Posted in Unexpected


The gardener came with a warning
passed by corridor telegraph
don’t get caught alone with.
Talk and talk and talk
until captive ears escaped.
I wondered if he ever noticed
how swiftly a third-party needed his audience – “now.”
Perhaps not.
Occasionally he got lucky
collusion refusing to rescue
coffee time preferring amusement to valour
or a desperate smoker unable resist any longer
stepped outside and was sandbagged by monolog.
He could find a listener
like mosquitos a vein – and flies faeces.

Still he did a good job humanizing the industrial stark
and it must have been lonely
with only the silence of roses, rhododendrons, rows of flowers
and droning backchat of lawnmower
and he was endearing
in a bedraggled kind of way
always in need of a haircut and new teeth.

I would have found his individuality charming
except a refusal to comply
annoyance frustrated one time too many – to anger
pointed at the sign
hissing, “ can’t you…….”
And then realized
he couldn’t.



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.