Posted in Passages


My uncle came here with his father –
my grandfather
a quarter of a century before
the National War Memorial of an ally country.
He said,
every day at sundown ceremony –
simple and moving,
spiritual he said, hairs on the back of the neck.

Late afternoon, the bus driver announces
another coach has mechanical issues –
we will divert into the nation’s capital
and transfer the stranded passengers.
“Sorry about that – 75-minute layover necessary
refuelling and statutory meal break.”

I’d never been there – grab takeaway coffee and sandwich
and walked – no plan
internal compass spins on a meridian
and sunset
to the National War Memorial and eventide ceremony –
moving – hairs on the back of the neck.

The next morning my father called
telling me my uncle had died the day before.



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.