Posted in Before the Rain


The Director’s  nickname was chilly –
genial about most things
but arctic if deference wasn’t paid.

He’d come to the district a few years before
from head office
to the leased block
getting the farm when the will was read.

Successful  : station well above his ideas.
There were stories,
but he was never prosecuted,
never charged –
able to retire several pay grades to the good.

Ghosts – loyal and quiet. Silent.
He knew which cogs to oil
who mattered
and who didn’t.
Who was impotent
and who could be defamed –
a man to be listened to.

He told me to fit in
to be seen fitting in.
Not a function went by without my attendance.
It was written on their faces
lips curling,
“rent a crowd 
he’d turn up anywhere if there’s a drink on offer.”



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.