Posted in Unexpected


The deepest suffering
worse than mortgage foreclosure
greater than redundancy
more painful than divorce.
Death of a child.
what to say or do?
Inadequate finds new meaning.

Premature death has no formal hierarchy
grief seems most intense for early teenagers
perhaps it is the point where talent begins
childhood blurred possible
adolescent bright probable.

Funeral home – oxymoron exemplar definitive
commerce supervising orderly, sanitised departure.
white glove clean
lifestyle magazine gardens
static contradiction to energetic disorder of family dwelling.

A mechanical shuffle past solicitous ushers
printed orders of service.
Accessible prayers
brief scripture
God as guest speaker not MC.
brutally short when death stakes its claim at 13.

The formalities complete
before refreshments and commitment
even internment is not possible on an empty stomach
an invitation for young people to share memories.

Several friends stumble through stage fright
downcast eyes, bravado deserted, a pause…
an acoustic conclusion seems to have been reached.
The celebrant directs grief’s traffic…. “one more perhaps.”

A classmate walks to and around the microphone
a train pulling into station
slowing – not stopping
“I just want everybody to know Jeremy didn’t die
without seeing a naked woman.”



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s