Posted in Before the Rain


Photograph always resembled Halloween ghoul
or spotlighted animals,
but this one drew no laughter.
Perhaps the light.

Or photographer :
slim and dark,
attractive rather than pretty,
distinctive –
eyes widely spaced, like headlights of a Buick or Fairlane.
I had seen her in church – loved her by distance.

An almost studio at the rear of pharmacy
a screen pulled down … 
light made to behave, to be quiet.

Chance can’t believe its luck
delighted to announce it is for the staffboard –
to explain attendance at a conference,
meant absence when the official photographer called.

The five senses.
Smell. The scent of opportunity.
Touch. Hands turn shoulders and head
Taste. Mouth dry.
Sight. Dark + woman
Sound. Heartbeat + “ smile! + $5 – thank you.”

Five dollars when six dollars was an hour’s work.
Admin accepts photograph and receipt –
they will pay me later.
Protocol fulfilled, reimbursement never did.
Anxiety to please didn’t pursue …
didn’t want to seem mean or petty.
No matter,
the photograph is on the board in reception,
with name and title.
Feeling : million dollar. Cost : five. A steal.



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.