I Liked You Had an Electric Blanket

I liked you had an electric blanket, he said.

I really warmed to that. I liked too

you had a back yard big as a beach

and that waves of love flowed through you.

back then; I liked how we took barefoot walks

along the sand on summer night, the stars

fiery with desire, the hot kisses, but memory

tends to polish things up. to add a gleam

that wasn’t always there;

the cat never took to me and in the end you

didn’t take to me either; our little edifice of love

smashed like a sandcastle by the waves

Listen to the Hum


for the ears

of Gilberto Medina,

the 69 year old foreman

of the laundry room

at the Hotel Pierre

who could detect a problem with a machine

by a slight variation

in its hum;

if I could have listened to the hum

of my relationships

like that

I might still have been with my ex,

avoided an eight year trainwreck

I was warned about

attentive to the dangers of the cult I was in

but as it is

what hope had I?

I’ve always had a tin ear.

  • pic courtesy of Unsplash by pieter-van-noorden



you’d be

my rock,

he said,

upon which

I could build

my future;

but you turned

into a sharp-

edged reef,

now I’m all scarred

& sutured

*pic by Tengyart on Unsplash


A Half-Van Gogh

He’s just heard the news. He slumps, decides to act breezily.

“I am getting a half -Van Gogh,” he says over the phone.

“A half -Van Gogh? What is that?”

“You know how Van Gogh lopped off his left ear after a fit of madness, or so it’s claimed?”


“Well, I’m getting half my left ear, the lobe lopped off.”


“Why? Why would you do that?”

“It’s cancerous.”

“Oh dear.”

“You said you would love me even if I had half my face missing.”

“I know but …”

“Hello. Hello…”

Dial tone.

*photo by Jean Carlo Emer from Pinterest

Curse of the Statues

Just when I was about to retire the statues a friend pops up

with a proposition that floors me.

Look at the legs, he says, the position of them.

I do. I have a good hard look.

Well, the legs are not in the right position for the proper performance of the act.

Couldn’t they move them?

They’re statues!

You mean …

Yes, they’re condemned to a life of Eternal Abstinence.

The curse of the statues! I reply. It wouldn’t be much of a life, would it?

Well, it wouldn’t suit you and me. he answers. But people do it all the time. Nuns and priests, for instance.

And incels … I say.

Yes, incels and celibate statues.

Can we leave the topic now? I ask.

Yes, he says. I think it’s run its course.

* what do you think?

Maybe it was Me

Maybe it was me

maybe it was her

it was some time ago

a bit of a blur

We both grabbed it greedily

we held it for a while

life lowered its fangs

put on a smile

But she had her demons

I had my ways

we were on different pages

in different plays

Maybe it was me

maybe it was her

it was some time ago

al a bit of a blur

Isn’t That what Blogs are For?

I was reading Becky Ross Michael’s Platform #4 and

was whisked away to a time when I stood on platforms nearly every day waiting for trains

to whisk me away to the big smoke. To the college where I trained to be a teacher,

to the university where I majored in English and Latin, a subject that whisked me away

to the days of Imperial Rome where I fell in love with the poets Catullus and Ovid

and the language from which so many of our words derive.

I met my first love on a platform while waiting for the same train.

I did not know it at the time but I said goodbye to my marriage on a platform

when my first wife went to see a ‘friend’ in Sydney.

I fell in love with literary platforms in the works of Agatha Christie

and, of course, Tintin who rode around in trains.

I wrote a poem once called ‘Boy on a Train Crying’. I had to fight hard

to get that little kid into my first book of poems but I did. I got him in.

We were both pleased. Then so as I wouldn;t appear sexist I wrote another poem,

a much happier one, called ‘Girl on a Train’. I can write anywhere but I love

writing on long train journeys. I wrote another poem called ‘Trains of Thought’.

It was heavily metaphoric, heavy as a platform.

When I write a good poem, I don’t want to leave it. I want to share it with the world.

Isn’t that what blogs are for?

Each evening I stand on a metaphoric platform for the night train to Bedfordshire

and the following day as the sun begins its journey across the sky I catch

the Morningtown Ride to begin a new journey of my own.

Life begins and ends on platforms.

  • photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash


This is Rumpole.

Rumpole is a plaster of Paris statue of a real dog that wandered away nine years ago and never came back.

We tell tales of where he might have gone, what mischief he got up to and the puppies he might have sired.

We still think one day he will find his way back home which is why we leave the side gate open.

Meanwhile the statue is comforting. We know he’s not really there

But every Halloween he cocks his leg and pisses on the pavers to remind us he still is