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You Can’t Beat Wellington on a Good Day

You Can’t Beat Wellington on a Good Day

By John Burrows

(I’m tired of hearing people say this. I thought I’d write a poem about it.)

The wind is howling through the trees
The ferry can’t sail the mountainous seas
I’m wading through rainwater up to my knees
At the junction of Jervois and Customhouse Quays
But I’m smiling ‘cos I know what they say –
You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.

A gale-force wind roars off the sea
And rips my belongings away from me
My papers fly down Lambton Quay
My overcoat hangs from a tree
But she’ll be right, it’ll be okay –
You can’t beat Wellington on a good day.

I walk out to Panama Takeaway
Passing civil servants on the way
Their faces and their suits are grey
The weather’s depressing and so are they.
Bureaucrats and lousy weather –
They really go quite well together.
You can’t beat Wellington on a good day,
And you can’t beat the bureaucrats ever.

This morning dawned the best I’ve seen
The sky was blue, the grass was green
Sun sparkled on the harbour’s sheen
But it was just a taste of what might have been
It was pissing down by 12.15.
That good day in Wellington suddenly went
I’d mark that one at 50%.

Today however the weather’s calmer
I gaze on the lovely panorama
When into my office comes Geoffrey Palmer
He looks at Oriental Bay
I bet I know what he’s going to say –
“John, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.”


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