Posted in Rituals

Off Duty

We were both surprised
you’ll be lucky said the agent
“Christmas eve ….. must have been a cancellation.”

In the arrivals hall my mother was delighted
truth knew it was about yesterday, not today –
the birth of a granddaughter.

We swung by the hospital
sister –in – law and new neice – brand new
very quiet
only, hours old babies and first-time mothers.
a group of burly men
uncorporate, untailored, unairbrushed
panel beaters
working men,
skipping the Christmas booze up
to deliver soft new toys
to soft new arrivals.



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.