Posted in Love


Margaret had been around a bit …
the world several times
12 years older
merchant navy –
“NO, not cruise – cargo: I didn’t do the Love Boat.”

Now ashore, working nine to five
she thought her fellow worker callow … easily sharked,
didn’t know carbohydrate from sewerage,
except she said shit from sugar.
Coal eyes flicked away, then back
steel flexes, then rigid again.
“You need to be careful. You know Jack shit.”

I thought it posturing,
ramping up her tough girl image,
tried to dismiss it
but it never quite went away
came to stay when we saw our first house.
She was right. I did need to be careful.

The lawyer said, “that’s what I’m here for,”
and would I like a cup of coffee.
“No, thank you.”
She said,
“I feel you could use something stronger,
but we don’t run to that,
“I’m going to get you a cup of coffee. I think you need it.”



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.