Posted in Passages


From India they came,
to small lands barely 100 years old –
the biggest war less than two decades finished.
Mother, father, two little boys
young family and a young paradise, they hoped.
Coming to a good job
and almost good suburb.

Ebony and Ivory, they were
first day at kindergarten, primary school, high school
and university
knew each other 17 of 20 years
and their mothers
bound by children’s education
and same street address.

Jeff said his mother spoke of how it had been
Romi’s mum told of not quite racism ..
of soto voce… feelings that caught
… the only Asian family in the street …
how it lasted more than a few years,
and took a long time,
a very long time to disappear completely.
He said you could imagine the surprise when
a Polynesian family moved to the street
and Romi’s mother sighed,
for the neighbourhood,
wondering of property values and tone.




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.