Posted in Passages



17 ½, last year at high school
first contact with a woman
other than
fumble and squeeze.
Almost boyfriend and girlfriend
1970’s, disco and strobe
I couldn’t retell the colour of her hair that first night
golden seemed too glib, too clichéd.
It would remain undefined –
for seven years,
until I saw tablecloths of wheat fields.

Three months gone before I turned 18,
lonely lecture theatres and oratory’s
ache kept a look out for
virtual lookalike or call back.
Constant thoughts, every day – several times daily
four, perhaps eight months
then one day they stopped
not planned, not stared down, just migrated
to another country, another season.
wind flicked memory debris would sometimes remember
when disco was hot
and punk rock was young.
Did she too?
Or how we resisted – first time for both?

Age 46 we are boarding the same flight
she doesn’t recognise me.



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.