Posted in Before the Rain


It wasn’t an easy time
confusion increased by two bosses.
The public paternal one,
face engraved with sorrow
the one declaring injustice,
lamenting the appalling task he had to undertake.

And the one when the door closed
no audience = no warmth and no humour
coldness … coldness as sanctimony
the sanctimony for what is no longer –
of a worker promoted to the inspector.

Empathy – there was none
the differences sharp and ragged –
me young and unformed
he had been 45 at 16.
His generation grew up with the Rolling Stones
it was impossible to imagine Bryan having sympathy for the devil.

Intuition always felt
he wanted to check my dwelling –
for fast women and other wildness. I wish.
Truth should be fair
of his 32 charges
No one was younger – or more single
carless and green during the hydrocarbon dynasty
I might have seemed a poet amongst Rotarians

He said he had done everything in his power
time spent as a manager convinces me he didn’t.
He wasn’t a dishonest or cowardly man
just not a brave or honourable one.
The sort whose silence gave passage to Hitler.



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.