Posted in Passages


An unplanned detour
roadworks, follow the orange signs and orange cones,
to an orange suited man with a red sign.

STOP …. and stay stopped …
… cycling, easy to dismount and walk –
past a bakery … those smells !!
Inside the owner ….. baker, kitchen hand, checkout operator
all of some, parts of others.
It’s the first day …. the stuff is good, very good
we chat, her name is the same as my loved one
and had immigrated from the same country
so perhaps empathy was conscripted.

Over the next few years I would often swing by
pick something up
and she would always tell the shop – “ he was here on the first day,
was one of my first customers.”

Word got around
expansion ….
invited to ground floor of a glass block
captive government departments and professionals
stainless steel and bifold doors.

She’d told me to check out the new place –
life, cluttered at the time … 3 months before I did.
Designer clothing and mode hair, tablets and iPhones
smart devices, smart chat, smart people,
no cyclists, or mothers with buggies
or tradies popping in because they remember working nearby and ….
Business is good, very good,
eye contact …. she shows no recognition
then leaves the counter, the kitchen door swings closed.
She might have been preoccupied or distracted …
perhaps the next time – I didn’t know – I never went back.



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.