Posted in Lies


When tertiary education was young
before enrolment restrictions
turned an open parliament to a closed kingdom
minimum grade was birthright access to the next level.

accumulated learning
or applied gambling : win some – lose some.
A pass earned where failure merited
security tiptoed past by fortune
minimum grade = victory.
smugness high-fives creative non-learning.

Physical science
no place for the theoretically ill equipped.
Chill winds of exposure blow through flimsy insulation
the classroom confers anonymity on ignorance
not the laboratory.
thieves’ honour passes on poker table bluff
all experiments measure a known physical standard
look in handbook for true value
work backwards fabricating data
ten percent variation disguises counterfeiting. Don’t get caught.

One staff member known to circulate
a sheepdog padding the aisles checking astray flock.
For fraudsters a choice – time coffee breaks with patrols
or find thrusting question of diversion.
Too late.
he is here
desperation supplies inspiration
a beaker of solvent vibrates
to the rhythm of vacuum pump
I focus acute attention.

“Is something is wrong?”
I point an almost perfect example of standing waves
he talks about the properties of liquids
then starts away
relief flows
verification foiled by the mendacious tangent.

One almost complete step and a head turns in taut attention
as if hearing the suffocated footfall of an intruder
a pause ..  and request to see my workbook.



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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