One Monster at a Time




 

The honeysuckle bush out the back can wait.

I mean, how much more fecund

can one plant get

in 24 hours?

But my sister can’t.

She’s in ICU.

But I need to pick up her walker first

in the maze of streets her house is tucked into.

I just hope the German Shepherds are under control this time.

I’m ravenous but that will have to wait.

the toilet call can’t.

And when I get to the hospital I’ve got to find a park

somewhere in the surrounding street and not get lost again.

My equanimity scrambled like eggs.

So many things to accommodate.

That stobie pole like a Good Friday cross.

Then there’s the vertical coffin-shaped box I have to squeeze into

to get to ICU.

One monster at a time.

Ugg Boots

I like your ugg boots, I say to the jetty.

Thank you, it says.

They look sort of … clumpy though, I say.

Well they are heavy duty.

I reckon I wouldn’t mind trying on a pair. For the beach only, of course. Where do you get them?

Well, you have to become a pylon first. You just stand around. They sort of grow on you.

Whoa, I say, don’t reckon I’m ready for that.

Suit yourself , it says.

So off I go to the store on the esplanade to get a pair, off white to match the pylons.

Two Moons

.

Look, she says. There are two moons tonight. Do you think that means anything?

Like end times, you mean?

I don’t know, she says. It can’t be good.

We move closer. There they are above the rooftops, one higher and to the right of the other.

Someone in the ranch-style house across the road switches the porch light on and joins us.

My ex phoned, he says. She saw it too. She’s bit of a sky watcher.

So we stand there out the front as one disc, then the other veer off in a north-easterly direction, silent as full moons.

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.