Posted in Rituals

Sound and Vision

In another life,
the foreman had been a plumber.
He didn’t say much to those outside his circle,
but did say when I asked
“ because working in a factory is better,
better than crawling under fucken houses.”
Got it.

Actually, he never swore much,
a large man, he used physical presence
and police dog stare –
to do what others might have done with temper,
or violence of language.
And unlike many, didn’t seem to mind student vacation workers.

Gruff, but incisive, in the first week : close monitoring
“ nope – not tight enough – about six turns ”
“ yup – that’s what I want.”

Then nothing …. no comment = okay work.
one afternoon
loud enough to be heard over –
“ good, that’s more like it … I’d better check this one too ”
then … as quiet as a knife … as quick as blood springing –
If you’re asked, you saw Peter at work last Friday …
still a plumber –
plugging leaks – I wouldn’t have dared.




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.