The Ninth Crypt

I am about to read a book called ‘The Ninth Crypt’,

A novel I acquired for twenty dollars at the supermarket

But fear I may have made a grave mistake:

Browsing through the blurb I see mention of only

The ninth crypt, all well and good, but what about

The other eight? Perhaps the author is planning prequels

Based on the success of this volume but seeing he is

Now a septuagenarian who came to writing late,

This is most unlikely; perhaps if I bury myself deeply

in the text I shall disinter enough cryptic clues

To keep me happy — but at 800 pages !!! I await

Clarification; in the meantime this tombstone of a novel

Shall stand on my shelf of great unread books.

  • have you got any big unread books on your bookshelf?
  • photo by Grangeburn on Pinterest

I Read my Poems the Riot Act

Don’t go morbid on me, I say.

It’s my mother coming out in you.

At least she walked it off.

Lighten up.

Tap into your jocular vein.

Give your funny bone a bump so it knows it’s alive.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Pull a funny face.

No more ‘Hittites’. Too dark, gloomy.

And no, you’re not putting ‘Icy Innuendoes’ up for another run.

Don’t even think about it.

Lighter stuff. A bit of fluff,

Think Hobbo. Think Don.

With their clown hats on.

Away moroseness. Morbidity.

You’ll be the death of me.

Black Licorice

It’s not my kryptonite

my Achilles’ Heel

but I know a man

who would rather risk

a heart attack

than give up black licorice

black licorice

& bechamel sauce

not together

but strips of licorice

& béchamel sauce on flathead,

flounder & blue grenadier.

Why black? I ask. Is it a racial thing?

No, he says. It’s sweeter,

has more of a kick.

But can you kick the habit, I ask.

No, he says. And if I tell the doctor,

he’ll tear strips off me.

Wine, I can understand. Coffee.

Mrs. Kipling’s Salted Caramel Slices

but black licorice?!

How do people end up with such strange addictions?

The Crotch of the Matter

Halfway through my walk I get this poem in my head.

I’ve got to write it down.

I pick up pace, hurry through the Brickworks Market. Someone surely ….

A stall owner looks up as I go past.

“You got a pen and paper?” I ask. “I’ve got this poem here — [pointing to my head] — I got to write down.”

“Sure,” he says, “do I get my biro back?”

“Of course,” I say. “Do I get to keep the paper?”

He gives a feeble smile.

“What’s yr name?” I say. “Yr first name? I’ll dedicate the poem to you.”

What human being could resist such a grand gesture?

“Costa”, he says in a deadpan voice.

Just then his mobile rings.

It’s his girlfriend. He brightens up. A lascivious smile crosses his lips.

He gives me a wink.

He yabbers on what they’ll get up to tonight while I furiously write. It’s hard to stay focused.

Some of what he says gets in the poem.

He keeps adjusting his crotch.

That gets in the poem too.

Then I sense the dialogue winding down as I stagger to the end of the poem like a runner over the finishing line.

“Here”, I say. “I’m done”,

I’m hoping he’ll ask for a copy or at least a read.

But Costa isn’t interested.

He only wants his biro back.

“No hard feelings”, I say. “This poem’s still dedicated to you”.

And I write his name, Costa, above it in bold letters with a flourish.

But I needn’t have bothered.

The poem’s crap.

A Splendid Evening


It had been a splendid evening but now, rankled by some recent memory and loosened perhaps by a little too much wine, he leaned across the table and made a cutting remark. She began to bleed almost immediately. His words raked across her wrists like a suicide attempt. She began to deflate in front of him. She had to learn not to take things so literally.

The Problem of Pachelbel


I don’t know what Pachelbel would make of it but

When I’m put on hold for a wine club query,

His canon plays. Actually I’m a member of a number

Of wine clubs which may say more about me

Than Pachelbel whose canon plays as on-hold music

For each of them.


I would have thought Chumbawamba’s ‘Tubthumping’

would have been more appropriate, if less soothing,

or Roger Miller’s Chug-A-Lug or, for a bit of class,

Mario Lanza’s Drink, Drink, Drink but Pachelbel it is.


I don’t know If Pachelbel was fond of a glass

or two in the evenings

Or when he was composing his hypnotic canon.

He may have been a member of a wine club himself

In which case —excuse the pun — he would be tickled

Pink, especially if a Rose man.


when you are put on hold, are you annoyed or pleased by the music that is played? 

have you ever discovered a song though being put on hold?

A Bird Flew into My Mouth


A bird flew in my mouth.

I gulped in horror.

If it were a mozzie,

A blowfly,

No worries

But a bird

A wattlebird at that.

It panicked in the echo chamber of my mouth.

I wrestled it with both hands

Trying to pry it loose.

Suddenly it plopped out like a fish.

It staggered in the air.

I staggered along the path.

A bird in the mouth is worth two in the bush.

My friend quipped.

So how was it? he asked.

Surreal, I clucked. Surreal






No magpie in the bus shelter.

No skywriter above the city.

Nothing unusual today.

Only a post about yogurt

About how no one talks to men about yogurt

And how they should because it destroys ‘toxic masculinity’.

That was new.

I was about to ask what it was

When someone jumped in with  ‘can you take too much and what would happen if you took it, say, five times a week?’

‘Then you would become more cultured’ came the reply.

Someone else quipped,

‘Yogurt or Go Yurt? I love a good yurt’

Even I could come up with a pun better than that

But I couldn’t.

You’ve got to be fast on Facebook.