James K Baxter

James K Baxter Poems

The deathsheads of Biafra
Are haunting Bellamys
Where scotch and soda trickle down
The necks of old MPs

The Best Poem Of James K Baxter

The Infant Of Biafra

The deathsheads of Biafra
Are haunting Bellamys
Where scotch and soda trickle down
The necks of old MPs
And some men talk of justice
But most the credit Squeeze.

The corpses of Biafra
Stand at the mirror when
Our daughters use some hair spray
And paint their lids again
And wear a thirty dollar dress
To catch the eyes of men.

The small skulls of Biafra
Look in the window while
Our children munch their biscuits
And drink their milk and smile
To see the talking animals
Above the TV dial.

The thin ghosts of Biafra
Watch while our sons drink beer
And fork out dough for petrol
And put the car in gear
And drive ten miles to another hop
And let their girlfriends steer.

The starved eyes of Biafra
Observe the women who
Buy toys for their own children
Enough to stock a zoo
And plan a trip to Sydney
When the business deal goes through.

The dark bones of Biafra
Will never leave their door
Because all things are joined in Christ
And the rich must feed the poor
Or lie like broken dummies
In Hell’s department store.

The dead child of Biafra
Will lie on Christmas Day
In the cribs of all the churches
Upon the rotting hay
For those who did not feed Him
But threw His Life away.

But those who showed Him mercy
Will find a Live Child there
To smile at them and give them grace
And hope beyond despair
And sins as old as mountains
Will melt into the air.

James K Baxter Comments

Michael Walker 04 November 2018

As an afterthought. Are people from new Zealand networking and voting regardless for Baxter for some unknown reason? This happens frequently on websites, a system which does not favour poets who have few friends or connections to vote for them.

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 04 November 2018

How can James K. Baxter be the most popular poet when he has only one poem on the website? It does not make sense at all, when some members have written thousands of poems. Why can't they replace Baxter at the top of the list? Or why not someone from your top 500 poets, like Ezra Pound, T, S. Eliot or Rita Dove? They have more poems posted than Baxter. I do not deny that Baxter is a leading New Zealand poet.

1 0 Reply
John Muk Muk Burke 27 October 2018

It is sad that this site has almost nothing by James K Baxter. I lived in Aotearoa/New Zealand and he was very famous back then. I left and returned to Australia in 1978 and I'm saddened that his memory seems not to have been honoured. I hope I am wrong and this site is an anomaly.

1 1 Reply
Les Brighton 26 July 2016

Agree: one of the most accomplished and prolific NZ poets of the 20th century. 'Poem in the Matukituki Valley' should at least be here... along with 30 others to give some idea of the depth and scope of his work.

3 2 Reply
Wayne Sloane 26 January 2014

Incredible that there is only one James K Baxter poem? ? ? ?

5 3 Reply

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