Posted in Before the Rain



There’s plenty of work down south
hops, tobacco, fruit picking,
but not until late February –
almost 2 months distant.

The employment bureau gave me his number
tall, broad shouldered, bearded
fencing contractor
looking for a labourer
someone to do some work,
“yakka” he called it.

My pencil physique causes out loud doubts
I tell him I’ve been working on a farm
“good – can you lift that ”
“that,” being a bundle of palings wirestrapped together
I can. And do.
“You’re stronger than you look.”

I tell him I’m only wanting six weeks work,
he tells me he’ll decide that.
“Start on Friday.” Today is Wednesday.
The year is three days old.



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.