Posted in Rituals


an old-fashioned name, from another time
formal and proper – an old aunt
it is. And was.
My father’s sister
the last of the women who never went to church
or anywhere,
without hat and gloves.

She had no children
or whim
disciplined in thought, appearance and diet,
she would have declined the Garden of Eden apple.
she requested of my mother
ideas for children’s Christmas treats
all suggestions were thought ….. “not very special
something they like – just for Christmas.”

Soft drinks said my mother
phosphorescent sparkle of sugar and colour
yet to be a commodity
more than expensive – extravagant
dreamed of by five children
between boxing day and New Year
every night, one per night
every year of childhood.
Only at Christmas
only from Olwyn.



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.