Island Life by David Slack

The Long Goodbye

More readers' farewells today, this time to the MPs whose fate was sealed on Saturday morning.

Nandor Tanczos: if goodwill means anything, there's clearly a substantial constituency for your return at the next election.

I'm just a little puzzled that the Greens don't seem to be contemplating creating some sort of function for their almost-seventh List MP. I appreciate that this is not a movement awash in cash, and that their parliamentary funding is not nearly enough to enable them to take on the research staff they need, but it would be a terrible shame if he really did have to follow Grant Tyrell's admonition to get a haircut and a real job.

Which brings me to two more Poetry Corner contributions, this time from Alison Green - one in the approved form, and the other slightly bending it to say something nice to Nandor. Well fair enough.

So. Farewell
Katrina Shanks.

We barely

You began by
filling in forms
and going to
caucus lunches.

But you were gone by
Saturday lunchtime.

I had to
look up your name


So. Farewell

I'll miss your
and your

They say you rocked
in select committees.
And that
you really
knew your stuff.

Others may
remember you
for dope and Rastafari.

But you made me proud
to be a Kiwi -
where my vote can elect
a man such as you.

And moving to a different form of verse altogether, Hilary Stace sent me this marvellous little contribution from her mother Jeanette.

Thanks to the people's party
I got my start
Now I've made my pile
Our ways must part

One of the joys of reading Annie Proulx's novel Postcards comes in the laconic little messages at the opening of the chapters scrawled on the back of a postcard from the story's tragic hero, Loyal Blood. None of his messages convey even a fraction of the anguish, ordeal and grim fatalism that attend his tale, and that's the whole point. I defy you to read it without shedding a manly tear at its poignant end.

I was reminded of this by visiting a site which Nic Wise recommended. PostSecret is "an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard."

Typically, people print out a line or two and paste it onto the back of a suitable post card, ransom note style. They're concise, but they can pack a sizeable punch.

One has pasted onto a dollar bill:

I gave up my true love for a guy with lots of money.
It makes feel kind of dead inside.

And then at the foot of the bill in red letters:

But I would do it again.