Posted in Before the Rain


There was no Internet then
phones yet to be mobile – forget smart
in rural areas, calls went to an operator
toll operators knew who phoned who – and why
and who didn’t. And why not.

Manual exchanges
and expensive – very
my parents said they would call only when certain.

“Congratulations,” said my father
paterfamilias – it was his role to tell me.
Exams passed – I’m officially a graduate.
The farmer said: “ when do you want to finish
it would be useful if you could stay until Christmas.”
Christmas it is.

Christmas eve
back at home
in my hometown – my university town. Both.
“ When will you look for a job?” My parents asked
“a real job,” they add.

At the careers office it had all seemed too dreary.
Familiar tasks.
Familiar streets.
Familiar people –
I wanted something different,
to see and live in another part of the country
then the world.



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.