Posted in Christmas

Off Duty (Part II)

It’s almost always possible to pick the person in charge, even when
looking incongruous, 
out of place
and bedecked with soft toys.

Woodsman forearms
solid and
shoulders and chest of a professional footballer
voice deep, and pack a day –
this man works for a living.
he looked fancy dressed, bedecked with soft toys –

“ There ya go mate – for ya wee girl.”

My brother never did diplomacy
and this was no different
but he didn’t mean offence either
and none was taken
his cheerful gruffness, endearing and aside pushing
neutrality the result, always.
“ It’s okay pal, she’s got plenty of toys –
give it to someone who needs it.”

The big guy said,
“ mate I’d really appreciate it if you’d take it,
that way all the kids get one
and nobody feels poor.”



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.