Before You

Before you

I always laughed at cartoons

alone,

was astonished before paintings & poems

privately;

but now I pass the magazine to you,

the one with the crazy cartoons.

Look at this, I say, & you do and smiles

span our faces & rumble our bellies

like little laughing Buddhas;

Trouble shared is trouble halved,

my mother used to say — but Joy

works inversely:

It is doubled when shared with another.

*pic courtesy of Pinterest by John Currin

Rear View

There’s a cobweb on the rear view mirror

of my car,

the outside one so it’s a little mussed up

as you’d expect

in all that turbulence.

A new one goes up every second or third day.

I don’t know what he catches in it

except the past..

Like a passenger facing the wrong way

on a long distance train

he only sees where he’s been.

Maybe there’s a value in that:.

looking back.

A little nostalgia does no harm.

In fact we revel in it:

costume dramas, westerns like ‘Yellowstone’,

origin stories of super heroes,

biopics,

the little cobwebs studios weave

to hold our interest.

The Applecart

There was a saying in my parents’ day

not to upset the apple cart.

My uncle was a market gardener so it had extra meaning for us.

For a while things went smoothly

then I came along, then my sister.

We were the world’s first teenagers.

There was sex, booze — no drugs — and rock ‘n’ roll.

Mum and dad didn’t know what hit them.

And this went on all over the world.

A whole lot of apple carts were being upset, overturned.

Then came Feminism, Vietnam War protests, R rated movies

and in our country

the sacking of a government.

Boats were rocked, apple carts overturned.

It’s a bit like that now. Only there’s far more involved.

The fate of our planet.

I think before we get to wherever we’re going there won’t be too many

apple carts left standing.

*pic courtesy of Pinterest

The Forest

I like them too.

I thought I was a basket case

But there’s this thirteen year old

I read about

Who takes anti-depressants

Anti-psychotic drugs,

Two drugs for attention deficit disorder

& she takes what I take too.

Christ,

I know growing up is tough

But I didn’t know it could be

Tough as this.

I could take other drugs,

Ones that she takes

But the doc reckons I’ve got this far

Without them

I can go the rest of the way.

I just hope that little thirteen year old kid

Makes it out of the forest okay.

*photo courtesy of Ulle

If you go looking for me

If you go looking for me sometime after dark

I’m out with my flashlight, hunting for a snark,

a perfect metaphor for an imperfect poem

so I can bag it briskly and bring it home,

a perfect metaphor, so rare and so apt

that captures the mood, the Magnificat

of the vision splendid I hope to impart,

the perfect, perfect metaphor somewhere in the dark.

Not Fade Away

Jackson Browne, I say.

Who?

Jackson Browne, the singer. You look like him, like he was in the seventies when he was big.

I do?

Yes.

But I can’t sing and I work in a burger bar.

I know, but you’re finishing a degree in International Studies, right?  You’ll be a diplomat. And you have his idealism, his energy. One thing though.

What’s that?

Don’t fade. Don’t go sanctimonious on us

I won’t, he says.

And looking at him, his floppy brown hair, chiselled features, slender build, alert eyes, I believe him.

He won’t.

Parable of the frangipani

That tall,

leafless

stick of a plant

I thought needed water

I tended each morning

the constant gardener

till the real gardener came back from leave

and told me it was dead

slicing a stalk to show me

it was hollow as a straw.

All this time I lavished my love on this plant

and had killed it

& I couldn’t help but see

the seeds of a parable here

one that Jesus or Buddha could have touched on.

It just needed cultivating, that’s all.

Picture This

Do you recognize this picture? Do you know what book it;s from?

This guy loved this book as a kid and now loves it again as a dad reading it to his kids.

He loved it so much he decorated his van with illustrations from this classic.

A sign company at Aldinga did it for cost. His van is a mobile advert for the company.

Picture this.

If you had the money and desire what picture book would you illustrate your vehicle with?

Jelly Cakes

Jelly Cakes.

They were called jelly cakes and they melted in yr mouth.

Marge brought them for Ted’s birthday.

Baked them herself.

What a whizz.

They were cheery and cherry coloured like Xmas.

No need to scrabble around for words to describe the taste like you do for wine.

One word would do.

One syllable.

Yum.

  • what’s something that’s knocked you out taste-wise recently?

Risks Not Taken

Was watching 24 Hours in A & E

where this skater

tore down a flight of steps on his board

then crashing at the end

ending his chances of becoming

a pro

& I thought

we don’t take chances like that in our writing

not really

we don’t face broken bones, torn ligaments

or worse

we don’t face much

what’s the worst?

no one ‘likes’ our post, no one comments,

we put up a post that upsets a few people

it doesn’t get much worse than that

we don’t really risk much

but what if we did?

what would it look like?

what’s the riskiest post you’ve put up?

*pic courtesy of pinterest