Posted in Love


We were a clan
about 20 siblings, cousins, cousins in law
each year there was at least one learning,
sometimes two or three.
Each year he was there
two nights a week – after work
in the summer evenings
teaching, willing, cajoling, urging kids to swim.
–  The city as good citizen
the municipal pool closed to the public
available free of charge
the instructors voluntary – not even petrol money.

He was still there when we’d all learnt,
still there after we moved away.
Later I heard the story –
I was pleased I had … before the fangs of paedophilia sank
suspicion into such people.
He’d come to our town from another
to escape horror,
his young son had drowned,
he vowed to do what he could
to prevent other parents knowing that loss.




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.