Posted in Passages


We always knew one day it would happen
the Christmas card unacknowledged or
returned unopened.
Death after all is inevitable,
follows an inverted bell curve
falling with the shedding of youth and exuberance
then rising with age
and at 89…..

Symmetry :
we were newly together
in our early 20’s,
she in her late 50’s
a brush passing, two evenings in budget accommodation
but somehow we connected
corresponding for 35 years.
We visited her when up North
she called in when South.
Her daughter returned the card with a note.
her mother had died that year aged 89,
on holiday in the tropics,
had always said she wanted one, or the other
and having got both, would be happy she said.

When sadness yielded, we did the maths –
we were now the same age she had been when we met.



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.