Posted in Rituals


He began the story, then paused
saying he definitely wasn’t the oldest,
or plumpest.
He couldn’t say he was the kindliest either,
he would like to,
but the truth was
he was actually the slowest –
the slowest to pass the buck
the slowest to find an excuse, or reason not to.

So there he was,
decked out in whiskers and a red suit, on the hottest day of the year
being Santa at the children’s party,
handing out sweets and gifts
listening to dreams of train sets and Barbie dolls.
He thought he’d made a pretty good fist of it
until the job report came in
one kid told his parents,
Father Christmas sounded just like John Hayward –
“when he was being stupid.”



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.