That’s the Stuff You’re Keeping out of Your Poems

That’s the stuff you’re keeping out of your poems,

Ted Hughes said to his dismantling wife,

smashing the mahogany tabletop, the high stool,

during one of their periods of interminable strife

and I thought of the things each of us omits

when we sit down and write our little poems,

our peccadilloes, annoying habits, the times

we’ve ghosted or been  ghosted on our phones,

whether at times we’ve kicked the dog or cat

or when someone’s needed us we didn’t give a rats.

Little things we’d rather not disclose

like walking around in our poems without clothes

The Other Side


My mate phones me from the other side.

How’s it hanging? He asks.

Oh, you know. A little left of centre.

All our conversations begin this way.

How are things with you? I ask.

A bit up in the air, he chuckles.

We take a while to get around to things.

You still with that woman?

Nuh, I say. We had another stoush. You found anyone up there?

I’m in no hurry, he says. You know that old saying: Once bitten …. Besides, I’ve only been here six months.

Don’t go climbing any wonky ladders, I say.

Don’t worry, he says. There’s no light bulbs here.

So what’s the weather like? I ask. Up there?

Heavenly, he says. Heavenly.