The Last of the Romantics

This time he’s really shitted off.

Had a turd of a day

and now he’s come home to find

dog poo AGAIN

on his freshly mown lawn.

His fury diarrhoeas out

of his mouth, and here we draw the veil of decorum

over the expletives to protect our readers.

A little calmer now he pulls out his pen,

the ballpoint

he uses to write romantic missives to his love

and pens

a warning. on the nearest stobie poll,

a friendly warning

but its double-barrelled exclamation marks cannot hide his intent.

He grabs

a can of beer, and plonks himself near the front window,

watching, watching.

They Didn’t Tell You

They didn’t tell you when you trustingly submitted to a covid test that you’d have to quarantine for fourteen days even if you tested negative.

They didn’t tell you the queues would be so long, could take up to ten hours to be tested, and that there were no toilet facilities available, no hot dog stands

And they certainly didn’t tell you a fortnight in quarantine by yourself would be as gruelling, as solipsistic as a fortnight in solitary in a maximum security prison — and that you never even get to see your jailer

There is no training for this.

And anyway you’ve only got eight more days of madness to look forward to, so it isn’t all bad

Until you realize at the very end, your state’s in hard lockdown for at least a week so you have to go through it all over again

Spent

Now it is spent and lying limp

and placid at my feet —

a contentment of inky blue

but the other day if you

could have seen it bucking

with energy , flailing its

wild hair and arching its back

[ sea mountains surfers abseiled

down ] you would not have been

surprised to see it thrust

its loins again and again against

the soft white dunes nor after

to see the body of the foreshore

bruised and torn nor its rump

so foam wracked .

pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels

Circus

She hands me the change.

I miss.

The two coins bounce off the rubbery counter.

I catch them mid-flight.

You should be in a circus, she says.

I am, I say.

I mingle with clowns every day,

juggle my bills,

keep the customers satisfied,

drive around in an old jalopy,

put on my happy face

as buffoons bluster their way

through a pandemic,

get up in the morning

and start all over again.

What a performance!

She smiles at me nervously.

Anyhow, have a good day! I say.

You too, she says, as I walk away,

beeping my rubbery red nose.

Recent Sighting

Pounding the pavements of Portland,

grim, gaunt , hunch-backed,

Matthew,

no singing, cheery, Disney

hunchback of Notre Dame

but a

bandy-legged, bushy eyebrowed,

Quasimodo, orange vis jacket

looks like an angry bee.

Love on the Spectrum

I watched ‘Love on the Spectrum’ last night

about young autistic people

mostly in their twenties,

take part in the thrilling game

of Speed Dating;

& I thought how cool it’d be

if senior citizens,

marooned in singlehood

could be brought together for a night of fun,

under the one roof,

speed dating, meeting other single men and women

in a similar age group;

what a boost it would give to their lives,

what a night of fun

and who knows what good things might come of it,

what magical pairings

Up in Smoke

You don’t see many houses with chimneys anymore.

They seem to have gone up in smoke,

like ashtrays in cars and restaurants,

and ‘smoko’ at work places.

I used to love ‘smoko’ even though I didn’t smoke.

And what about that wine everyone used to drink back in the sixties,

and no one asks for anymore. ‘claret’ at least in Oz?

When’s the last time you heard anyone drop into a Liquorland or BWS

and ask, got any claret on special, sport?

Come to think of it when’s the last time anyone called someone, ‘Sport

The other day an old mate asked me, would I like to drop by for ‘tea’.

‘Tea’? What the ^%^% is that? It’s a word like claret you don’t hear much anymore except in reference to the drink, the alternative to coffee.

I slip into it now and then — old habits die hard. You’ve got to watch yourself. .

can you think of other words or customs that have died out?

Elephants

I don’t want to watch the elephants being killed

nor stare at Jason Statham’s bloodied bare knuckles on the side of the passing bus

nor listen to the bickering of the lampposts at night

the snarling of stars as their lights flash on/off like strobes

and my brain’s flickering: I’m woozy as a drink after last drunks

I’ve had it up to here, said the ventriloquist in my pocket

and why did the dish run away with the spoon, anyway?

I’m at a loss for words, says the eviscerated dictionary

and I’m at a loss for what to say next

except after the meltdowns on Mother’s Day

I don’t want to watch the elephants being killed

or see the promo of ‘The Wrath of Man’ with Jason Statham’s bloodied bare knuckles on the side of the bus

Another Altercation with Auto Correct

Parth serves me.

He deals with my query,

sets me up for Unlimited Data.

The next day

is Mother’s Day.

If you want anything to happen,

changes to your laptop,

forget it.

Mothers Day: the Holy of Holies.

but the next day

is all good

BUT

when I message Parth to thank him

auto correct  does not like ‘Parth’

but changes it to

‘Parthenon’ !

What the %#$%^&

He’s not a Greek temple, he’s a person, I say.

And besides he’s Indian NOT Greek

and when I correct it, auto correct

over-rides me.

We come to blows.

I change it back

end with a

‘Have a good one, Parth’ and quickly press ‘send’

but the next day

I get a message

‘Hey John! What is it with ‘Parthenon?

The Castle

Somewhere

Somewhere remote

somewhere bespoke

for those

who practice civility

a castle you can row out to

a stronghold

of equanimity

no messy emotions

no urge to outdo

a castle with a billy goat

nestled in a sea

of robin egg blue.

pic courtesy of Pinterest