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?

A Good Writer Can Do That

You hear those gunshots last night, Matt? Boom, boom, boom , one after the other. Six in a row.

Firecrackers, he chuckled. The kids down the road.

What! You killed the romance, Matt. I had a great piece of flash fiction on the go: about an active shooter on the prowl, a gang fight … it was going to be a ripper. I was up half the night writing it. I couldn’t sleep.

You can still do a great piece of flash fiction, John. Just make it comic, not horror. A good writer can do that.

The Scarlet Pimpernel of Cats

She was the scarlet pimpernel of cats. A thunderstorm was looming and the sun had already set and she had not made her way inside though it was her dinnertime and she was a stickler about that. Hail was forecast. Go outside and rattle the tin, I was ordered. I’m having an early night. Fair enough. A cold will do that to you.

On and off for the next four hours I did as I was instructed, rattling the biscuit tin, calling her name. Only the hail answered. If she was on the roof again, she’d be a soggy, sorry cat. Occasionally between downpours I’d check the road with the torch on my iPhone for something flat, gingery and blood-stained. Fortunately there was nothing. The Scarlet Pimpernel of cats was indeed elusive.

Around eleven I packed it in and slumped asleep.

Did you find her? came a text message next door. I’m scared.

No, I messaged. ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

In the morning preparing two bowls of cereal I opened the pantry door and out popped a cat! She headed straight for her bowl, wofing down the food from last night. I checked the pantry for tell-tale signs of toilet distress but there were none. How did you go for so long without doing a wee? I asked.

I crossed my legs, she said.  

On Being Compared to a Gnat

You have the attention span,

he said,

of a gnat.

I thought [briefly]

about that:

the skim

the look;

the review

not the book;

the single

not the CD;

a movement not

the whole symphony;

the single poem—

a story won’t do—

especially if short

think haiku.

Life’s short.

Try this, that.

Stay light,

says the gnat.

The Right Thing To Say

When I can’t figure things out

& I seem to have lost my way

you always know the right things

the right things to say


I know words don’t come easy

that meanings go astray

but still you know the right things

the right things to say



I may have the learning

the diploma and B.A

But besides you I’m inarticulate

lost for what to say


At the end of each morning

at the end of each day

you always know the right things

the right things to say

Blackbird

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The flower withheld its perfume

the sky withheld its rain

the road its destination

the labour its aim

 

She had taken away the love

life’s poetry and rhyme

Had taken all the flesh

left only the rind

This One’s for Ginge

celebrationx

 

I’ve just been informed it’s World Turtle Day.

As usual I’m a little slow off the mark

But I’m sticking my neck out now

writing a poem to Ginge

in his tiny turtle tank looking out at the world

I’ve been reading him some famous turtle poems
including Robert Lowells’ Waking in the Blue

but Ginge and I are shaking our heads:

the only turtle reference is ‘I strut in my turtle-necked

French sailor’s jersey’.

but the one by Mark Doty has a few really good lines:

‘a snapping turtle lumbered down the centre

of the asphalt like an ambulatory helmet’

Ginge liked that

I read him a few more but their meanings were slow

to emerge

Perhaps that’s the point.

I hope he likes this poem.

I’ve been working on this one all day but I still

haven’t got very far.