holiday in holiday inn

they didn’t want americanos

anywhere near clark-mimosa;




of them   s o m e   years

before –

screwing their women into


& reclining in

a haven of homes

with tiled floors

& flushing latrines,

while –

outside in the liquid heat –

the locals

coiffed the lawns.


I will tell you something.

the americanos never left;

troupes of

camouflaged troops

p a r a d e ground this hotel;

trundle with BIG


e n f i l a d e

every floor:

t r e s p a s s  the   foyer

like ants a r o u n d sugar.


their officers fart and froth

at the bar,

sinking budweiser

by the bottle,

while the puerile recruits

who haven’t yet

started to shave,

ogle the women

in the pool

like they’d never scanned

that gender before.


I was going to ask them

what are you doing here,

but their deferential smiles

and syrupy polite

‘what level, sir’ –

as we share an upward elevator –

merely serve to blunt

my own

atrabilious mission.


so we holiday,

slightly wary;


have a

militarised vacation





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avatar About Vaughan Rapatahana

Vaughan Rapatahana -

New Zealand Māori. Live back in Aotearoa New Zealand now. Still have home in Hong Kong, where our kids live.

My wife is from Pampanga, where we have also have a home in Santo Tomas.

Published in several countries e.g. Aotearoa New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macao, Canada, Thailand, The Philippines, Australia, U.K, USA, India, France and so on.

Write in several genre from poetry to fiction to language critique.
My New Zealand Book Council writers file is a good source to learn more about my work.

My latest poetry collection, Atonement, was published by University of Santo Tomas Press in 2016 and has been nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines.

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