Posted in Passages


There is a photo, him carrying me –
my father’s brother
framed by summer’s light and a dark stately car – his.
Part pose, part opportunity
as if he had paused and turned to oblige the watching camera
early 60’s, prosperity, peace and sensible hair.

Infancy stumbles to childhood
he lifts me into the trailer, drives gently to a stock free paddock
pulling out the kite and holding on,
until I think it is me.
Childhood bustles to adolescence
I carry staples and hammer, he, fence posts and wire
he chainsaws a tree to firewood
I stack the trailer.
Adolescence arrives at adulthood
we lift hay bales from fields,
iron onto roofs
catch sheep for haircuts and pedicure.

A dark stately car and sunshine,
no photo
one of six
I carry him from it …. to the grave.



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.