Posted in Before the Rain


Some stories make the rounds –
living forever,
transplanted from one era to another
finding homes in new towns and countries
reconfigured into just invented mediums
never verifiable
infinitely variable
and always the same.

Everyone has heard the one about Kentucky fried rat
the wedding morning groom waking
hung over
and underclothed in a distant city.
The brand-new patrolman
pulling over the commissioner’s wife.
Perhaps the world has so few stories
they need to be renovated and recycled.
Or stories are like food and clothing
there must be more than one life.

This one was before my time – true apparently.
The area had been popular during the 1960’s
with the counter culture –
communes had sprung up
self sufficiency the mantra …
flower power idealism and grinding manual work,
a difficult marriage, even with tradeable love thrown in.
Most co operatives had gone
some remained.
This one had an orchard – and a problem.

Two staff members were sent
on the steps of the building
a resident
skinny, long haired, barefoot, guitar jangling
they explain they have come about the apples.

Gaze distanced strumming – ding ding ding ding ding

“Apples man – I haven’t got the vibes for apples.”
ding ding ding ding

“I’ve got the vibes for the guitar”
ding ding ding ding

“You guys do the apples”
ding ding ding ding

“I’ll do the guitar.”



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.