Posted in Christmas


December 23, 6:55 a.m.
the phone
early – almost inappropriate
it will be family or
wrong number. Wrong.
It is the Blood Service
could I donate today – yes
can I come in as early as possible – yes.
On arrival, no waiting, instantly processed – bustle
I ask …
the blood will be screened immediately
then flown to a provincial city.

Three months later
another donation.
On the noticeboard, centre and proud
pasted on brown butcher’s paper
a cutting
from a heartland newspaper
chronicling the backstage of drama – logistics.

An urgent need for blood
a young mother, critically ill
an aircraft supplied without charge
express analysis by laboratory staff
12 donors
strangers all, to the recipient
a happy ending.
Across the bottom scrawled in children’s crayon
‘ thank you for saving our mummy’s life.’





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.