Flinch

Something the photographer said about animals.

We are much more unpredictable to them

than they are to us.

We could shoot them, pet them,

kick them up the butt, out the door.

Perhaps that’s why this rescue cat eyes me

suspiciously,

sleeps with one eye open

flinches when another male approaches.

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.

Blur

A fog comes down between you and the world.

Words have to scramble through.

A dog’s breakfast of sounds.

Turning the volume up on the TV only increases the blur.

Why does one sense desert you when others

are intact?

Every now and then yr ears pop

and the world of sounds : leaf blowers.

crows caw, the Harley revving up

across the road, the postman’s whistle,

comes rushing at you with all its

clarity and clangor.

How Does That Work?

My mind is a scold.

It calls me sloth,

a lassitudinous layabout.

Is that even a word, I say?

Get off the couch, it says. It’s early afternoon

Attend to your blog.

Your Yorkshire mate puts up three posts

to your one.

Write that poem about airing the sheets.

How they purr like cats as they are stroked

by the sun.

Re-read that article :

‘Should Leopards Be Paid For Their Spots’.

Phone your daughters.

Go see your sister.

Give people their worth.

Go to gym.

Release your inner Thor.

Okay, okay, I grumble

but, in truth, I’m happier

and have loads more energy

when I’m buzzing around

like a gingery bee.

How does that work?

See Ya !

I hope old Schooner’s all right.

He looked a little cranky last time.

He knew something was coming down the pike.

Birds know. They have a crystal ball.

They foresee earthquakes, tsunamis.

He must have foreseen the sale of the pub

& the old drive-thru that housed his Taj Mahal

of a cage where he held court. Customers

would stop by for a chat  and when they were done

he would rasp in his Tom Waits  voice, See Ya!

I liked his magisterial presence. I hope he’s okay

 wherever he is. Each Friday at the pub I raise a glass

To old Schooner. Here’s to you! I say. Stay cocky, dude.

See Ya!

Three Nights

Three nights of frazzled sleep

crammed into four hours on the couch

mellowed by malbec, merlot, mataro

an afternoon of tasting platters & wine samplings

at Penny’s Hill where black-faced sheep slumbered

under the oak; now you slumber so gently:

sweet Lethe has taken your troubles over the border;

you will awaken and forget

Big Guns

I had my big guns ready.

The script already rehearsed in my head.

There were some epithets to let fly.

Rebuttals for any diffidence.

I was asking my mercurial mate a favour

one he might bridle at

though I had both barrels loaded

‘after all I’d done for you….’

the rifle was cocked and ready.

I was Chuck Norris, Vin Diesel, Dirty Harry

rolled into one.

When I got him on the phone

and asked, he rolled over like a cat.

I was a little disappointed.

Inherit the Day

You inherit another day.

So what are you going to do with it?

Melancholize ?

Rhapsodize ?

What?

Sift through it for cigarette butts?

Scrambled messages on billboards?

What you gunna do?

Rehearse it like a song you’re going to record?

Look it straight in the eye?

Shoulder your way through it like an NRL star?

Squeeze the juice right out of it?

Hitch a ride on it?

Or lean against it like a lamp post and watch it amble by?

You inherit another day.

So what you gunna do?