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?

The Cutting Caption

M is in her cups.

Any moment now, the kookaburra cackle

the cutting off, like a hoon driver on the highway.

But for the time being I’m holding the table, telling the tale of the silver hammer beneath the front passenger seat of my car, what happens when my girlfriend spots it.

The little group leans forward, intent.

But it reminds M of something and she’s hyper now, jumps in, raucous.

This time I’m ready for her.

I took a photo today I’d like to show you. It’s for you, I say.

You did? Really?

Yes, I say, bringing it up on the screen, passing it across to her.

It’s what you do when you cut people off, how you make them feel. It’s kind of a metaphor.

She has a close look. Ouch,, she says. Lopped?

Yes, lopped.

A Bit of Love

Some of my poems end up like this,

bashed, broken , bent beyond repair,

car wrecks,

the ones you don’t usually see

in the showroom

of my blog,

the ones abandoned in the junkyard

out the back,

but sometimes I remember a part that worked

when the rest of the poem didn’t

and I go down & look for it amongst

all that scrap metal

of words

misshapen phrases

 give it a polish, an oil change

a bit of love

& fit it into the poem I’m working on now

so the old gives vigor

to the new.

It works every time.

When the Wind Changes

I walked past that place today.

Which one?

You know, the one we walked past last month with the nude couple canoodling in the front yard …

And …

Well, they’re still at it.

Must have happened when the wind changed.

Pardon?

You know that old saying: if you screw your face up when the wind changes it will stay like that, Well, it could extend to the position you were in when …

What if you were ….Or even ….?

Don’t even think about it.

Could be a blessing or a curse then? Let’s look at that photograph again. I can’t think of a better position to be in when the wind changes.

Nor can I.

Zen

This is Max.

He’s a happy lab.

Bathed in love.

Now he’s bathed

in water.

A dog wash.

Every muscle,

every fibre

slouches in a beanbag

of content.

Max is in the moment.

Some Hard Questions

I wonder how often they make love out there in the garden?

It gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘hard on’

I wonder is it a man and a woman?

I creep up to get a better look but they turn on me with a stony gaze.

I just hope they are discreet when the grandkids come over

or disengage for dear old great grandma.

A sight like that could finish her off.

I must say though they do have a marmoreal presence

and no unseemly sounds come from them.

Perhaps they are conscious of passers-by like me, voyeurs

and let it all hang out at night when only the stars and the big white eye

of the moon are watching.

I just hope they don’t get too rambunctious though:

that tap on the right looks a bit dodgy;

it wouldn’t take much to snap it and water come spurting out

like … like …

Discretion forbids me to extend the simile.

Out-Foxed

the nefarious cat

is taken back

the nest so

cleverly concealed

in a thicket

of thorns

& prickles

there is little

she can do

but sigh —-

and eat

humble pie

  • photo courtesy of Ulle Haddock

The Gorge

Can I come with you? Rage says.

Can I? asks Blame.

No, I say. It is best I go on this journey alone. You will weigh me down.

But … Rage and Blame say.

Remember what Matthew said: It is best to travel lightly.

You will be lonely, they say.

It is better to be lonely than to hear you two bickering constantly on the road.

Don’t say it, they say.

Like two snarling dogs ….

You said it, they say. You did not have to say it.

Goodbye faithless companions. You will find your own way now. I am sure you will find other hapless souls to team up with.

With that I climb my way up the gorge ….. and am gone.

  • photo by Ulle Haddock with much thanks

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!