Posted in Before the Rain


Newspaper questions : What? Where? Why?
And who?
The last which troubled me – deeply – woke me up
I desperately wanted to know his or her identity, It had to have been male
the glass ceiling a glass foyer then …..
still – “WHO?”
The boss, always certain about this uncertainty
apparently a decision,  “they,” at head office made 

“They.” Ever present all-powerful and invisible
the hangman whose identity remains unknown.
For the final days of my then career
I sort to decipher the signature on the death warrant.
At our last meeting an offer of conditional surrender – I would go quietly
if I could know,
he told me he didn’t.
Perhaps desperation failed. Or perhaps truth succeeded.

Either way
moonlight never rose over the dark 
impossible to prise loose two words.
He could have paid half price ….. a surname only.
impossible without forgiveness
forgiveness impossible without knowing .
closure, a concept – understood, but unreachable.

Half a decade on
harsh notes of grief fade to symmetry.
Tragedy. A motorcycle fatality. His first born.
Highway forensics still an infant science
no verdict could be returned.
Who took this from him. He doesn’t know.



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.