Anytime Soon

writer

The poems whiz past like buses ‘Not in Service’.

There is no time table.

No bus shelter.

Only a sign saying, ‘Bus Stop 29’..

Anywhere is good as anywhere else.

That’s what Raymond Carver meant when he said:

Be At Your Station.

Be alert, open.

The deus ex machina will come.

Still, I’ve been waiting here for the last twenty minutes

With the girl with incarnadine hair.

It will be good if the poem or bus pulls up anytime soon.

The Woman in the Glove Box

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It is time to bring out the woman in the glove box again.

There are no gloves in there.

But there is Olive,

Quirky , off-kilter as this blog which is perhaps why I like her.

I like her feistiness too,

How she tells her husband,

“Stop shouting! Do you think that makes you a man?”

“All men need to be told this,” my partner tells me

Who likes Olive too.

She is getting the new book, the sequel, when it comes out.

But she is not like Olive.

Olive has a big personality and is not backward in coming forward,

As my mother used to say.

She is curious but curiously vulnerable.

She is the engine of the novel, the fuel, the vehicle

That takes you there.

She waits in the glove box like a car in a garage.

 

* have you a favourite fictional character?

* what do you admire in them?

Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts

Tight-fisted , they are hard

as knuckles and spoiling

for a fight

 

as they tumble like marbles

on to the floor , little green foot-

balls begging me

 

to sink the boot in ;

even under the knife

they are tough

 

as nails covering themselves

in layers like Chinese

boxes or onions ;

 

they leap around

in the saucepan like

boxers’ fists ;

 

ten minutes later

I swallow them ; anything

might happen

I Just Can’t Help Myself

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I try writing a serious poem about a relationship break-up

About how gutted I feel

I even get in a few good metaphors

But then it starts going off the rails

The clown in the closet wants to come out and play.

I try to shut him out

But he plants his foot in the door

And before I know it

He’s taken over

pouring out puns, profanities,

double and triple entendres

A real word-acrobat.

The poem’s a mess but he’s having fun.

and so am I.

What the heck!

We horse around a little then get into it.

I just can’t help myself.

Can Someone Feel like a Car?

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Can someone feel like a car?

A burnt out car?

That’s how he feels at the moment.

Run down. Abandoned. Torched.

Oh, he’s bit of a drama queen, he knows

But it helps if you’re a poet.

Conveyancers, Real Estate Agents, Bank Managers

& the endless decluttering.

He always wanted to be a minimalist

So now he is.

And that countdown. Prisoners on Death Row

Must feel it.

The drama queen again.

Less than three weeks now.

He better get on with it and stop blogging!

 

Looking for Dodos

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I was walking through the new state-of-the-art library

Looking for a book of poems, any book of poems.

It was like looking for dodos in the zoo

or passenger pigeons in the sky.

Do you still keep poetry books? I asked the librarian.

I’m not sure , she said.

She had to do a search

Then called the chief librarian who came with a swagger

Looking for that rarest thing— a poetry book.

Here, she said. Here they are.

They were squeezed Between ‘War’ and ‘Sports’,

The whole Western World’s canon reduced

to ten books on a tiny shelf.

And the ultimate irony?

There were more books on extinct animals than poetry.

I checked.

 

do you see evidence of the death of poetry?

when’s the last time you bought a poetry book? or borrowed one?

 

The Kite and the String

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I am reading a manual called ‘The Kite and the String’

Because I have trouble getting my thoughts

off the ground;

 

They run away from me like that fifty dollar note

The wind caught while I was crossing

the main road;

 

the writer taught the need to ‘abandon’ and ‘control’;

a kite that lifts and a string that unspools just enough to let the kite

fly happily along

 

but not so much that it gets caught

In power-lines or entangled in its own tail.

I like that very much.

 

The kite is the thought

and the string the firm hand of the poet

that keep that thought aloft