Posted in Truth


No one would have called her pretty
rumpled face
high forehead
wire wool hair of implausible colour
and tongue sharpened on two ex-husbands.

Her name was of a well-known flower
no scent or petals
only thorns
maybe it was winter in her life
a patient gardener prune for spring.

People said she was witty
had been a prankster in faded years
seeming ninety five
to a twenty two-year-old.

Her workday appeared to consist of solving crosswords.
many years later I came to appreciate
this strange honesty.
No subterfuge or pretence
the passive tools of defiance openly visible
a book of puzzles, a dictionary, scrap paper. Refreshing.



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.