Posted in Death

Soul Music

Very few things linger after they have elapsed
sporting performance
wedding ceremonies
workmates from jobs past.Sarah did.

We didn’t have time to be friends
both too busy
she with husband and two children
me 41 staff and ill tempered budget.
When stress was inescapable
a night tap dripping
a smile said she understood
the scars on her arms confirmation.
She had qualified for university, but not studied
sighing, “ oh but you know “
knowing I didn’t … and did.
She wasn’t there on my last day
so there was no goodbye
perhaps that’s why memory kept her.

12 years
the space between conversations.
Time enough for 39 to become 51
Youth, middle age
two boys to grow from childhood to tertiary education
“yes, both at university now.”
Sarah still looked the same
sighing, “I’m an old lady,” but was pleased
trivia dribbles to an end point
both looking for a departing remark when
she hoped I didn’t mind…
…… but ……… had always wondered
why I had left what seemed to be a good job.

Sometimes clarity just is. I told the truth
said in addition to the essential elements of life
shelter, food, water etc etc one must be added – laughter.
In the final two years
I never laughed
not once
at some point laughter had died.



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.