Posted in Before the Rain


They lay on a shelf,
not quite obvious,
not quite hidden.
Relics, neither discarded nor wanted
black and white
official –
a ceremony of some sort.
Reckoning guessed mid 1970’s
by hair – length and sideburns.

good-natured and strong. Very strong
difficult not to be impressed,
even if he did like to show it.
Seemed to prefer his own company
and working alone.
Sometimes I was sent to help –
he was always grateful.

He had been the foreman
in the old days,
before amalgamation and “ the new set-up.”
He told me he loved being a worker again,
being free of chasing people up – “herding sheep.”

Cold case : informants pass brief ambiguities –
about new identity,
about false credentials,
but never informing.

Growing up …..
when is time enough ….
to lift myth,
or substitute explanation for magic – calendar or serendipity?

A needed item – “ might be in the old card punch alcove.”
It isn’t,
but the photographs are.

Platform raised dignitaries
Overalled workers
eyes sunk to the ground
glowering, malevolent, tyrannical,
imagination instinctively adds jackboots and whip : Don.



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.