Posted in Rituals


Almost every sized church has them –
devout volunteers
acolytes performing sub-divine
sacred cleaning
custodial functions –
they did for many years
with dedication, devotion and piety.

A career defector in my 40’s
a refugee from ceremony,
faith prefers low-key weekday to high Mass Sunday.
Possibly it was the backpack –
imagination imagined a burglar’s sack in disguise
or the dishevelment, of weather, sweat and cycle helmet
was classified shifty.
Perhaps it was verisimitude – I looked like ….
or was reminiscent of …

They kept an eye on me – a very human eye
one that followed, vigilantly, hopefully, perhaps.
Once in an artefact lined side chapel
she stood half metre behind – to the left
I turned
at 45°, there he was – reinforcements if needed.
I stopped going, felt tainted, marked
someone found not guilty rather than innocent.



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.