Posted in Rituals

Brushed Away

Four university years passed in a pattern
quietly and quickly repeating,
enrolment, winter, spring, exams, summer ,
vacation work – funds for fees and fun.

The man of the interview asked for a start date,
then answered his own question – “ yesterday.”
The job
store in the mornings, issuing and receiving goods
deliveries in the afternoon –
“got a clean driver’s licence ?”
if quiet –
some painting needs doing. “ Sure.”

Time was amicable
the work amenable
the company casual and companionable
rumour said, the top two
general manager and managing director,
bitter rivals, ancient history, dislike on sight.

Still a summer soundtrack
top 40 and top weather
a season in the sun
notice given…. almost finished
when one last job,
the man who employed me said
go to car park
and paint over the managing director’s name –

Toast. Gone. Ousted,
Eight inches by four inches,
the only painting I did all summer.



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.