Posted in Rituals


Every Sunday we would go to our grandparents,
all of us,
mother and father and five children,
all very young.
The kids made a token effort at calm
and etiquette
which untangled to running around,
playing pickup, or tag, or fighting.

Our parents had tasks – undertaken dutifully,
Mum would arrange the flowers and do a little
wiping and cleaning.
My father clipped the grass edges
and swept the concrete.
Occasionally we would be told to lessen the noise
and show some respect.
We could only have been there 20 or 30 minutes
but seemed a very long time in the quiet of the cemetery.



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.