Posted in Unexpected


Black is beautiful 60s posters screeched
she was.
Born in scattered islands
growing up in white suburbs
I hadn’t seen many African-Americans – never a woman.

It was the age of Flo Jo
attention had a head start
cat like grace and imagined lion sexuality
every day at breakfast.

An airfield on the perimeter of civilisation
accommodation and work. Live and earn.
200 men maybe a dozen woman
the odds not favourable.

It could have been Pam’s humour
she was here with her husband
we worked mornings together
serving breakfast
she must have noticed. That look.

She whispers,
“she’s got no hair……the one you fancy ”
Tangled tumbling tresses belied the statement
“She’s got lots of hair.”

“No. Hair,” she said smiling slowly
hand waving downwards
she shaves. I see her in the womens.”
Brazilian then a native of Brazil.

One day I have the 1000 yard stare
not uncommon here
a familiar face
and the voice – southern fried chicken.

“Missing something?”
“Don’t worry honey we all missing something”
I’m sure she winked.



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.

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