Posted in Passages


Everything was formal at the new school –
the one with the black robed clergyman,
11, most of us, some 12, but all
feeling much younger
an overwhelmed, scared if truth had been.

There were no Steves or Phils
no Petes or Andys
only Stephen and Phillip and Peter and Andrew,
even when they never had been.
Except Ed
never Edward, even though he was.

An athlete : hand and eye
good with a bat and ball – like DiMaggio –
a standout.
Different in other ways too.
No present father, just absent, not dead
the term solo mother yet to exist
but his mum was.
I sometimes wonder how they afforded it
later enlightenment concluded, perhaps welfare.

Which might explain, what I thought preposterous –
what he told me once we were good buddies.
That he would say
a teacher, a man of God,
would touch there, and in that way.
I didn’t believe him then. I do 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.