My Bad-Ass Phone Call

 
Maybe I shouldn’t have made it but

the fish was under-cooked.

That apprentice! D said. I’ll haul him

over the coals.

have his guts for garters.

He’s overstepped the mark this time.

Don’t go too hard on him, I say.

He has a good heart.

A good heart doesn’t cut it in this

business, he said,

I’ll flay him alive.

It won’t happen again.

The next lot is on me.

And he hung up.

I know he was playing it up a bit.

Still, it would be good to see Jarrod

at the grill next week

in one piece.
 
 
 

The Mark of the Beast

Today I have the mark of the beast upon me.

It came up overnight,

It cannot be hidden except by a mask

But when I take it off, to eat, to explain a matter,

to simply breather easier, friends,

people recoil at the angry red rash

that runs from the tip of my nose to upper lip,

like birds before a predator.

I cannot shave so look doubly abhorrent.

I am only grateful for covid where a face mask

can be worn without question.

It is my close companion, my Linus blanket.

What She Saw

You look like  a newt

in yr birthday suit

she said with clear élan.

A little blemished.

Somewhat unfinished.

A strange fit of a man.

I’ve read yr text.

I know what’s next

& up the stairs she ran

The Sky Goes Goth

the sky

has gone

Goth;

dyed its hair

inky black;

the dark clouds squinch

like too tight jeans

letting

no light

through;

a Greek chorus of crows

caw

from the bare boughs;

thunder

mumbles

like Nick Cave’s intro

to Red Right Hand

Stragglers

Don’t be in a hurry, the buds tell me.

Open when you’re ready.

What does it matter if others blossom

before you?

Remember the gulls

how they fly in loose formation over the sea

at sunset,

how there’d always be some bringing up the rear,

the stragglers.

It’s not a race as our Prime Minister said.

They get there in their own sweet time.

Like my teachers said of me, you may be slow, John,

but you get there in the end,

It’s okay to be a straggler.

Under the Gate

What is the cat looking for under the gate?

Perhaps the old tom two doors down trudging across the road like a sloppy sentence.

Perhaps the purr that left her mysteriously six months ago.

Or maybe she’s dreaming of the Krazy Kat cartoons she loved read to her as a kitten.

Or what the rest of her siblings are up to at the Pet Barn and whether they landed on her feet like her when she was adopted.

Or maybe she’s just curious. She’s a cat after all.

Oooops

Oooops. Looks like I turned the heater off prematurely.

I seem to make a habit of it.

Maybe because I was born prematurely.

I don’t finish novels either.

or most short stories.

Even half my poems I bail out from.

Relationships too.

I have meltdowns. Walkouts.

But hey ! I have three kids.

Nothing premature there.

And I’m still with my gal.

Maybe I can finally say, I’m over it.

But that might be a little premature.

Axle: a children’s poem

There’s a miniature submarine lurking

at the bottom of the aquarium .

It is smooth and black with feathery gills .

It is an axolotyly .

We call him Axle , of course .

Most of the time he just hangs around

amongst the water weeds .

Perhaps he’s lonely and depressed .

But every now and then

he rouses himself

and cruises around as if on patrol .

The other fish give him right of way .

Perhaps he thinks he really is a submarine

on an important mission ,

keeping the waters safe for democracy ,

for instance .

Sometimes when he cruises past the sides

of the tank

I give him the thumbs up .

It seems to give him a lift .

  • pic courtesy of wikipedia

On My Own Again

I’m on my own again.

My partner’s hit the sack.

The cat’s snuggled up in her basket.

Tiffany’s asleep in the tank, light out.

Even the mozzies have called it a day..

There’s nothing on TV.

Perhaps someone will text. Someone …

Is this what it’s going to be like?