Posted in Before the Rain


Early February 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.

Upright, dark hair parted to the right
the side of correct politics and God.
A good-looking man, but not too so
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
Unfortunately there has been a decision
my employment will not be renewed.

He wants to make one thing clear
this decision is entirely due to budgetary constraints
not any shortfall of expectation or underperformance.
He would like to wish me well.

A soundbite of obligation
added to the menu of the year’s first staff meeting.
A thin spread of absolution
sandwiched between upcoming events and social club levies.



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.