Doc Drumheller

 Doc Drumheller has worked in award winning groups for theater and music and has published 10 collections of poetry. His poems have been translated into more than 20 languages, and he has performed widely overseas and throughout NZ. He lives in Oxford, where he edits and publishes the literary journal Catalyst.


These poems were composed during a poetry tour that began in Mexico, the United States and would end in El Salvador. I wrote both of these poems during the day of the dead celebrations in Guanajuato, and Mexico City.

Doc Drumheller


Guanajuato Dream


for Miroslava


In Guanajuato my friend tells me:

we are all just characters in a dream.


Cervantes’ vision comes to life at dusk

Don Quixote’s horse bucks in the moonlight.


Pipila lives to fight another day

as his shadow casts over the city.


The dead come back to life marching in parades

while the living wear masks of presidents.


Devils and angels lurk down alleyways

where two lovers kissed and fell to the earth.


La Luchadores pose flexing their muscles

while Catrina dances the fandango.


In the evening we take off our masks

dreaming like mummies for eternity.




The Patriot Act


The Mexican Flag waves proudly above

Avenida de la Republica.


Green like guacamole, red like salsa,

white like sour cream spread on tortillas.


The same flag is depicted differently

painted as a mural by a street artist.


Green like the colour of one dollar bills

surrounded by plastic GI Joe soldiers.


White as a razor blade covered in cocaine

red like blood that quenches the desert’s thirst


Over the border the flag is a weapon

green as a cactus coloured with envy.


White like the gringos drunk on tequila

red as the anger of irrational fear.