Posted in Before the Rain

Inside Out

Bletchley Park : citadel of cryptography,
crib of computing,
saved the Allies from Hitler
and kept an eye on the Soviets … for years afterwards.

Enigma? It was,
until Alan Turing cracked it –
“how?”– was question from the floor.
The old man leaned forward,
he had been Turing’s chess partner
and colleague – years before.
“ Nazi bombast …..
self conviction made them careless –
Enigma was watertight – the operators weren’t.”

Dave, hearty and big voiced,
reassuringly rumpled,
disobedient hair
auditioning waistline.
Always full of bonhomie. And always wondering,
my perceptions of colleagues and work,
casting bait –
“…… Dennis thinks his shit doesn’t stink
……. .the artificial pollination project is a waste of time. ”

And asking questions that weren’t,
but GPS soundings
of where I went …. and who I saw – after hours.
Stirring the waters,
–                             to see where the fish was
–                               what direction it might go
–                                  and the places it had been.

The corporate double agent –
I often wondered to whom he was reporting.
He couldn’t have been very good ….
an eager to please
and unworldly 22-year-old cracked him. Bombast.



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.