Posted in Death


For most of summer there is no sunrise in Antarctica
no banishing of dark
no painting of dawn.
At 4:15 am, the sky usually retina contracting bright
is bruised with cloud
razor blade grey – Soviet Berlin grim.

Quilted quiet is everywhere
the sleeping in dawn of a public holiday.
Routine talks loudly over whispers of uncertainty
anxiety is placed on standby.

In the mess hall, unfamiliar faces and urgent calm
a crime scene from which the body has been removed
alien and unmysterious
like a child knowing a never before tone
and as a parent begins  ….“Grandad …..”
comprehension just is.  And everything else appendix.
Cryptic military patois.
An aircraft incident

Knowledge forms to shock. Explanation can wait.
A plane crash
two fatalities
emphasis on the first syllable – fate.

An army marches on its stomach
for now
breakfast must be served.
The queue is scanned for missing faces.
Later names are matched. I knew both.



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.