Posted in Before the Rain


Late November a tall man stands
hands crossed over the front of his trousers
covering the gate of paternity
a guard against accidental opening
and addresses the staffroom.

A good-looking man, but not too so
dark hair parted to the right –
the side of correct politics and God.
Doubt a vestigial element in his life.

He begins to speak
part welcome,
part recitation – royal secretary announcing a knighthood
concurrence reflexive : agreement pro forma.
“A persuasive young lass ” 
 – an alien wink feigns conspiracy –
“ has convinced the visiting Head of Personnel
to extend her employment 
beyond the university holiday curtain call.”

The wave of an arm signals
the chosen one.
He adds personal anointment.
Warm approval gusts through the room.
She smiles acceptance. A little girl given a pony.



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.