Reveries of Frances

Reveries of Frances.

Her flight is two hours late.

It’s pushing midnight.

O, how I wish I had the stamina of Frances,

perched on the balcony of her high rise

in the peppercorn tree hooting for her love.

She’d be at it all hours of the night.

By morning she’d be gone

but back again the next night.

She was welcome as a full moon, the stars.

I know love is as good a reason to hoot

as any other.

Christ, she had great lungs.

Shone a torch up there once

but she retreated to a backroom up there

in the peppercorn tree.

Spring after Spring she’d come

then one Spring, the year of the bush-fires,

she stopped.

The peppercorn tree seems empty now

like a fridge with no food in it.

*pic courtesy of wiki commons

The Wonder of You: the Lost Poem

The Wonder of You.

I never got to see Elvis.

I saw the Beatles.

Saw the Rolling Stones

but I never got to see Elvis,

Saw Niagara

Saw three of the Seven Wonders

Saw a rainbow sit like a tiara

over my city

but I never got to see Elvis.

But I saw my baby girl

get born

held her in the palms of my hands.

I never got to see Elvis

but I got to hold my baby girl.

What If on a sunny day

What If On a sunny day …….

the sun suddenly blacked out

had a power outage

while you were hanging out

the washing

or the dog was taking you

for a long walk through a maze

of streets?

You can’t fumble for a switch

phone your power provider.

You can’t even use the torch

on your mobile phone

if it’s not on you.

What would you do

if it lasted?

What would

One Perfectly Round Ear

One Perfectly Round Ear

Locked between his headphones

the scraggly haired beachcomber

scours the beach with his detector

its one perfectly round ear

listening to talk-back from the sand

music to his ears :

dollar coins , gold ear rings

or bottle tops , tin cans —

relics of summer’s empire .

On and on he goes

in his hand a miniature red spade

and a blue bucket of hope

  • pic courtesy of Wiki Commons



Admittedly it ranks a little lower

than the mystery of the Marie Celeste.

missing Malaysia Flight  A 370

or the disappearance of the Beaumont children

at our local beach on Australia Day

half a century ago

But I still want to know

what happened

to my snazzy blue, gold trimmed vest

I got for Xmas and took off for a shave

on Boxing Day

I only took it off for a minute

so I wouldn’t get it grubby.

Where did it go?


Raymond who ? she said .

Raymond Carver , I replied , the American

short story writer and poet .

Never heard of him , she said

and being a year eight standard I was inclined

to believe her .

And yet it was startling how Carveresque

her writing was .

Phrases like “ I will never know where — what

shall I call him — this man has gone “

spring particularly to mind .

And I thought of the nine year old boy who wrote

like the Dickens in Pickwick Papers , for instance ;

another who wrote florid full-on verse

like Chris Marlowe

and the highly strung girl who came for one term

and wrote like Emily Bronte

though none had ever read these writers

and the year nine autiste who at times

wrote like them all .

Sylvia who ?

the manic depressive from the back

of the class called

black hair slashed across her face

as I read the opening lines of her poem

to her father

fuelled with fury and neo-Nazi imagery .

Never mind , I said

as I wondered whether the ghosts

of dead writers

had come to inhabit the young

and whether over the next few years

I’d meet an embryonic

Will Shakespeare

an Oscar

or antipodean Dostoevsky .

Collect their juvenilia .

One day I’ll make a killing

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Wall Flowered


This book of cautionary tales has languished on the Express Shelf of the library for weeks while more modestly titled books alongside it have whizzed off the shelf in days.

How to explain popularity?

How does it feel to be wall-flowered?

What’s that do to a book’s ego?

What’s not to like in the title, ‘Cautionary Tales for Excitable Girls’?

I was half tempted to borrow it myself except it would only confirm the chief librarian’s opinion of me.

I tried to imagine what one of these tales would be called, what it would be about, even how one of them would begin, but I just couldn’t. Can you?

Water Towers

Water Towers

To the uninitiated , mysterious as

the moon monoliths in 2001 ;

pensioned off light-houses ? a giant’s

apartment house or a giant

phallus set in cement , a reminder

to the young colony —

populate or perish ? they come in

all shapes and sizes ; rise

suddenly from the landscape like

mushrooms with their long

stalks and caps yet exist singly —

it is houses that cluster

around them ; scattered around the

countryside they are tall

as wheat silos though their bellies

seem full of water

but why windows — for fish to peer

through ? or doors — what if

someone should break in ? only the tops

hold water , I am told ,

like a water tank on a stand ; largely

redundant , now they are

being sold off like unwanted churches ;

yet I consider them ,

their brief reign ; for me they always

held more than water

  • pic courtesy of Wikipedia



I sometimes wonder who he was, that man who called at our place a few years after dad had died and mum had moved into a nursing home.

Did mum have a secret life?

We all need someone or something to keep us afloat.