Posted in Before the Rain


Rural compression :
people didn’t get married or fall in love
–  “they got together.”
Couples never separated, divorced or were estranged
 “his Missus shot through.”
Incomes didn’t quadruple with a bonanza season
–  “payout wasn’t bad this year.”
And when the mortgage maze had no apparent exit
the rifle became the final solution
 “things got on top of him.”

“This Friday is it? Hope I find someone like ya,”
my severance and valedictory.
On the last day he was distant – distracted
at 3 p.m. he said that was it for the day,
said he had to get moving –
“so you might as well bugger off too.”

Two hands emerge from the pickup window
one offering a handshake
the other an envelope. And then he was gone.

Envelope contents

  1. Final fortnight’s wages
  2. Holiday pay
  3. Tax certificate
  4. And.

A smaller envelope: ‘ for good work  ’
– inside $50.
I never saw him again.

Part II
It wasn’t the most satisfying job I ever had,
or the highest paying,
or the one where time went the fastest,
or where I learned the most about myself,
or when I was proudest.
But, it was the best. So long Bill.



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.