Posted in Lies


Many years later
the boy
who had been head boy
became a figure of professional respect
almost recognizable
a B list celebrity, well known for his opinions.

Three years separated our births
17 and 14
head boy and second year
junior school and most senior
Disraeli’s two nations
“ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings”

I don’t remember much about his tenure
an address at the beginning of the year
cameo appearances welcoming or thanking dignitaries
possibly a valedictory at prize giving.

When inducted a senior by age and examinations
I came to know head boys had many qualities
often equilibrating that difficult balance
approval by peers and authorities
but always casting their vote with God
never tempted by The Devil.

A nothing is urgent Saturday on Public Radio
the well-known former head boy
explains his views to the genial host
people shouldn’t be surprised
he has always been opinionated
willing to be unpopular from very young.



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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