What She Saw

You look like  a newt

in yr birthday suit

she said with clear élan.

A little blemished.

Somewhat unfinished.

A strange fit of a man.

I’ve read yr text.

I know what’s next

& up the stairs she ran

Two Moons

.

Look, she says. There are two moons tonight. Do you think that means anything?

Like end times, you mean?

I don’t know, she says. It can’t be good.

We move closer. There they are above the rooftops, one higher and to the right of the other.

Someone in the ranch-style house across the road switches the porch light on and joins us.

My ex phoned, he says. She saw it too. She’s bit of a sky watcher.

So we stand there out the front as one disc, then the other veer off in a north-easterly direction, silent as full moons.

As Soon As

As soon as you stand outside someone’s place,

whip out your mobile camera and start taking snaps

of something in the street,

jacaranda flowers, for instance, carpeting the verge,

an ibis making love to a TV aerial,

a drunken, tilting fence,

someone starts singing loudly in a bathroom.

conversations break out in the hallway like a rash.

windows open or close,

to let you know they’re onto you

when all you’re doing is trying to compose a poem.

When did people start growing so suspicious of poets?

The Difference Between

I was talking to our Hobbo the other day about scratching posts and whether his black Labrador, Dauphy had one and Hobbo retorted, no, but he has a snoring spot.

And I thought: that’s the difference between cats and dogs. Cats have scratching posts, dogs don’t. It seems a little discriminatory.

Cats can work off their frustrations on a post. What’s a dog supposed to do? Max, my granddaughter’s dog, had the answer. Whenever he got frustrated, he would hump his mattress. Not an edifying sight, but it worked for Max.

He was placid as a puddle after that.

Maybe that’s the answer for human beans too. Instead of walloping walls,  pummeling pillows or brawling with our besties, we could simply hump our mattress. Or find a snoring spot.

Out of Time

Sometimes I wake up in a room

& don’t know where I am.

My partner’s?

My daughter’s?

Home?

Sometimes I walk into a room that isn’t

even there.

carrying two cups of coffee,

one for me, one for her

and a Sunday Mail under my arm

but that was yesterday.

I’m in the 4th dimension now.

Somewhere in the distance a crow caws, a cat hisses, an old CD

is playing, ‘You’re out of time, my baby’.

I scratch my head, my balls.

How do I get back Where’s the exit door?

The entrance?

Help.

There Must be Some Nice Things I Can Say about You

Let me see.

There must be some nice things

I can say about you.

I get to hang out with my inner hermit again.

Where you been? he asks sullenly.

Busy, I say, busy. But hey! It’s good to see you.

Can we, you know, have a beer together? Bring in a Pizza? Watch ‘The Farmer Wants a Wife?’

Sure, I say, sure.

We hug each other. It’s like old times. There’s a tear in his rheumy eyes.

I got time now.

I go to the old bookshelf. It’s pretty dusty. Don’t get much reading done when you’re out and about.

And I grab one, that big Collected Graham Greene

and we settle into ‘The Quiet American’.

There are some stories you can’t read enough.

You could do with a shower, I say. So could you, says hermit.

We give each other a playful punch. It’s like old times.

I watch his hands, his fingers twitching. He pulls back the curtain, peers outside.

Do you reckon we could ,,,,?.

Why not? I say. It’s the season for it.

We stoke up the fire, sit side by side, writing our shivery little three liners, haiku on wind, frost, ice, hailstones.

Winter, you’re not all bad.

His Arms Were a Graphic Novel

It wasn’t the person from Porlock; it was my aunt

Who got on the bus, brought my poem to an end.

My notebook slumped on my lap as she told me

The long sad story of a friend.





When she got off I had my chance but this young bloke

Sat next to me, iPod blaring, hair swooped back.

It was the White Stripes live from Splendour.

How could I not listen ? It was Meg and Jack.





But then a cross-eyed biker got on, hair in a rat’s tail,

Skin graffitied with tatts. How could I not look?

His arms a graphic novel. Then a woman got on

Shouting into her mobile, angry as ‘The Angry Book’.





The sad sack on the other end was out for the count.

Luckily Coleridge didn’t board this bus

while he was dreaming ‘Kubla Khan’. He wouldn’t

have written a word. The poem would be dust.





  • picture courtesy of Pinterest by TheTatt

The Lop-Sided Moon

                                             

The bus shelter at the end of our street

grinds its teeth at night.

Sometimes I sit with it, hold its hand, listen to its tale

of drunks and suicides,

of lycanthropes baying at the full moon,

of lost Lotharios weeping in their fists

I talk to it too about my problems

Of the jig-saw days when pieces don’t fit

Of the times when your heart races

Like a wildebeest on the veldt

But latches onto nothing.

After a while we both settle

and I head off home

beneath a lopsided moon.

sketch courtesy of Yofukuro on Pinterest: Yofukuro is a Japanese artistic duo, the brothers Selichi and Daisel Terazono

I Once Played Godot

I once played Godot in a high school play.

It was my big moment. My first step to stage stardom.

After all, I’d be playing the main character, the one the play’s named after.

-Where are my lines? I say.

-You have none, I am told.

I grow suspicious.

I once played a tree in a Xmas play.

-No Lines?

-You wait in the wings. You’ll get the hang of it.

It sounded dubious but I hadn’t been picked for anything all year.

-I’ll give it a go, I say.





          On the night I am a little nervous. I peep at the audience, the anticipation on their faces. I hope I perform well.

          The curtain goes up.

          I keep waiting for my cue to come in.

          The play keeps going and going.

          By intermission I still haven’t been called.

          -When do I go on?

          -You don’t. You’re the guy they’re waiting for.

          -Then why don’t I go on?

          -If you did, there wouldn’t be a play.

It seemed a pretty flimsy premise to hang a play on, but who was I to argue? My big moment would have to wait.

Do Mirrors Go Rogue

mirrors never lie : sideshow mirrors only distort the truth

you can look a mirror in the eye but it won’t blink first

ceiling mirrors are up themselves

wall mirrors have hang ups

mirrors continually surprise us in the act of being ourselves

mirrors both give and receive   simultaneously

during the day when everyone’s out do mirrors contemplate their navel

do they get tired of looking at the same faces

does familiarity breed contempt

can mirrors go rogue like Hal, the computer in 2001

are one-way mirrors guilty of duplicity

do cracked mirrors have an image problem

do mirrors ever take a good hard look at themselves.

pic courtesy of wiki media