Posted in Love

On the Surface


The policeman didn’t ask my age
or question experience
the tone of voice remained unaltered
was of summer barbecue drinks
which is exactly what it was.
I was visiting the hinterland, staying with a friend
who invited some people and
the inevitable question …. “ what do you do”
able to parade a little –“ just finished uni ”-
about to commence the career thing
and you?
“ I’m a cop ”
oh ..
topical – a big pay increase just awarded.

“Well, I have to say ….”
He didn’t interrupt, waited until I finished
then asked
did you notice the crossroads just out of town ?
Three weeks ago … a horror crash there,
motorbike and 4WD,
two dead –
the ambulance took the survivors.
“ I helped load the dead, then
awoke the parents of a young man to tell them he was.
At first light I went back with bucket, water and soap,
to scrub away blood, flesh, fragments,
something I think that was once an eye.
Do you still think I’m paid too much?”



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.