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

Nice Bag

Nice bag, she says as I place it on the chemist’s counter.

Thank you, I say.

Yes, she says, admiring it.

Good looking.




Not likely to topple over.

A bit like me, on a good day, I reply

She smiles, the sort of smile that says, I better humour this guy, he might be dangerous.

Red Rubber Ball


He came bouncing into the world like a red rubber ball. Over time he lost his redness but never his bounce. He knocked over problems as if they were pins in a bowling alley. Hurts and insults found no purchase on him for though he was hard and rangy, his soul was round and smooth. He took the global view on things and realized that the earth had lost its bounce and needed nurturing too.

Street of Hermits

hd-thinking-imagesI live in a street of hermits. I know people are there. I hear them putting out their rubbish bins in the evening. I see their TVs flickering in the windows at night. I hear the postman on his little buzz bike putting things in letter boxes, cars pulling in and out of driveways, voices in the street. I have not seen anybody for years. Perhaps I should get out more.



Lapsed into a Comma



The very long sentence in an effort to beat its predecessors ran on and on and on over fifty five and a half pages after which time it lapsed into a comma, then another, and another till semi-colonized by tedium it slowed right down; sighed; lurched to the left then came to an abrupt full stop.


what’s the longest sentence you’ve read or written?

do you enjoy long sentences? do you occasionally try them just for fun?

how long do you think a sentence should be? what are its natural constraints?

What We Talk About When We Talk About Elephants



While on the subject of elephants , I had a friend once we all called ‘2 ply’ because he was thick-skinned; he didn’t feel like the rest of us; things had to be intense to get through that extra layer but when they did, he felt and gave out generously. Some found him a little distant.


My mother had a saying, “I can forgive but not forget.” She was good at grudges. My uncle, who was the recipient on more than one occasion, said she carried a chip on her shoulder big as a butcher’s block.


My other uncle had elephantiasis. He was always adjusting himself in the groin area. It looked like he was playing with himself in public. He and auntie never had children. Some nights in adolescence I would lie awake and think about uncle and his swollen scrotum. I had a ghoulish fascination with enlarged body parts. Doesn’t everyone?