Posted in Love


I wondered if it was appropriate to ask one of my staff
explained that normally I wouldn’t ….
but my loved one was abroad.
“No. It’s okay.”
“Thank you.”
Second thoughts…. “a funeral …
you’d probably be okay for anything else …
but a funeral …. yes … you should. Not much … just a little.”

The worst timing : the gap between Christmas and New Year.
The best policy: honesty.

A secular block of shops,
concrete block, retail unsuited and unwanted by supermarkets
a blend of the personal, optional and esoteric.
Striped pole and tobacco, men’s chairs
and magazines – cars, fishing, football.

I told the blue smocked owner the truth –
and why here –
my regular hairdresser closed for statutory holidays.

Brittle speech
emaciated tone
nicotine filed vowels –
“right, you need to be scrubbed up a bit.”

No coffee
or polish of my regular saloon
the rasp of comb
thrust of hands
gnaw of scissors
the scent of last break’s cigarette.

“Ok , that should do it –
drop cape whipped away.
“Thank you. How much?
Funeral … it not your fault …. on the house.”



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.