The kids here don’t shout out, ‘Jesus!’
Or, ‘Hello, Moses!’ as they did in Auckland


The creek has to run muddy before it can run clear!
Here in this very room I have seen it happen,

The lads and the girls in chairs, some kneeling, some standing,
Some wearing headbands, one strumming the guitar,

And Father Theodore setting down an old
Packing case covered with a blanket

For the alter of his Mass. There was no wind
To burst the house door in, no tongues of fire,

But new skin under wounds, the Church becoming human,
As if religion were not the cemetery of hope

But a flowering branch – ah well, it was some time ago,
Sly is in jail under a two year sentence,

Manu has gone back to the ward at Porirua,
And the Church can count her losses in Pharisaic peace.