Posted in Chutzpah


We told him before we got in we smelled –
stink was the descriptor used
he said: “ would you prefer to walk?”
Put it that way, no.
10 days hiking in the south-west of the country
now hitchhiking the 10 miles to civilisation –
 transport home, a comfortable bed, a hot shower.
10 minutes by car, three hours by foot –
no choice, no-brainer.

1980’s Ford , driven with one arm out the window and
one hand on the steering wheel, a fag in the other
his sentences were carried on a ribbon of nicotine
smoke-free: did we want to walk?
He will drop us in the town,
the town where he lived,
the place where the first settlers had first settled
despite government plans to move it –
had even built a new town for the population to move to –
he hadn’t, most hadn’t.
He reckoned most townsfolk were like him,
in fact come to think about, like most New Zealanders,
he said, “ I pay no attention to a nudge,
I don’t mind a push,
but I bloody well won’t be shoved. ”


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.