this is why problems seem insoluble in health, education and so on. Have we returned to medieval scholasticism, with governance being an attempt to reconcile enlightenment knowledge with religion, the religion in this case being identity and ritualistic presentations by multi-faceted and fluid individuals. Sin is intolerance, harassment, confrontation and bullying…

But like scholasticism, the paradigm generates elements of the absurd. For example, in the Nominalist camp of scholasticism only individuals existed rather than ‘supra-individuals’, essences or forms. Try and design a health system around that and imagine the problems that arise e.g. Are two individual high need clients both high need clients because the predicate ‘high need client’ applies to both of them? Or does ‘high need client’ apply to both of them because they resemble an exemplar ‘high need client’. Or are exemplars inevitably oppressive?

Bureaucrats thus obsessed will never be able to tackle the realities of staff and funding shortages, geographic service spread and so on.

This whole paradigm also reflects the current urban-rural divide: of rural areas and their people being dictated to by central authorities and their obsessions. The resulting bitterness fuels populist agenda which the recognition of iwi will not ameliorate. In fact, the combination will lead to an upsurge of settler racism.  It is remarkable how insensitive the current Labour Government is to this development.

War and Peace was written in 1862, about the same time the land wars were beginning. Where did I begin? That’s right: heritage.

Matike Mai

Zooming into a Kotare workshop on the legacy of Moana Jackson, in particular the Matike Mai proposal for constitutional change, and then catching the NZ On Air doco and a couple of conference presentations by this man of great mana, intelligence and integrity, made me ponder the sovereignty question.

In the Kotare workshop I argued that the Matike Mai proposal (a rangatira house, a kawanatanga house and a relationship space), resolves a structural  contradiction that for me, is already creating a resurgence of settler racism.  The contradiction involves a political representational structure based on birthright trying to co-exist with a representational structure based on one person one vote within a single chamber. We are already seeing this in the reaction against co-governance and there are issues for Māori reps of collaboration and reformism.

With the Matike Mai proposal both structures are seen as valid, but separate, and negotiation takes place from  worked through positions, in the same way that workplace collective agreement negotiations take place. In the latter case, both employees and employers have discussed what they want, from within their own structure and negotiation then takes place. The rules of the negotiation have been set and can evolve. The employers may well be thinking of profits and shareholders, the union will be representing a one person one vote constituency; but these representational interests and structures are the business of the particular side.

Behind this is the question of sovereignty. The sovereign (whether king, elected government or dictator) has the right to act as they wish within their nation, will require a bureaucracy to put decisions into practice and need sufficient charisma or apparatus of control to take the majority of subjects along with them. The tiriti promised continuing governance to the chiefs over their territories, but also brought in the overall sovereignty of the British crown for the combined territories regarded as a nation and the promise of citizenship rights of the nation for Māori. It was of course a dogs breakfast conceptually: is governance of a territory the same as sovereignty of a nation? How do the two concepts coexist?  How does tribal membership equate with citizenship of the nation? Behind it was the simplistic desire to control the sale of land and to control unruly British subjects. And then the establishing of settlements continued apace with a seemingly unlimited supply of migrants and the land wars led to confiscation of territory. This was followed in turn by the underhand imposing of privatisation of title which led to the near total imposition of settler sovereignty, bureaucracy and charisma and the disempowerment of Māori governance over a much diminished territory. We know the rest.

Now there is some restoration of territory to iwi (and business and capital and media must be seen as territory}, with some bureaucratic mechanisms in health and education and media under Māori control. The Makite Mai project imagines a reclaiming of Māori governance as a whole together with a bureaucracy and a sufficient level of charisma to have it accepted nationally as part of a shared sovereignty.

There are issues in this imagining. In which chamber do working and union issues sit? How are the high tech secondary health issues governed? What is the role of entrepreneurial global capitalism? Do iwi initiatives ever get listed on the stock exchange and therefore subject to takeovers?  There is already a narrative of primitive capital accumulation within Māoridom. Does the impulse toward co-governance continue within the kawanatanga sphere or will a process of separation be necessary? The relationships in te tiriti were under-defined, confused and in some ways a hopeful imagining and this sphere still seems very complex. There is a tendency for liberal Pākeha to have a religious faith with regard to this complexity. If we ‘pray’ sufficiently fervently and adopt the right language goodness should prevail.  

For me, there is a need to be hard headed and analytic, to stay alert to contradiction and to use the process to resolve contradiction.

Ukraine

I listened to the speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the Davos World Economic Forum. He predictably spoke of the need for a massive aid programme to rebuild the country. But then he mentioned, almost in passing – a slip of the tongue moment – Israel as the model of a nation which is surrounded by enemies and which therefore needs to be massively armed and supported by the West.  At that point an alarm bell rang. Is this what is in store for Ukraine, that it becomes the Israel of Europe, including having an ethnic minority composed of ‘the enemy’ and conflict over spiritual homes? Is it proposed that Russian oil and gas supplies are unlocked via regime change and further dissolution which results in a patchwork of Middle Eastern style oligarchies sycophantically attached to the West. Is it that Putin has made Nasser’s mistake of reacting to Western provocation and then losing?

The alarm bell continued to ring stridently as the above narrative assumed a chilling logic.

Real Me

The government has this algorithm called real me. It constitutes one’s entry key to a number of services: passports, IRD etc. It can even be used by banks. The terminology is unfortunate, making physical presence, whakapapa etc. secondary and unreal. It must have been dreamt up by someone with psychotic tendencies.

Recently I received a no-reply email stating that my real me needed to be updated – an interesting concept – and a dreadful battle with the algorithm began. Filling my name, address, date of birth etc was not a problem but the algorithm wanted a photo which it judged satisfactory. You can try and do it via the algorithm, following the advice of someone called Sarah. She smiled nicely, but then cut me off after a couple of failed attempts. Your times up, Buddy, or words to that effect. Go to a photo shop. But the next morning the algorithm had forgiven me and allowed a further attempt. I even got a photo accepted but then had to follow a video exercise of Sarah nodding, shaking her head and opening her eyes wide. Somehow I failed – perhaps I nodded when I should have shaked and once again I was banished. Sarah was still smiling however.

When I had to renew my passport I’d had a photo shop in town take what had been a satisfactory photo which I could then upload, so I went to see Stewart and had a photo taken, but then realized I didn’t know how to upload it. I rang up real me and after waiting 45 minutes spoke to a real person who was puzzled by my question and went off for five minutes to try and find the answer. Alas, there wasn’t one. Only the AA could take a photo of the real me and upload it to the algorithm. Why? I asked. No one knows.

The next day I went into the AA shop only to find that the young woman there couldn’t take such a photo because she hadn’t been trained to do so and the person who had was off work sick. I’d have to drive to Hokitika. The theater receptionist who used to work for them whispered to me, The training only takes five minutes. At that stage I understandably flew into a rage and have been wondering why the state creates a psychotic framework? Who in the state does it and why?

On the subject of real me, let me take a detour into the realm of the tangata whenua where an interesting debate is taking place. To be Māori  requires whakapapa. That’s a simple equation. Act Party leader, David Seymour has whakapapa so is a real Māori , but suddenly Willie Jackson is saying Seymour is not a real Māori  because he hasn’t Māori  values. That seems to be a tricky concept. Aryan but also a believer in the Reich in order to be German in the 1930s? Even trickier when National suggest the right of 3 days in hospital for a post birth mother, and a Māori  woman spokesperson for Labour won’t sign up to what would seem valid in terms of whanaungatanga.

Tired of the sticky swamp of post modernism I read a biography of Tolstoy and come to his middle-age spiritual crisis when he battled to reconcile faith and reason. I’m not a stranger to the debate personally, having always envied those with faith, but found reason intrusive enough to make faith impossible. And then Tolstoy’s rendering down of the gospels… Of course virgin births and raptures are nonsense, but what is left that reason can accommodate? Here are Tolstoy’s ‘commandments’.

Don’t be angry – more generally, resolve any psycho analytic shit.

Don’t be lustful, or entrepreneurial or imperializing – that whole energy field.

Don’t get tangled up with commitments to authorities that will determine your future behaviour or choices. For example, don’t join the army because it might mean you end up having to kill people. It is an anti state sentiment.

And then ‘the turn the other cheek of non violence’ and ‘the love the enemy’ of pacificism.

Tolstoy had of course no experience of bourgeois liberalism and capitalist technological development, nor of the proletarian attempts to use the state for the advancement of the working class: welfare state, free health and education, workers rights etc. His grappling with social justice issues was then problematic. Gandhi was similar in this regard. Yet there was a moral imperative and energy that was phenomenal. Real me, in comparison, is pathetic.  

Sovereignty and Culture

As I ponder the proposed changes to the Green Party constitution, I wonder whether Pākehā civil society in Aotearoa isn’t bemusing itself with the notion of tiriti partnership as a cultural change at every level, from the local gardening club up. Whereas, in fact, the partnership is primarily a constitutional issue, a partnership relation between iwi and Crown in need of rigorous negotiation, and Māori understand that. The Matike Mai project led by the late Moana Jackson is the most ambitious conceiving of possible models that partnership might take. Unfortunately it seems to have been placed in the too hard basket and instead localised cultural tinkering seems to be the name of the game.

The Greens, who are predominantly a Pākehā organisation operating within the parliamentary system as it stands – an unsatisfactory improvisation as far as tino rangatiratanga is concerned – are currently planning to place a Māori-focused organisational layer on top of the current membership-based, local- cum-regional structure which votes in national facilitators for policy development, campaign mounting, fund raising, list forming and so on. And then there is the caucus of MPs. The plan is a little like placing a marae committee, including the creation of kaumātua, on top of this Pākehā structure, and suggesting that this signifies a tiriti partnership.

Within the Greens, as in the trade unions, there is every reason for tangata whenua members to caucus (as Greens or union members), and to choose culturally appropriate meeting procedures, as long as the wider constitution is respected. It is also appropriate that the wider organisational structure is culturally ‘comfortable’. But what does that mean? That the meetings of a secular organisation begin and end with the asking for God’s blessing? And of course, this cultural comfort applies to women, lesbians, gays, people with disability etc. And do I hear, class?

And then there is the question of language. There is a current argument for a greater visibility of te reo. There was a similar call in the 1980s until Māori realised it was a waste of resources to service Pākehā for whom learning te reo was becoming fashionable, like French for the Victorians. I have an argument against the facile use of any language.  Of course one learns some phrases to get by while visiting, but each language has a complex past that a non-native speaker can’t possibly comprehend. My late friend, Malcolm Yockney (Ngāti Rongomaiwahine), was a skilled linguist, studied Māori for many years, watched every Waka Huia programme, yet also recognised he could never be a native speaker with a vocabulary of local references, nuances and metaphors.

Does greater visibility mean there should be a translator at every union meeting or negotiation, at every Green branch meeting? That every document should be bilingual? And then there is the growing use of metaphor; with waka and paddlers currently popular. Should we also be able to draw on the prophetic poems of William Blake, or the writings of Virginia Woolf – there would be useful imagery. It both becomes more interesting but also potentially chaotic and perhaps slightly bizarre when the ultimate goal is constitutional change necessarily couched in legalese.

Perhaps there is the need for the anarchist whakataukī: we can either think of ourselves as all the same and therefore equal, or we can think of ourselves as all completely different and therefore equal. Identity becomes a circular journey, which returns me to the original point, that Māori sovereignty is a constitutional issue between tangata whenua and the crown, rather than a local cultural issue.

Gaps

All my adult life, the task has been to find a gap in the system, a place which the system hasn’t got to yet, or, for a moment, disappeared from, a place where the hegemony is weak. This has been true for housing and work. If you’re not playing the promotional, career game, if you’re not mainstream because of political belief or artistic inclination, then that’s the way to survive. (Unless of course, there’s been an earthquake creating quite a lot of gaps.)

For a few years in the early seventies there was a considerable gap: the National Film Unit was an organisation that had lost its original purpose so was open to something different, television hadn’t settled into commercial mode and was still exploring a citizenship role, the mainstream theatre was uncertain so experimental theatre flourished, rents were cheap and jobs readily available. But then the gap began to close: television became commercially driven, the Film Unit dissolved and the mainstream theatre got its act together. The economy worsened and things tightened.

But there was a feature film industry that had to invent itself – that was a gap that needed to be filled. Hollywood eventually invaded.

There was a marginal community in Holloway Road which provided free housing and the chance to explore political system, bicultural theatre and community.

Market forces eventually arrived in ‘the gully’ and community based art, community development and Petone provided the next gap, a gap that widened as neo liberalism tore society apart. That gap in turn closed as the government and the corporates tidied up the mess and introduced a philanthropic model of control.

Blackball on the West Coast then provided a space – irrelevant, nostalgic, but cheap housing and a new praxis could occur. Now, that gap is closing as market forces in housing arrive and the visitor industry impacts. With the past becoming a branding exercise funded via government schemes. I become aware of how much local government and the NGO sector bonds itself opportunistically to government programmes. Covid has taken this to the level of a command economy with capitalism as the pretence. The old USSR used to have communism as the pretence.

Where is the next gap? The graveyard could of course suffice, but meanwhile, there is a redundant and irrelevant heritage site bearing the story of a revolutionary teacher who activated the most unlikely of communities.

Interestingly, the model of working has become the co-operative. In the past the theatre group has been dominant, which is, I suppose, a sort of co-op. I’m stepping aside from the charitable trust model. I think we all should. It is broken.

As I write this I wonder how many people actually have a similar experience of survival.

Musings

They live out the back of Greymouth on a lifestyle block – rough, broken country which has been milled, gold mined, pine forested, milled again, a few paddocks, some gorse and blackberry, some native forest regrowing… There’s a mix of housing in the area. People often start with a house bus or caravan and long drop, add a container, a shed, a pole house, solar panels… On some blocks there are proper houses. There’s a creek and a pond, frogs and goats, deer and pigs, kereru and hawks. He runs his own business at the property and has built a workshop. It’s the best building on the land. They live in an old bus but there are pole shed living quarters on the way. A mate in need is parked up in another bus; otherwise he’d be homeless. They live frugally.

He gets enough work and pays his taxes. The newspaper doesn’t bother them, nor the television, the cellphone works up at the bus and they avoid the council.  They’ve converted an old washing machine into a generator that keeps the batteries topped up in winter.­ She gardens, tends to the land and to grandchildren who often come and stay in order to have a break from some convoluted family situations. The river’s a bit wild at the moment and causing some erosion and they need to do some stop bank work but that would involve resource consent. They’re anti 1080 and anti-vax and live/have a notion of freedom which would be hard to pin down, except that they probably don’t like the state. The state, in turn, is a difficult concept once you get past customs, the military and the police. Some would see it as the bureaucracy, each branch of which has its own trajectory: health, education, welfare, DOC, DIA, MBIE… they all have their rules and regulations, whereas these people just want to get on with life. That concept can, in turn, be difficult if you break a leg or need a stent put in or a tumour removed or get too old to work…and there’s the road to be maintained and the supply chain for the business. It gets messy quite quickly. But at least there’s space here and some distance, a sense that on their own land they can set the rules, or forget about rules. The 1080 and anti-vax reaction is a reaction to, on the one hand, their land being occasionally ‘bombed’ and on the other, their bodies ‘invaded’ – by the bureaucracies. All the scientific arguments in the world won’t remove that feeling.

A colleague criticizes their individualistic outlook. They have no solidarity with their fellow citizens and have reverted to a form of extended family subsistence. Developing world people want out of the extended family entrapment. They want the freedom that state provision brings: when you’re unemployed you get a benefit rather than being reliant on family; children can go to school and have choices; when you retire there’s the pension rather than being beholden to family; when you’re sick there’s health care – and so on. These people want it both ways. We all want it both ways, I respond. Empires come and go, and this one is obviously decaying, and always we return to that most stable of human institutions, the extended family. And isn’t whanaunatanga a current virtue? They pay their taxes and he is a fire service volunteer. If there were a civil disaster I think they’d be pretty useful.

And then there’s the quagmire of the parliament occupation, which is lasting longer than expected. The mainstream media, after the initial hit job, are trying to comprehend; the citizens of the capital are outraged – this is an invasion of untouchables; the PM grieves for the children involved; the police complain that there don’t seem to be any leaders or organisers to negotiate with (but that was considered a virtue in the Occupy Wall St movement); an academic is pilloried for suggesting that someone go and talk with them; a local tells me with a sigh that her sister is taking them scones and there is obviously a lot of invisible support… Above all, what do they want? It seems that some of them have lost their jobs and are unlikely to be able to get another one as long as the vaccine mandate remains. This is bigger than not being able to go into a café, so anger is understandable.

And it is a muddled situation. How long will the mandate last? Hasn’t it already done its job in persuading the majority to get vaccinated? So when will it be lifted? One day. Just have to get through the next few weeks? Months? Depends on the modelling. This is all about statistics? The team of five million a bell graph? Images swirl. Eight hundred cases? They locked down Auckland over four cases. But that was before the vaccine. And the second. And the booster. The booster might become mandatory. What? Well, when we look into the percentage effectiveness… and there’re always the vulnerable, they’re the bottom line. Regulations produce absurdity…There’s a shortage of nurses but some already working here can’t get a permit to stay. Farmers have been saying for months it is obvious they can isolate needed staff from overseas on their farms. If you’re vaccinated you might not get symptoms and therefore you’re more dangerous because you don’t know. But how do you know? Get tested. But they don’t want people without symptoms requesting a test. We won’t change our mind again about opening up. Really? Ten days isolation will do. How about seven? Maybe, if the supply chain’s threatened. Places of interest? I don’t read about them anymore. I’m over it. It’s all a game and I can’t be bothered playing it. But there could be twenty thousand cases. The contact tracing system will go crazy. People will do their own tracing. We’ve got this app. Why didn’t you have it from the beginning? Wearing masks all day is bringing back acne for twenty year olds. Remember the cabinet minister losing his job for going on a bike ride? The parliamentary lawn is going to be a mess and Trevor Mallard remains a bogan. Protests are always confusing. Look at ’81: communists, Methodists, feminists, lesbians, tino rangatiratanga advocates, gangs, Muldoon, Gleneagles, apartheid, rugby union, rugby supporters, cities, regions, police brutality… Don’t you dare compare this with that. You need to take the Trump influence seriously, Steve Bannon is hovering over God’s Own, there are chalk drawings of nooses…they’re not wearing masks, this could be a super spreader… NZ First have appeared out of the woodwork… They’re full of conspiracy theories…But the local minister believes in people being possessed by demons and he is a progressive voice on Council…And what about belief in the virgin birth?…Scoop have received a manifesto which is not official – We have come together and we are in agreement that the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act and all the orders and mandates made under that legislation must be revoked immediately… Really, you expect us to take that seriously?  We give up our freedom for the greater good. Jacinda’s learned to frown and smile at the same time, an essential skill for a Prime Minister. And a parent of difficult teenagers.

A neighbour comments, Labour’s dug itself a bloody great hole. Who can I vote for next election? I probably won’t vote. I suspect that could well be the result of letting epidemiologists and bureaucrats (I know a few and they’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer) run the country: that feeling of invasion…all the scientific arguments in the world won’t remove the feeling.

On turning 77

All the sevens seventy seven, as the bingo callers chant and the old ladies mark their cards. Does God or Fate or the Malevolent First Cause have a card? At some stage all your numbers have come up? Jackpot! The ads for retirement villages multiply. All of them look like hell to me. The television screen’s full of 1950s happiness and achievement. Young people fly through the air on skis or do four 360 degree turns on their skates. Houses are reinvented , meals are endlessly cooked, cars promise fruition, pizzas arrive and the game continues. Covid’s become a jab, a mask and passes checked, with some bitching about mandates. Jacinda smiles through issues with a serious frown. Old people are punished for being trapped in Aussie and pregnant women are cursed on social media: Stay away bitch, I hope your baby dies.

Let me outta here.

Still, the white butterflies are busy, the blackberries are ripe, tomatoes plentiful, and there are marrows galore. Tuhana has his first swing and six teeth burst through the gums. Language begins to form as squeals and groans, but already he is complex enough.  I enjoy the daily walk to the pond, to see the changes in this very ordinary patch of bush and paddock, the vines that grow, the gorse that falls down after heavy rain, the ever changing path of the creek, the pond level that mysteriously rises and falls, the changes in the bird life, the hares that tease the dogs, the changes in the path of the sun, the weka families that appear and disappear. It is my rough Walden. I find camping spots by the creek that then disappear after a flood, the oldest beech tree’s sturdy trunk plots a hundred or more years. I pick up a small smooth stone as a keep sake and the dog swims for a stick then tears at it in act of savagery which hurts no one. Before I climb back up the hill.

Fairburn wrote in Dominion:

 O lovely time when bliss was taken

as the bird takes nectar from the flower

Happy the sunlit hour, the frost and the heat

Hearts poised at a star’s height

moved in a cloudless world

like gulls above islands.

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