it’s always sunset in Cannons Creek where it’s always sunset


Little boys late for dinner point their sticks at my dog and me
Riddle us with bullets from vague rifles
Punctuated through lipspit gunshot, make-believe recoil
Same boys I watch swallow raw sugar
And red ketchup straight from the free packets they hid in their shorts.

Plastic bags caught in gorse needles catch light like old spiderwebs
As we approach the flattened grasses where
Those feral kittens froze last winter, huddled around nothing
Like the three identical kettles dumped
Beside an entire pack of playing cards burnt to black kindling.

Rosellas fly like candy wrappers, flung by carnival wind
Screech of a distant rugby match of heads
Without bodies as the long teenagers test out their new dirtbike
Taking turns and patting backs and loving
The horror across their friend’s faces when they pretend to crash.

Used nappies swell bulbous as mushrooms following the current
Where devastatingly few eels remain
And Coke cans dart like silver fishes between didymo bloom
Clinging to the body of that dead man
Found in the lake that everybody ridiculed on Facebook.

But I love this darkhaired town swimming in oversized t-shirts
Adorned with photos, dates, and bible quotes
Important to family members who have now passed away
From the loose pitbulls and metallic flies
And plastic flowers tumbling down the gutters where children sit
Asking to pet my dog and learn his name. 

Listen to Danny Bultitude read ‘it’s always sunset in Cannons Creek where it’s always sunset’


Danny Bultitude is a Pākehā writer hailing from Porirua. His writing can be found in Landfall, The Spinoff, Newsroom, The Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2022, and other publications. He recently won the inaugural Bell Hill Apartments Poetry Competition and is working on an archival legacy project with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.