Beanies

I don’t think I wore my beanie at all last winter.

I took it with me all the time on the bus and in the car just in case I needed it when I got out but I never did.

Beanies always remind me of buds

How they sit clamped over your head

Protecting your ears and the soft skin of cheeks

Like buds protect blossoms.

I guess I needed protecting or maybe just the feeling of being protected.

As spring got closer I kept hanging out for a really cold day

Like kids hang out for xmas.

Having a winter without beanies is like having a summer without going for a swim.

You feel cheated.

  • when was a time you felt cheated?

the Cop and the Comet

I grabbed the comet of a poem

by the tail as it flashed past

the windscreen

on my way to the poetry workshop

but the traffic cop was not impressed

when I wrestled it onto the page

waiting for the lights to change

at the busy intersection

& began writing something of his own





  • inspired by Yard Sale of Thoughts

Jumping Jacks

When I was a kid

we always started with Jumping Jacks

on Guy Fawkes night.

We would light the fuses and run.

They had short attention spans.

We didn’t know where

they’d end up.

They had so much energy.

My kids were like that too.

They took after me.

You have ants in your pants, mum used to say

It’s the

Jumping jack gene.

I’d answer.

My niece, also afflicted,

takes medication and has only just read

her first novel at fifteen.

‘Adam Bede’

[ does anyone still read this?]

The dogs have it too.

Even in their sleep they are running.

Perhaps there is an evolutionary advantage

to being jittery

Saga of the Search

I don’t know what Jesus had in mind

when he said, Seek and ye shall find,

probably not these soy and almond protein oats

that soothe the tummy, titillate the throat

whose disappearance from the supermarket shelves

threaten to dismember my notion of self;

but I think He would be pleased I got off my arse

& visited various supermarkets, unafraid to ask

do you stock any of these, flashing my iphone pic

of the last one I had, but their reply is quick:

sorry, they say, you could try other stores

so I haul along my sorry arse to try one more

and lo and behold! joy leapt in my throat

before me sat 5 packets of those soy, almond oats.

The Lions

Do I have to tame you?

You’re not lions.

And this little backyard outside my unit

is not a cage

so why don’t you behave?

I only watered you a few times during the week

and you burst out like a prison break.

You leave me no choice.

No, no, it’s too late to plead.

These shears will prune you back

to more modest dimensions.

Don’t worry. The bees will still come.

the yellow-shouldered honey-eaters and wattle birds

still visit

& I’ll still write poems about you.

All will be well.

But such profuseness ….

*pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Rattle and Ho Hum

 
 I rattle the biscuit tin.

You coming in? I say.

Nah, she says, I’m waiting for a friend.

That mangy old tom I saw you with last night down by the chook shed?

Go easy, she says. I don’t talk about your friends like that.

Look, I say, it’s reaching the ungodly hour of 9.30. I’m going to hit the sack. You coming in?

Silence.

Well, don’t forget. Santa’s coming tonight. He might have something for you. Be good.

She looks at me nonpussed.
 

Little Things

like the poem

the dreamy bus driver wrote

in ‘Paterson’

while idling at stop lights

or picking up passengers

the one about Ohio Blue Tip matches

in their sturdy little boxes

‘so sober and furious, ready to burst into flame’

as crafted as those of his hero

William Carlos Williams

the doctor who lived a few streets down

 who wrote that famous poem

the red wheelbarrow glazed with rain

And me realizing you can write poems

about almost anything

even a red pencil sharpener

a bowl of berries with a barrowful of dreams

and finding out

that’s where Lou Costello came from too

Paterson, New Jersey.

There’s even a park named after him,

Lou Costello the chubby comedian who played alongside Bud Abbot,

the straight guy.

I used to watch those guys in the fun-house

Of the fifties,

frolicking with Frankenstein and The Wolf man.

But it was Lou Costello

I loved

The funny little fat guy

And that’s where he came from,

Paterson, New Jersey.

The Animals in Me

I have been called an ostrich for burying my head in the sand,

a mole for burrowing down to my zone of creativity,

quiet, unreachable,

a creepy lizard by a former girlfriend,

a snail for withdrawing inside my shell when I watch TV,

but best of all a bear, Johnny Bear, a much loved character

from my partner’s childhood, who lived with Grump, his mother

in Yellowstone Park in the book by Ernest Thompson Seton

which I am now devouring like the bookworm I am.

*which animals have you sometimes been compared to?

Shaking All Over

The way you get worked up.

I can hear you, the noise of your coming, three rooms away.

Are such outbursts necessary?

Why, even the walls vibrate,
Now you’re really going.

Hope you don’t bust anything.

You’re not that young anymore, remember.

There’s no doubt you give it your all.

Do you enjoy it?

Sounds as if you do.

Now you’ve gone quiet, can I come in?

Yes ! The  clothes are done, giddy with all that spinning.

One hour, twenty. Wish I had your stamina.

You must be exhausted.

Biros

I started to think about biros again, how mine was long and thin like a matchstick but it had no heft.

A biro should have heft if it is to write anything of import.

Mine is fine for writing light verse, things of flippancy and quirk.

But for something darker, more adventurous, a biro with girth is required.

Yes, I decided, for Father’s Day I’m going to request a biro with a stubby stem, a bit like its inventor Lazlo Biro

photo of Lazlo Biro courtesy of Wikipedia