Posted in Passages


My father told me about it,
but he never stayed there.
My uncles did, their employers had higher status
and bigger expenses.
Visitors from the provinces felt more than guests –
luxury, somewhat like staying in a castle.
12 or 14 stories
harbour views and out to the inner islands.
Private bars and dining rooms,
a cocktail lounge and ballroom,
where three times per year, black-tie functions
and the city’s elite.
once per year, white tie and the nation’s elite.

Prime location, by the railway station
just down the road from the university
I attended 25 years later.
I went there once or twice
splendour had passed
now surviving on cheaper drinks
and cheap rooms – by the hour.

Perhaps complacency was to blame
they didn’t see the danger on the less pretty side of town
the airlines and the airport did for it.



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.