The Applecart

There was a saying in my parents’ day

not to upset the apple cart.

My uncle was a market gardener so it had extra meaning for us.

For a while things went smoothly

then I came along, then my sister.

We were the world’s first teenagers.

There was sex, booze — no drugs — and rock ‘n’ roll.

Mum and dad didn’t know what hit them.

And this went on all over the world.

A whole lot of apple carts were being upset, overturned.

Then came Feminism, Vietnam War protests, R rated movies

and in our country

the sacking of a government.

Boats were rocked, apple carts overturned.

It’s a bit like that now. Only there’s far more involved.

The fate of our planet.

I think before we get to wherever we’re going there won’t be too many

apple carts left standing.

*pic courtesy of Pinterest

Not Fade Away

Jackson Browne, I say.

Who?

Jackson Browne, the singer. You look like him, like he was in the seventies when he was big.

I do?

Yes.

But I can’t sing and I work in a burger bar.

I know, but you’re finishing a degree in International Studies, right?  You’ll be a diplomat. And you have his idealism, his energy. One thing though.

What’s that?

Don’t fade. Don’t go sanctimonious on us

I won’t, he says.

And looking at him, his floppy brown hair, chiselled features, slender build, alert eyes, I believe him.

He won’t.

The Crotch of the Matter

Halfway through my walk I get this poem in my head.

I’ve got to write it down.

I pick up pace, hurry through the Brickworks Market. Someone surely ….

A stall owner looks up as I go past.

“You got a pen and paper?” I ask. “I’ve got this poem here — [pointing to my head] — I got to write down.”

“Sure,” he says, “do I get my biro back?”

“Of course,” I say. “Do I get to keep the paper?”

He gives a feeble smile.

“What’s yr name?” I say. “Yr first name? I’ll dedicate the poem to you.”

What human being could resist such a grand gesture?

“Costa”, he says in a deadpan voice.

Just then his mobile rings.

It’s his girlfriend. He brightens up. A lascivious smile crosses his lips.

He gives me a wink.

He yabbers on what they’ll get up to tonight while I furiously write. It’s hard to stay focused.

Some of what he says gets in the poem.

He keeps adjusting his crotch.

That gets in the poem too.

Then I sense the dialogue winding down as I stagger to the end of the poem like a runner over the finishing line.

“Here”, I say. “I’m done”,

I’m hoping he’ll ask for a copy or at least a read.

But Costa isn’t interested.

He only wants his biro back.

“No hard feelings”, I say. “This poem’s still dedicated to you”.

And I write his name, Costa, above it in bold letters with a flourish.

But I needn’t have bothered.

The poem’s crap.

On the Hop

Did someone throw a switch?

One moment we were out of the woods.

The next in.

We’re going in hard, fast, early,

the Premier said.

And that’s how it happened.

Six days hard lockdown,

stricter than Wuhan

or Melbourne.

Pubs, schools, businesses.

Even the police were caught

on the hop.

Who decides these things?

.Hard, fast, early.

Then three days later

we were out again.

A lockdown based

on a pizza worker’s thick crust

of lies.

Even my grandson in Vienna

heard about it.

Did you?

We’re the Easter Bunny State

where decisions are made

on the hop.

I Had Left the President Outside

I had left President Trump outside.

I don’t know what got into me

but one moment I was reading about him

in a New Yorker article a week before

his fall, and I remembered I had put the oven on

& forgot all about him. The ex-President

was having a hard enough time without being abandoned

on a plastic chair with a cold southerly sweeping in & being compared

to Nixon a week before his fall. How the mighty have fallen, Shelley

might have intoned so I did the decent thing and brought the magazine in

where conditions were more conducive to the ex-President. Besides,

with the hail beginning to clatter outside, I wanted to finish the article.

66 Days

It took 66 days for Bobby Sands to starve himself to death.

It took me many years to starve my mind of the fear of public speaking

& though I have come a long way & people praise my confidence

it is still a work-in-progress

  • what fears have you overcome either partially or fully?
  • mural in Belfast courtesy of Wiki Commons

Have You Ever Noticed?

Have you ever noticed how placid an ad becomes

when you put a cow in it?

Farmers too when they milk?

All my good ideas came to me while I was milking a cow,

the American painter Grant Wood

declared.

Have you ever noticed how much more pleasant

‘The Farmer Wants a Wife’ is

compared to the bitchy, sniping

‘Married At First Sight’?

We should all pat a cow in the morning, hug a tree

if we are to start the day right.

Riot-prone areas, prisons too should be equipped with cows

their melodious moos

soothing the seething masses.

Bovine Buddhas

emblems of placidity

a state we aspire to in these troubled times.

All Fours

german-shepherd-wallpaper-8

 

Hey! He said. Why are those bozos off the leash and I’m not?

You have Attitude! I answered.

Oh great! People with Attitude should be leashed? What about rappers, revolutionaries, politicians with morals?

There are no such things, I said, as politicians with morals.

You got that one right, he said. And anyway, what about you? You have Attitude. Perhaps you should be on a leash.

Perhaps, I smiled.

Look, he said, let’s change places, just for five minutes. That’s fair, isn’t it?

I had to concede that it was.

Hey! The collar’s a bit tight.

He loosened it a little.

So off we toddled along the beach, he on his hinds, me on all fours, the three bozos scattering seagulls.

 

The Lean

 

images

I have a tendency to lean

Towards the left

When standing,

A condition acquired during

My teenage years.

 

Lately under treatment

I lean more towards

The centre

But wobble at times

Either             side

 

My children hope

The condition

Will right itself

Before too long