Posted in Before the Rain


The earth moved,
celestial mechanics.
Winter benched by spring = planting,
to be benched by summer = growing,
to be benched by autumn = harvest.

Spring, out of the lab and into the field,
tissue culture becomes seedling, becomes plant,
becomes crop.
Agronomy, it’s what we do –
why the government pays us.
Results : what the farmers want,
and increased yield.

Every year,
coming from university to the hinterland
vacation time students – near graduates.
spending summer toiling the soil,
learning the difference between applied and theoretical
tilling …… and the till.

Rumour maintained this year there would be only two,
normally four –
belt tightening, rumour added, government deficit etc.
Rumour also thought both were women.
Almost graduates?
Their age must be in the same street as mine
Or one over –
two at most.
I hoped rumour was truth.



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.