Posted in Christmas

Fingers Crossed


such wonderful promulgators of misconception
and mispronunciation.
A friend’s young son once told me
they had a boy puppy –
that it was written underneath
because daddy had turned it upside down …. then told him.
Buzz, the way of buzzer, Aldrin
would have been plain old Edwin,
if his sister had been able to pronounce brother.

And I grew up thinking Christmas carol grandma knocked down a reindeer
in our part of town people kept saying, old Mrs Black should stop driving,
she’s going to knock someone down.

I’ve always wondered what would’ve happened if our grandma
had knocked down a reindeer – or anything
and the police been summoned.
When she was 70 my father urged her to take the physical
required to keep her driving licence.
She deemed it not necessary
he persisted.
Ping-pong for 10 minutes
my father stated she would lose her licence to drive –
“ they’ll take it from you.
No they can’t.
Yes they can!”

“ No they can’t – I haven’t got one.” And never had.
Whenever grandma was driving and saw a policeman
she waved cheerfully to them,
often they smiled
and waved back.
She was still driving when she died aged 83 –
still without a licence.





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.