Posted in Truth


One step
a low ascent to adolescence’s highest peak
a voice an equal age in years but older
“I don’t think you need these”
practised hands slide trousers down unresisting legs.
Dark hair fans across pale shoulders
a not before seen expression of many imaginings
the man on top
the woman beneath
there were rumours of others, but for now this was enough.

Travel posters glimpsed and desired
an exotic destination
banter leads to booking.
cancellation rehearsed before confirmation.

The zodiac favour falls in an ambiguous arc
boy bravado expected complicit exemption
now in the rushing confusion
youth’s most desired waypoint collides
with its greatest fear – chickening out.
Nothing more shameful than loss of nerve
except loss of face
the sister of a friend
failure will not go unreported – or unpublished.
Reputation’s requiem, a chorus of sniggering begins to play
choice slinks away
the alternative is so much worse.



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.