Red Ronnie: a little splash of Grand Guignol

Red Ronnie.

Grandma looked good in her widow weeds.

She really looked the part of an axe murderer.

She wielded that weapon like a true Viking.

Red Ronnie was getting the chop:

Red ‘coz of his coxcomb, Ronnie ‘coz of Ronnie Corbett,

the gruff and portly other half of ‘The Two Ronnies’

we used to watch Friday nights.

Wham! Down it came.

Ronnie took off around the yard as though looking for his head, crashing into things

‘coz it’s sort of hard without yr eyes.

We ate Ronnie at Xmas.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

A Taste of Chlorine

A Taste of Chlorine.

Did you hear the possums last night? Up in the roof?

Sorry, I say, I didn’t.

It sounded like a stampede, she says. Like a wild party.

Why weren’t we invited? I chuckle. Nah, I was asleep.

I forgot, she says. You sleep deep.

I had a dream, I say.

Now you’re sounding like Martin Luther King. What was yours?

I was swimming laps in the pool. I was the only one there. I came out exhausted but exhilarated. That’s when I came in to see you.

You better have a shower then.

Why’s that?

You smell of chlorine.

The Billy Collins Cookbook

The Billy Collins Cookbook.

Billy Collins taught me

how to write


the same way Alison Roman

taught her disciples

to cook :

don’t be fussy.

have fun in the kitchen:

a small room doesn’t mean

small ideas;


with different flavours, textures,

be funny, entertain.

I thought I could do that

Above all,

Billy Collins taught me:

be light.

You don’t have to stomp

to be heard.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

Who’s Doing it ?

Who’s Doing It?

Jeff looks around.

I do too.

We both want to know

who’s doing it.

Standing up. Speaking in tongues.

We both want to do it too.

But we’re not ready.

We both wonder why,

if we’ll ever be ready.

Pastor Bill speaks to us

in an avuncular way:

It will come spontaneously, he says.

Like a poem? I say.

Yes, like a poem.

but it won’t be in English.

You won’t know what you’re saying.

Huh? I say, huh?

And the people around you won’t know what you’re saying either.

It will be in tongues.

Ahh, I say, like that poem

I wrote yesterday,


I suppose so, he says.

I get it, I say, I get it.

No one understood it.

I didn’t understand it either.

But I stood up

like a tree.

I posted it.

Good on you, he says, good on you.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Crack/ Unfiltered

I pull aside the curtain

the hallucinogenic dawn rushes in

a sporidium of colours splatter

against the Winnipeg Fog wall

a bacchanal, a squall

like the hormonal hysterics

of ‘The Notebook’.

  • pic courtesy of pinterest

On Golden Staph

Golden Staph, Such a sweet, mellifluous name.

Its Latin counterpart, staphylococcus aureus,

just as euphonious, a name fit for a new species

of wildflower, an exotic dessert, or a freshly discovered

galaxy, glowing golden. at the edge of the universe;

even the bacilli under the eyes of an electron microscope

look like jolly mauve mushrooms clustered in a field

not the toxic toadstools they are.

*photo courtesy of CDC

every now & then on a dark & stormy night ….

Why would you even do that? she asks as I demonstrate the pose in the spacious confines of her consulting room.

It’s known as the king of the Asanas, I say.

But it’s a headstand! she scoffs.

No, I say, calm breathing and meditation is involved too. It stimulates the mind and body.

And how long do you hold it for?

Up to eight minutes, I say.

She looks alarmed.

We’ll see what the cardiologist says,she replies.

A few days later I’m in his office.

Can you show me? he says.

So I do. The polished floorboards are a little hard on the hands and head so I do a shortened version.

Well, what do you think? I ask.

It just looks wrong, he says. No, you can’t do it after the operation. We can do a modified version.

He instructs me to lie on the floor, put my legs up in the air, stiff and hold.

I show my daughter.

She calls the pose, ‘The Dying Cockroach.’

I’m not happy with it but I bite the bullet.

However, every now and then on a dark and stormy night when no one is watching, a little devil gets inside me and i flip onto my head and swing into the Shirshasana.

Eight minutes of bliss.

  • pic courtesy of Jennifer Pentland

The Roofs of Queenstown

The Roofs of Queenstown.

I can look all day at the metal roofs of Queenstown

like Jacob, wearing coats of many colors:

this one matte black like my Cruize that beat

the  Monaro at the lights ; that one on the corner rust red,

the colour you see striated on the tin roofs of settler cottages,

the one just built, Tomahawk with its brash of burnt umber

and my favourites, Blue Balm, and Winnipeg Fog,

the two beside the park that calm and soothe;

I raise my hat to the metal roofs of Queenstown,

stylish and stately hats worn on the heads of houses.