Posted in Rituals


We never went to a movie
or to a bar
never went fishing
or to football.
We did go to the beach,
one morning
after mechanical failure released us from work.
He dared a woman to swim topless
and she did ….. the opposite sex inclined to his bidding.

A conman
a gypsy
a sleaze ball
a mystic
all of the above …. and then some.

“Steve ” –
history doubts he was.
Just the two of us
and the owner
for the three months, as trees turned from green to red.
After two weeks he asked why I was unhappy?
except he used “ fucked off ” as  synonym
– I thought it well disguised.

Thus began friendship
we talked – really talked – hopes and dreams
rearranged work hours to sun up start
talking and coffee through afternoon sunshine
sometimes a joint, joint.
Time was timeless, until the trees, finished time for us
no more apples  : no more work.

Some return year after year
neither of us would –
that was known.
At the gate, laughter
and anecdote …..
“ remember that day when .… well, I suppose ”
Two young men
and affection
emotion too
self-conscious, we allowed neither entry
a handshake
“see ya,” I said
“have a good life,” he replied.
I never saw him again. I knew I wouldn’t.



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.