In the wee small hours

Someone’s been out in the garden

between the evening and the dawn.

I wonder what it was.

A rabbit or a fawn?

Yes, someone’s been in the garden

in the depths of the dark.

Someone fleet and nimble

who have left their mark.

Someone’s been in the garden

before the day was born —

the Xmas elf of Davis Court? —

& from their roots all weeds have torn,






			

This Time

This Time

I went back to the airport. This time I would do it. This time I would push on through.

The first part was easy, driving to the Drop Off point but once you got there, you had to keep on going. That was the tricky part. That’s where I messed up.

That time, the time I dropped my daughter off, I continued through , swinging around the roundabout but that’s where it got confusing, arrows pointing in all directions, a jumble of signs and always someone up your ass pushing you to speed up, for god’s sake.

That’s when it happened. A dark, chunky , sinister sedan pulled me over. It had AFP on the side. Australian Federal Police. An officer got out, walked up to my side window and tapped on it. I was packing it. What had I done? or more importantly what did he believe I had done. This was the age of terrorism. But did I look like a terrorist?

He questioned me briefly, took my license and walked back to his car. That’s when he got talking to someone. I assumed they were doing a police check on me, on the vehicle. All the time I could see him in the rear view watching me.

Finally he sauntered up to me, handed the licence back, and said I was free to go this time, but to be careful where I drove. What the hell did that mean? Where had I wandered?

That’s when I got the fear of driving to the airport to drop someone off or pick someone up.

But this time I did it. I made it all the way. History did not repeat itself. Woo Hoo !

One Trick Pony

 
Don’t be a one trick pony,my editor says.

All great artists evolve:Shakespeare, Picasso, the Beatles.

What about the lesser ones? I ask.What about me?

Them too, he says.

Find your niche, exhaust it, then push outwards again.

Or inward? I suggest.

Yes, that too.

Don’t tread in the same water twice, he adds,sounding suspiciously Buddhist.

I get it. I really do.

The writer I was in the nineties,when I gave it a serious whirl,

is different to the writer I was in the early two thousands

or from 2010.

Did you know I was a children’s poet?

I had over 150 poems and six short stories about an axolotl
published in magazines world wide.

I can’t do that now.

The writer I was in the eighties would not recognize the writer I am now.

But I still like to show off my work.

I’m a bit of a show pony

but I’m NOT a one-trick pony
 
 

Too Far

After he had stormed off in his Volvo and got home to a torrent of texts, he responded with a fusillade of his own.  It was like a naval battle at close quarters, with no quarter given. Someone was going down.

He got in the last word. That was unusual, Perhaps he had gone too far. He need not have said some of the things he said. One particular insult was, in retrospect, very cutting.

He texted a partial rebuttal before he hit the sack. No response. He texted again. And again. Perhaps he had gone too far. Had she…? O God no. It didn’t bear thinking about.

He buried his head under the pillow and tried to sleep. Eventually he crashed. But the nightmares ….

He awoke at six in the morning. His mobile lit up. His arm flew across to grab it. It was from her. A volley of vitriol.

He had never felt so happy.

The Getting of Wisdom

Back in the seventies when I first

went teaching , I came across them ;

flimsy paper tickets as evidence you’d paid

for your journey on the tram or bus;

you’d turn them over discovering a world of wisdom:

‘it’s the spouting whale that gets harpooned’,

‘it’s not enough to point the gun , you’ve got

to pull the trigger’ ….. ‘the past is dead,

the future’s not here, the present is your home’ ;

little homilies to help you along life’s journey ;

I collected them all until they stopped using them —

then one day left them in a carriage and never

saw them again ; I was like a disciple

who had lost his guru ; I had to seek

other sources for the getting of wisdom .

Grandad and the Punatorium

My grandpappy loved puns.
He was considered a pundit on the topic.
He had a secret cache of punography stashed away in his room where he could be heard laughing maniacally late into the night. .
Sadly he was confined to a Punatorium in the hope of curing him of this terrible affliction.

Someone once said you can measure the value of a pun by the volume of groans it elicits.

Grandad had three which he dished out wherever he went.
A pony walks into a bar and croakily asks for a pint of beer. The barman has trouble understanding him. Sorry, says the pony, I’m a little hoarse.
Out on my walk today, I spotted a Dalmatian.
A teacher in a Year Nine English class, had trouble with a girl called Lichen. Give her time, a colleague said. She’ll grow on you.
Boom boom ! Get it? A well-full of groans.
 

Freakishly Thin


I didn’t know how freakishly thin he was till
I saw the photo in ‘Far Out’ magazine
of the young Nick
Cave
.
What a head of hair, a squall of black,
lean and loose-limbed, hardly anything of him,
but a chiselled face staring knowingly and determinedly into the future.
He knew what he wanted.
He had the bridled brawn to do it.
I have always admired thinness. the Nick
Cave
kind
not the thinness of the heroin addicts
I’d see in the backstreets
of the city
nor the thinness of the wan weakling
I saw in the fish ‘n’ chip shop
whom a mere breeze could bowl over
but a macho sort of thinness
that seems to have passed me by.

* pic courtesy of Pinterest
 

The Company of Paradoxes

The sweetness in a bitter cup of tea,

one spoonful of sugar less;

the eloquence in silence,

the sadness at the heart of jollity,

the pareidolia of seeing patterns

where there is none;

the pitter patter of a pandemic

coming down the pike

Once Upon a Time

We are watching a UFC telecast at the pub.

That’s what we do to each other, I say.

We kick, box, wrestle each other.

Only we do it in words.

Words are much nicer, she says.

I don’t know about that, I say.

Do we really fight like that?

Yes.

We should be on TV.

There’s a show like that on TV now about bickering couples.

There is?

Yes. MAFS. Married At First Sight.

God, she says, we’re not like that, are we?

No, I say, we’re like UFC fighters.

We’re not like that now though , are we? she asks.

No, I wink, but once upon a time …..


*pic courtesy of Wikipedia