Posted in Rituals


Raised voices and sarcasm
spite and condescension
easy, understood
fire can be put out, or evacuated.
The cold was worse he said
Off the scale – would need its own index – frightening.
Three bedroom house
two adolescents – no alternatives
combatants must share.
Sometimes he wondered
if dawn would arrive, motherless, fatherless, orphaned.

Common sense finally prevailed
over neighbours,
friends, congregation members judgement.
Divorce – till death do us not speak
until the older brother’s wedding –
parental duty: family photograph.
Hello Gerald
hello Susan
click, exhale.

No reprise –
death had intervened before his own nuptial
leaving only his mother. It was a relief.



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.