Overshooting the Mark

I was driving towards my destination

a place I had never been

when I missed a number of turnoffs.

I had overshot the mark.

It made me wonder how often in life

I had overshot the mark

& missed some vital turnoffs

where, for instance. I could have become

a famous novelist like David Foster Wallace

& worn a red bandana

or rakish rock star like Keith Richards

or, god forbid,a prominent politician.

Or even married someone else!

What if you didn’t marry grandma?

my granddaughter once asked,

would I have still been born?

Most of us overshoot the mark.

It may be a good thing.

Danny Kaye, that Court Jester, once famously said,

we always land where we were meant to be.

Maybe it’s true.

I could have done worse.

The Man Who Lost his Face

I was reading about Dallas Wiens who, while working inside

an hydraulic arm,  brushed against powerlines while painting

a church roof: how God  sizzled through him  but burnt

his face away; the word ‘debridement’ came up, the practice

of removing dead tissue, fat, muscle so a transplant could take place;

and I thought, hey! isn’t that’s what it’s like when you’re burnt

by fast and furious love? the high voltage thrill and fury that knocks

the heart sideways and scars it till the scorched pieces can be debrided,

a lovely and awesome word that suggests a young bride being ripped

from your side: ‘debrided’ , oh wow!

In Which the Dog Loses His Cool

I’ve got a bone to pick

with you,

says the dog to Mrs. Hubbard.

How come when I go

to look

there’s no food in the cupboard?





No meat, no cans, no biscuits.

Why there’s not

even a single bone.

And you have the cheek,

the temerity

to call this place a home!





It’s not as though you’re

the old woman

who lives downstreet in the shoe.

Look around. You haven’t

any kids to feed.

There’s just me and you!





Whatever can be the cause

of this

outlandish state of affairs?

Why if I was goosey goosey gander

I’d kick you

right down these stairs!

More Lamb than Hedgehog

My mentor told me how to write a poem about slippers. Make it easy, he said. comfortable and cozy, warm, no prickly bits. More lamb than hedgehog.

I had a girlfriend once who forbade me to wear slippers: ‘Next thing  I know”, she said, ‘You’ll be wearing a dressing gown, reading cozy murder mysteries and shuffling around the house like an old man.”

My dogs when they were puppies took a violent dislike to slippers, tearing them apart with a vitriolic zeal of which my girlfriend would have approved. For years I walked around the house in loafers until the puppies grew up and out of their habit.

Whenever I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas over the PA system in his hush puppy voice I think of slippers. Slippers are like bean bags for the feet.When you slump into them they have the feel of home.

Terry

This is Terry.

You can wave to him.

He would like that.

He waves a lot but not everyone waves back.

In fact hardly anyone does.

He sits on a folding chair in the middle of the mall outside Coles looking for someone to say hello to.

You can say Hello to Terry.

Many people pretend not to hear him.

But that does that put him off?

No.

Terry is on a mission.

He is collecting donations for the Blind Sports Association.

There are a lot of people like Terry outside supermarkets throughout Australia.

Hopeful. Indomitable.Courteous.

Not in your face.

And yes, I did.

Somewhere ‘Round the Bend

Where does the sky start?

The sea begin?

Somewhere round the bend.





Somewhere round the bend

we can all be friends,

all colours and creeds blend





Somewhere somewhere

somewhere around the bend

we can be together again

what was broken, will mend





Somewhere round the bend

the animals will be our friends

all plunder will end

somewhere somewhere

round the bend

Looking for Milton

I look for him everywhere .

In supermarkets , shopping malls ,

along the esplanade where he

hangs out .

Have you seen Milton ? I ask .

But no one has .

Not lately .

Suddenly I need him

this gnome of a man

with the grey goatee .

Milton the Gatekeeper

hoarding the knowledge

like bullion .

Like Diogones with his lamp

I scour the streets

with my headlights

looking for Milton .

  • pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

That Little Kid at Maccas

That little kid in Maccas

from Aldinga Primary

with one hand on his yellow scooter

is picking up his order as I

am putting mine through.

Hello, he says brightly

& I say, hello, back

& I think should I be even speaking

with this kid?

[hasn’t he heard of stranger danger?]

so I ask him when did school go back

& he says, Monday so I ask him what grade he is in

[ he isn’t that little]

so I guess, Year seven

& he says, Year 5

& adds he comes each morning to Maccas

to fill up his tummy

so he can work hard .

He collects his pancake with chocolate syrup and strawberry milkshake

& scoots off

with his bag of calories and good work ethic.

*pic courtesy of Wiki Commons

This is For You, she said

Maybe because I was slipping away into the comfortable, undemanding

arms of magazines, she gave me a brand new bookmark from ifaw.

Now all you have to do is find a book to put it in, she said.

It’s like someone buys you a pair of slippers for your birthday,

you’ve got to get a dressing gown to go with them, and then a box of cigars

and a bottle of tawny port like an English gentleman to get you through

the evening and a cozy murder mystery to curl up with before the fire

& suddenly I knew what type of novel I wanted.

  • what book have you got .lined up to read?
  • do you smoke cigars, drink tawny port and curl up before the fire of a winter evening?

Thoze Cranberries

Thoze Cranberries

in the morning

not the ones you eat

though they’re pretty good too

but the ones you listen to

the ones from Ireland playing now

over the PA system in the mall

‘Dreams’

thoze impossible melodies

thoze haunted lines

playing through my blood

my brain,

such beauty,

such ‘harmonious madness’

hinting at what?

we’ll never know

joy or tragedy?

I go outside.

The day moves slow.

* what piece of music moves you?