Total Pageviews

Saturday, 30 July 2011


We would go to the hairpin bend
on the Black Mountain road
to wash the car from a trough
of water with special gifts,
so my big brother would pretend.

Splat-red dead flies, fly-squash mess,
littered the Hillman windscreen.
"Just one thing will get it off,"
he said, "mountain dew."
Younger, I was easy to impress.

It was finger-numbing cold water
sloshed on the glass with a sponge,
spitting back in the wind
with each trough to screen lob,
and true enough it did the job.

Friday, 29 July 2011


A small theatre, bare stage,
a brilliant spotlight playing on a stool
behind a microphone.

On you come from the side
and I feel like the only one applauding.

You sit with your guitar and play
songs to touch an audience in the dark.

I feel those shivers and throat lumps
without embarrassment.

You take me by the hand and lead me,
and who am I to argue with such things.

I am tangled in your six strings.

Thursday, 28 July 2011


The night Benny Wilmot* came to our parochial hall
was a bit like Beatlemania without the Beatles,
people hanging off the railings and climbing the wall,
screaming "Benny, Benny", a chorus heard for miles.

For those of us without tickets, a brief glimpse was our prize,
to see this blond, handsome soap star from the Crossroads motel
here, idol in our neighbourhood before our very eyes,
hint of glamour in our dull existence, a sparkle.

*Benny Wilmot, played by actor/singer Deke Arlon, was a character in TV's "Crossroads" in the 1960s

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


A white room and a body on a table.
I stood waiting for the sheet to be removed.
I saw his frozen face and nodded a yes.
The identification had been approved.

In seconds, lives can be encapsulated
in fast flash-frames of memory, presented
complete from a glance to a nod of the head,
the life of my big brother now lying dead.

Monday, 25 July 2011


Mr Bennett, the French teacher
kept us on our toes
as we learned about le and la, 
a new funny way to talk, 
a room of 10-year olds 
giggling at the word "oui".

Mr Bennett restored classroom order 
by throwing chalk at the ring-leading gigglers,
including l'enfant terrible, me.

Sunday, 24 July 2011


I see him.

He has streets 
to roam,
to lean on,
but no home.

I keep my hands
in my pockets
for fear that I might
reach out to him.

I walk by,
(I'm a well-built guy),
but I reckon
he can see through me.

Saturday, 23 July 2011


She made quilts,
slower now that her fingers are old,
beautiful patterns woven with songs
sung softly as the needle and her hands
created unique details on scraps of fabric.

Friday, 22 July 2011


A small piece of white paper,
coarse-cut and raggedy-round
falls from my young son's fingers
and floats slowly to the ground.

He looks down, then up to me,
shocked because he dropped the moon.