Posted in Lies

Inside Job

An answer to prayers
20 hours per week. Walk-in walkout
wages all that will be taken home
afternoon hours can be used for writing.

Ash hair
three days too long
clothes – past fashionable – not yet amusing.
Snap Judgement : rumpled and kindly
confession feels at ease
aspirations are explained to attentive spectacles.

The pay rate would not cause envy
but reasons are understood and accessible.
Impression diffuses across the desk
if he were only younger…… or not so committed.

Interest has been great
five interviews
two more to see
a handshake and promise to be in contact.
Hope’s exhalation. Close…. but probably.

Shit happens.
It’s just the way things sometimes are.

Later from a tangential tributary of the grapevine
vacancy wasn’t.
Counterfeit screen tests archive compliance
all positions must be advertised and contested.

For more click Backstage

Posted in Lies

Rule of Thumb

Lazy Saturday of a holiday weekend
the paper flicked, not read
attention prefers the ranch slider framed ocean.
A photograph and tribute to a recently deceased
a beloved small-town doctor.

Memory backflips 30 plus years
age and location joining the dots
genetics makes certain – phenotype petite and dark.
It is. It is her mother
the mother who sent money
money – so her pretty daughter wouldn’t hitchhike.

Cheerful assurances
thank maternal concern
praise generosity
and promise compliance.

Girl Guide’s honour
summer camping
partying and alcohol – lots
at beach resort hormone hot spots
and back to the deep South
by thumb.

 For the story behind a story click Backstage 

Posted in Lies


It was flattering to be with him
the sole PhD on staff
that buoyant superiority of being the chosen one
a child and parent. No one else. Exclusive.

Code red. Almost harvest time
a tobacco farmer has identified an unidentified disease
only one paddock
a single angry pimple on a clear complexion
isolated outbreak or farmageddon?

Father and son – farmer and apprentice are waiting
the PhD is a local boy made good
he speaks their language and knows their history
as they know his
the companionable ease of a family physician of many years.

Enquiries of mothers and brothers
daughters and fathers and new offspring
sport, weather, commodity prices.
“ Now this problem.”

Fields of tall, proud, green nicotine
one of diminished height, acne splotched
“ like dog balls,” says the expert
commencing a series of questions.
Temperature, irrigation rates, humidity. Anything unusual?
Puzzlement trails into a head scratched afterthought
“ spray rate?” 35 mg per litre the reply
is that the specified application? They think so. Better check.

Correct. In bold green letters on a white container
expertise couldn’t be certain
but fungal infection cannot be dismissed
accompanying sample bags are filled
for forensics.

At the lab, samples are thrown into the incinerator
open-mouthed astonishment… shouldn’t they be analysed.
“Its spray damage.”
Wasn’t spray applied at the appropriate rate?
Exactly. Farmers don’t talk of milligrams or litres
but of handfuls and bucket loads.
Too much has been used. Face-saving is what this is about.

10 days later a letter is written.
Tests inconclusive.
An isolated outbreak.
Probably fungal.
Monitoring recommended.
A placebo for red faces to friends and bar room associates
they have their affidavit.

 For the story behind a story  click  BACKSTAGE