You Hear a Noise

You hear a noise. It’s past midnight.

So what do you do?

You hop up, turn on a few lights, tramp down the passageway. open and close cupboards, bang doors, make a lot of noise.

Then you stop and listen.

There it is again.

Those bloody mice, you say, though you’ve seen no evidence of any.

It’s nothing, you decide, nothing. House noises.

You head back to the bedroom, turn off the lights.

Someone taps you on the shoulder.

the Coffee Cup

1

my coffee cup

is

an atlas

of stains:

a dark blotch vast as Asia,

another,

a continent of khaki

shaped like Australia;

there’s a South America too

[but no North]

And around the rim

an aurora borealis of brown

when the sun

lights it up.

2

Clean it, a visitor declares.

Clean it? I say.

This miracle of incidental art?

This repository of rudimentary remarques?

It’d be tantamount to the Taliban

blowing up

the Buddhist statues

in Afghanistan!

No!

The Impossible Task

I gave it an impossible task

but it was my mind

what could it not do?

There was a song

we’re talking way back

I thought the early nineties

an oddball song

with a female lead

and a bouncy backing group.

Can you work it out?

No?

Nor could my mind.

It bugged me all day.

There were some nonsense lyrics

but the song was catchy.

Any idea yet?

Nor had I.

I took a Bex and had a lie down

then the initials KLM came into my head.

Hang on, I said, aren’t they the initials of a Dutch airline?

But I hopped up anyway and keyboarded it into my laptop.

Have you got it yet?

Well, what popped up were the initials KLF.

Now do you know?

Then the name of the female singer came up, then the band then the name of the song,

one of the most oddball songs ever to become a # 1 or 2 all over the world.

Go and check it out on YouTube.

I did and yes I did get up and dance

and I was taken back to MuMu Land with Tammy and the KLF

all over again.

  • have you ever undertaken a search like this with so little information?

More Lamb than Hedgehog

My mentor told me how to write a poem about slippers. Make it easy, he said. comfortable and cozy, warm, no prickly bits. More lamb than hedgehog.

I had a girlfriend once who forbade me to wear slippers: ‘Next thing  I know”, she said, ‘You’ll be wearing a dressing gown, reading cozy murder mysteries and shuffling around the house like an old man.”

My dogs when they were puppies took a violent dislike to slippers, tearing them apart with a vitriolic zeal of which my girlfriend would have approved. For years I walked around the house in loafers until the puppies grew up and out of their habit.

Whenever I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas over the PA system in his hush puppy voice I think of slippers. Slippers are like bean bags for the feet.When you slump into them they have the feel of home.

Some Poems Start Out as Poems

Some poems start out as poems, homely descriptions

of slippers, for instance or berry bowls, toasters

but then over-reach, chasing chimeras, conundrums,

leading us down a rabbit hole of nonsense.

Others take the easier way, finding their inner teacher,

their gasbagging guru. Some poems start out as poems

but end up as pedagogy. You feel you’re in

the classroom again.

Just Us?

Just us then?

Yeh, just us.

What we gonna talk about?

I dunno,

I dunno either.

they both look into the distance contemplating the grim prospects ahead

Poor Jess.

Yeh.

She’s had a bad trot recently, Lost her wallet last month and then lost her balance in the bathroom.

Broke her hip.

Yeh. And only a few days ago she trips over the cat and breaks her arm.

Accident prone.

Yeh, you could say that.

Must be hard to dress herself with one good hand, wipe her bum.

Think she’ll phone?

Hope so; otherwise it’s just us, the two bozos.

Isn’t it her turn to bring the wine?

It is.

they look into the distance again

Miss her a bit.

Me too.

Hard to get a word in sometimes when she’s here.

True. I don’t like the way she interrupts sometimes.

Still. She puts up with us. That shows character.

True. Do you think she’ll come next week?

Hope so. Otherwise it’s …

Just us.

they look into the middle distance again quietly quaffing their ales.

That Bloke at OUR table

There was someone sitting at our table. This was the second time in less than a month that this had happened. My friend in the wheelchair was ropable but I suggested, good old level-headed me, that we cool it.

Mind if we sit at our table? I asked.

Be my guest, he said quaffing his ale.

We won’t bother you, I said and then after we got our beers we became companionable.

Our friend introduced himself.

Steve, he said extending his arm for a handshake. I didn’t want to seem prissy and Covidy, so I shook it with all the manliness I could muster. [I go to gym :)]

Unlike our former usurper, the bloke with a book, Steve was not a reader. He was a man of action who spent much of his life as a pneumatic/hydraulic mechanical engineer working in mines throughout Queensland and W.A.

He was a good drinker too, downing four pints to our one. And he was still lucid and like our former companion a Catholic who still attended mass.

How come, I said to my mate after, we always end up with Catholics?

And loners, he said.

Maybe it says more about us than them? I suggested.

Which Animal Are You ?

Perhaps I am a porcupine.

I am prickly by nature

& when I forget to shave

I have a prickly kiss,

Like most porcupines

I live alone

except when I cohabit

with other porcupines

in which case, I’ve been told,

we live in a prickle.

When my quills are quivering

people steer clear of the thornbush

that is me.

*what animal are you like?

*want to add a little poem about yourself as that animal?

Eyeballs of Yr Brain

Some people say I should write

More about people

Social issues

Than, say, red pencil sharpeners

Or cats with no eyes

But I reckon you’ve got to run

With what you’ve got,

Whatever grabs the eyeballs

Of yr brain,

the sad, empty chairs of the Nail Salon, for instance,

plushed as if for royalty,

the little commas at the end of sentences wriggling

like tadpoles,

that lop-sided moon like a broken smile,

Whatever,

You’re there to celebrate its otherness,

How it shines out in a tawdry world,

What brings it, and you,

In the words of Trent Reznor,

‘Closer to God’