Posted in The Twelve Pack


I always intended to look him up
but youth is careless with time
and when there was, I had to look down –
a headstone.
Legend said he was a lawyer in a former life
some rumours spoke of ejection …. others of spectacular abdication.
“I’m a painter son ” – the reply to the teenaged question.

Paint. It’s what we did
while the sun holidayed south.
Bleached mansions in a faded suburb
a once star, off the bottle and thinking comeback.

Hard work,
and no occupational health and safety –
unscreened sun
un-dust masked lead paint
three tier scaffolding … “ Okay, time to shove the plank along.”
It was worthwhile for the money and entertainment value of the boss – Morrie
two syllables… nothing more ever needed.
At the hardware store. No invoice, only statement… “ For Morrie.”

Stories !!!!
Even if half, were half true!
With coffee, first-hand accounts of his battles –
with the town planning department
the street association
the Heritage Society
the bank,
his wives : past and present. All abominable achingly hilarious

Flippant about himself and his ambitions
he told me, when the time came to purchase a house, to consult him
and he would tell me which ones not to.

Not a painter, a property developer
wide awake to the wide boys
a wheeler dealer and rogue, who every Friday lunchtime
handed over a bundle of notes … then drove me to the bank
and made sure I did : for my education.




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.