Posted in Passages


I never knew his name
Sam’s cycles said the shopfront sign
“no mate, Sam was the one before, the one before me.”
Two ago – got that,
but didn’t add anything more.
The premises were minute,
tiny, even by tiny house standards
the bike had to be wheeled carefully –
tiptoeing around other bikes and accessories.

Succinct, owner and premises
and accurate
– “ about 20 bucks mate ”
$18.50 on collection.
And just the right quality and quantity of humour :
“ no colour doesn’t matter whatever comes ” –
a bright pink one
so colour does matter , then a laugh, and
card shark switch to black.

The business grew to new premises
more accessories and bikes
and a pretty woman on the counter,
but from the workshop he always gave a nod
a nod that said  I recognise you … and thanks for coming back,
and I hope you will again.
I did
for more than 10 years
except the last time.
He wasn’t there
nothing, nothing at all.
The café owner next door was putting out rubbish
“gone,” he said, “ closed, finished,
the big places have killed another business
no room for the little man now.”



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.