As Soon As

As soon as you stand outside someone’s place,

whip out your mobile camera and start taking snaps

of something in the street,

jacaranda flowers, for instance, carpeting the verge,

an ibis making love to a TV aerial,

a drunken, tilting fence,

someone starts singing loudly in a bathroom.

conversations break out in the hallway like a rash.

windows open or close,

to let you know they’re onto you

when all you’re doing is trying to compose a poem.

When did people start growing so suspicious of poets?

Stuck in the Moment

Someone once said, be in the moment otherwise you will miss your life.

I don’t know about that.

Once I was stuck in the moment.

It was like being stuck in a lift.

I was going nowhere.

Not even up and down.

There was no way out.

No alarm button to press.

No side passages to explore like in a labyrinth.

I was stuck. In the moment.

That moment when at three in the morning

the phone shrieked at us

from the hallway.

I could hear the old Minotaur lurching down the tunnels

of my brain.

I tried not to panic.

Tried smoking a cigarette

Humming a tune

Studying a fly on the wall

Studying me

Reciting my nine times tables

the alphabet back to front —

do you know how difficult that is? —

And then suddenly SNAP

I was out of it.

I don’t know how long I was in the moment.

But I did wonder if I’d ever

Get out and join

The flow of life again.

Early Morning Walk

On my early walk

I passed a group of musicians

Under the bridge

It sounded like

They were tuning their instruments

In preparation

For a concert

Perhaps a twilight one on the bank

The notes

Bouncing off

each other —Boing boing — like hollow

rubber balls

banjo frogs

amongst the rocks and reeds already

drawing a crowd

I Am Not Chernobyl

I am not Chernobyl.

Not Three Mile Island.

I am not about to have a meltdown.

That steam coming out of my ears? That?

Just me letting some of the pressure out.

That growl?

Don’t worry. It’s worse than its bite.

That string of expletives I’m about to utter?

Just my inner Tourette’s airing its dirty laundry.

. A meltdowm? Nah. Now what is it you’ve been trying to tell me?

*pic courtesy of Pinterest

Mole

You say

I am a mole

when I write

burrowing

down

to my tunnel

with the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign

on the door;

but I say

I know

no other way

that when I’m done

I emerge

into the light

tiny eyes

blinking

  • pic courtesy of Wikimedia

Expect the Unexpected

Someone once said to me, Expect the Unexpected.

It seemed daring at the time so I took it on board.

The only problem was because I expected the Unexpected all the time I wasn’t really surprised when it happened.

It was expected right?

Life was losing its surprise factor.

I felt heavy as a bag of cement.

My counsellor suggested — wait for it — Expect the Expected.

So I do,

When the Unexpected happens I light up.

I’m happy,

Went Down to Nazareth

 

 
Went down to Nazareth, back from Bethlehem
to see my old mate Jesus out among his friends
No one had died
was crucified,
they were all good family men
Jesus performed his miracles
for charity now and then.
 
* with a nod to Robbie Robertson

The Difference Between

I was talking to our Hobbo the other day about scratching posts and whether his black Labrador, Dauphy had one and Hobbo retorted, no, but he has a snoring spot.

And I thought: that’s the difference between cats and dogs. Cats have scratching posts, dogs don’t. It seems a little discriminatory.

Cats can work off their frustrations on a post. What’s a dog supposed to do? Max, my granddaughter’s dog, had the answer. Whenever he got frustrated, he would hump his mattress. Not an edifying sight, but it worked for Max.

He was placid as a puddle after that.

Maybe that’s the answer for human beans too. Instead of walloping walls,  pummeling pillows or brawling with our besties, we could simply hump our mattress. Or find a snoring spot.

Slasher

I’m jealous of the scratching post.

Whenever she comes inside, cranky from some failed endeavour or an altercation with the crows and attacks the scratching post with feline ferocity like the slasher to the shower curtain in ‘Pyscho’, I’m envious.

It sure beats walloping the wall and pummeling the pillow when things get fractious or ululating expletives to the night sky.

Is it too much to ask: a scratching post for Xmas? Man-sized , of course.

No More No-No’s !

No more flannelette shirts now it’s November.

No more slippers, dressing gowns, they’re old men’s clothes.

No more ‘Married At First Sight’ or ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’

Real men don’t watch those.

And when you pull up at a red light, no more picking ….

Please, please, I say, no more no-no’s!