Posted in Truth


His name was John
but everyone called him Jack
she was Margaret
but answered to Peg –
Jack and Peg
names from before The Beatles
and not after
as long ago as Vietnam
as far back as Dallas
as faded as Apollo.

Jack practised law
Peg kept their house,
one of two.
For 48 weeks they lived in careful affluence
comfortable villa and garden
in a better,
but not best part of town –
the fulcrum of commerce
what judgement sees
evidence of success … avoidance of excess.

And for one month each summer
their cottage by the lake
distant and remote
no electricity,
water from the roof
an outhouse in the bush – for an outhouse.

“Marvellous,” Jack extolled
“back to nature,” before retro nature was fashionable
paraffin lamps
kerosene stove
a bucket for a bath, but Jack said, who needs a shower
when you’ve got the lake.

Heaven on earth Jack said
said that they loved it
adored the solitude
and the simplicity
had to be dragged away when the time came.

When Jack died a friend visited
condolence knew that life would be different
yes said Peg
“I’ll never have to go to that bloody cottage ever again.”



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.