The woman next door is howling with pain.

It is 3 in the morning.

Clearly she is doing it harder than me.

I went in ten days ago

with a high fever

and within 24 hours my frail craft

had sailed off into the South Pole

where I was hit with pneumonia

and racked with pain.

It was Scott of the Antarctic meets ‘The Thing’.

I’m in calmer waters now.

Five days with minor ailments.

They’ve brought me into dock.

Going home today.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Last Dance

Last Dance.

Look at them skedaddle along the sidewalk

like runaways, dash across the boulevard,

full of beans, reckless as buccaneers,

realizing perhaps this could be

their last dance

before Winter

closes the whole show down.

  • poem courtesy of pinterest

What It’s Like

It’s like an ambush when you’re drifting off to sleep

a kookaburra in yr throat

an earth tremor in yr lungs

an opponent in yr bed

a double rainbow popping up in yr thoracic sky

lit up with pain

like that late train to Bedfordshire forging thru the Valley of Rumbles

a cock-eyed gift from the gods when you’ve run out of things to write about

it;s gentler than Golden Staph and comes with a puckish name


but all you’d like to do is clobber it over the head

And a sudden thought occurred to me: if you wanted to overcome an opposing army

all you’d have to do is infect them with the hiccup virus and they’d lose the will

to fight !

The Stan Laurel Syndrome

Stan Laurel Syndrome.

At the Blood Clinic I got a call

from my daughter

to give mum a birthday wish

and to please clear up the nice mess

I’d got her into,

I am always putting my foot in things.

It’s a gift.


One pothole after another.

*pic courtesy of pinterest

Mystic Mauve

Mystic Mauve.

I’m eight miles high again, sweet Jesus

branded on my feet

been smoking that purple rain again

though I have no one to meet

in the jingle jangle morning

mauve shadows are forming

& I’m running out of time

still tryin’ to catch the wind, sweet Mary

still one toke over the line

  • pic coutesy of pinterest;

Like an Animal

Like an Animal.

I hear it like the sea

from four or five streets away

faint, soft

like a cuddly toy

but when I sit outside

in the car port

where the barbecue is

it smashes into me

like an olfactory wave

a phantosmia of

chops, Frenched lamb cutlets

sizzling on the grill

and me, grabbing them by the hands

ripping into them

tearing the meat off like an animal —

& I know then

my appetite is back.

Mystery Ships

Mystery Ships.

When he gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night,

she’d be there

or on the way back to his room after pausing in the kitchen

for a glass of milk,

she’d be in the hallway,

with her axolotl stare.

Time after time.

Passing ships in the night.

He’d look at her, and she at him,

sometimes a twitch of understanding, affection,

then they’d both look away.

After eight years, off and on,

they were still a mystery to each other.

Her cat. Not his.

They’d never bonded.

Aisle Man

Aisle Man.

I like to sit at the end.

The aisle seat.

At the cinema



That’s where action heroes would sit,

I imagine.

Not in the middle of Row 22, for instance,

cramped on either side

like cattle in a truck.

No, Vin Diesel, John Wick , for instance,

would sit on the aisle,

close to the exit,

primed for action,

its sudden summons

like me

if only to take a phone call

or toilet break.

A Taste of Chlorine

A Taste of Chlorine.

Did you hear the possums last night? Up in the roof?

Sorry, I say, I didn’t.

It sounded like a stampede, she says. Like a wild party.

Why weren’t we invited? I chuckle. Nah, I was asleep.

I forgot, she says. You sleep deep.

I had a dream, I say.

Now you’re sounding like Martin Luther King. What was yours?

I was swimming laps in the pool. I was the only one there. I came out exhausted but exhilarated. That’s when I came in to see you.

You better have a shower then.

Why’s that?

You smell of chlorine.