Posted in Passages


Tall, deliberate, serious,
and solemn,
well it was church after all, and he
a senior cleric.
Reform is in the air,
but change yet to come.

Distant and alone, always looking as if
he was looking at something he didn’t like
or worse.
He didn’t live many years after I first encountered him
passing from memory and vocabulary.
after his death
death and reform arose in another context –
the death penalty.

A leading researcher quoted the deceased priest
for enlightenment and abolition.
The place of executions had been in his bailiwick.
it was his ministry to counsel, to pray, to hope for absolution
or reprieve.
And if not
when the end came
they often asked him to accompany them –
until and including the very end.
He thought “ no,” inhumane and unthinkable, so did.
It was awful he told the archives
it left anyone involved a shadow of themselves.



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.