Posted in Lies


It’s over 30 years ago now
then, I thought he was lucky
regular warmth slipping into eager sheets
as autumn undressed to winter.

There is a photograph from that time
impossibly blue day.
crimsoning leaves
tree sprayed sunshine
both of us standing together – piece workers on an orchard.
Treacle tanned
perma smiled
forgetful of all anxiety
the quiet between examinations and grade.
shadow stain of the image capturer.

He told me casually
as if announcing the date or time
more confirmation of fact than disclosure
if suspicion had been more attentive
the dots may have connected with speed
and without confession
but observation was blunted by self-absorption.

She wasn’t a beginner he said
things had begun some time before him
of this there could be no doubt
he had experience in these matters.

The landowner’s daughter and the hired help
20th-century absolution to the sins of squirearchy
the new egalitarianism.
Girls want to have fun too
that’s what he told me.
She giggled confirmation.

Retouching is needed. The camera lied.
The good looking man smiling out does not exist.
No such person
address unknown
an employment alias
such deceptions possible before electronic footprints.

A satellite falls from rogue orbit to extinction
re entry incineration vaporises all trace.
She was two years below age of consent
he must be in his 50s now
perhaps with a daughter.



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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