Posted in Before the Rain


they will let me know.
Morning break – still no news.
A decision is imminent
a secret known to three people
but whispers escape from closed room
I am being watched … and I feel it.

The boss arrives. Late.
An instruction, cheerfully gruff, stay after everybody has gone.

15 minutes. One quarter of one hour ….
time enough to determine if the darkening
on an x-ray is inconsequential – or terminal.
Time enough to analyse clues.
At the top table laughter and chat
grimness is absent.
Slowing of heartbeat and unclenching of fear
confidence topples pessimism. Bad news doesn’t stop for coffee.

Confirmation is an unexpected diversion
and byplay with the two resident larrikins
laughter still trembling on his lips.
“Those two …what a pair of cards.”

A pronouncement
If given a choice
I would always take it straight.
I wasn’t. He was.

“Unfortunately ..
The decision is final. No more appeals.
This is the end –
nothing more can be done.
Not good news – he realized that
messengers are specialists.
they only deliver.



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.