The Writing of Thane Zander
General Poetry Fifteen
The Hawg Series
General Poetry Six
General Poetry Seven
General Poetry Eight
General Poetry Nine
General Poetry Ten
General Poetry Eleven
General Poetry Twelve
General Poetry Thirteen
General Poetry Fourteen
General Poetry Fifteen
General Poetry Sixteen
General Poetry Seventeen
General Poetry Eighteen
General Poetry Nineteen
General Poetry Twenty
General Poetry Twenty One
General Poetry Twenty Two
General Poetry Twenty Three

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Salmon Mousse and Cucumber Sandwiches


I say to thee

doff thy cap

I say to thou

truest a word played

Thine courage immense

thou bravery intimate

doth thine cringe

when Pseudo Rabbits turn purple.


Hark, the call of Satan

a sound of dragons roaring

doth thine crawl on all fours

when Wolverines howl the night down?

When women die by the sword

sacrifice we hear you say,

the maidens of blood ready.


Yo, bwudda

yo hip to the savvy beat

wot yo doin’ in da ‘hood

crappola dude, she stacked yo

fuck man, suck on this xtasy tab.


I find my mind again

take on the challenge

a new poem

with insincere meaning

the day longs for evening

and the respite of night

the shadow men will walk

as street lights dictate.



Something special about Alice


Yes, there is something special about Alice,

the way she wields her poetry pen

the conversations inside poems that stir


Of course there is something about Alice,

not sure if it’s her ne’er say die attitude

or that fact that her new home is special,


When I see a poem penned by Alice

I’m always aware where she comes from

like her mind almost trips along like mine.


Sadly I can only read one Alice Poem a day,

such is the publishing regime in Blue

but I can at least go back through and read.


Thank you for reading my eulogy about Alice

I hope you too have the same feeling when you read

knowing a gracious lady writes for us privileged.



Apache Land


Wild daisies dance

a Rattler slivers

the dust of a whillywhirl

settles on a cactus

as a crown of office.


The thud of wild horses

more dust to anoint kings

Apache traverse lands

long lost to firing ranges

and nuclear testing.


A once proud warrior race

now confined to nothing

the loss of Buffalo

a possible passing ailment

plastic decorations, Made in China.


The Devil Moon of the Mighty Eagle

shines moonbeams on crowns

long worn out

the one who yawns,

Goyaałé, a fading picture.


Man Mountain, Woman Sky


I stand on a range

two huge boulders in each hand

the plains lined with trees

ready to be bowled ten pin style


I look up and see the Sky Woman

her cloak of grey cloud

wrapped around my massive shoulders

dare I ruin her siblings domain?


I place each boulder on the side of the hills

ready for another test of triumph

another day when the cloak is removed

so Sky Woman can perceive my want.


I see her weep now, a torrent

the soft underbelly of my hills, my children

soaked for eternity in love

the sprouting plants and blooms her testament.


Today we rejoined in matrimony

her children and mine as one applaud

she removes the cloak, Papa Sol shines

little ones warm in the afterglow.


I sit back down, wrap the High Ranges cloak

muscle my way back into the Ranges

and lay there for my turn at sleep

Sky Woman and Mountain Man as one.


Hearing Voices


Like many, I hear voices too,

just sometimes, when there’s things to do

a voice pops up and details a question

or a comment to follow a gloat.


There’s a Demon that tells me to jump

or to put my head on a track – advancing train

or to pick up a piece of steel and throw it at something

yes I fight these voices with aplomb.


There’s voices that congratulate me on decisions

they clap loudly when I achieve an aim,

these voices are preferred and welcome

we high five each other when the right choice taken.


I sit on a panel that that highlights Hearing Voices

a worthy participant in a seminar of help,

looks on the clients faces as the tape screams at them

then the feedback, wonderment of shared sufferance.


Solidly ensconced on a workshop that deals

the clients mystified, then clarified

the knowledge that some they deal with afflicted

better able to go away and work with knowledge.



Tree Children, Hill Children


We hill children stand and stare

looking at Man Mountain reclined

his head there by Beganroost Top

his shoulders on Highrent Rise

his amiable hips the crest of Gordenthrop.


We tree children look at Papa Sol

See Sky Woman’s cloak wrapping

her reach and her touch a loving thing

the drops of tears falling on Man Mountain

flowing through the gorge to be licked by us.


We Plains Indians call these things by name

the Eagle hovering between both, Hikoioi

his great eye searching for food supplied,

the salmon in the tears of Sky Woman

dances rapids and dives for tepid pools.


Dancing in the Rain, medicine man calls out

his chant to raise Man Mountain to dry the Sky

a meal of oats and jerky his staying power,

the Chitiwa groves sway in the breath of Papa Sol

the dance also swayed to the strength of it’s breath.


I stand and observe, the fountain of youth,

a whillywhirl of Papa Sol and Man Mountain

children, be they trees or hills, dance forever

the sight for sore eyes, the Grey/white wrap

of clouds shrouded in Woman Sky’s love.


I know not the Indian names for things,

I am a recent interloper by God’s design,

I am aware of the European names 

I am a also man of intellect, I know what I see,

I am a man empowered by nature and fairy stories.


Ocean God, Sky Woman, Man Mountain


The silver blue reflects Sky Woman’s power,

puffs of Cumulo Nimbus sail her heavens,

the drawing power of Ocean God sends above

another cloak for her to share her love.


Papa Sol generated wind cuts Ocean God’s domain

blows the shroud towards the Man Mountain, relieved

to be able to feed his children, and hers too, starved

the landscape when the wind fails to blow westerly.


Lake Love fills with tears and fish, a capturing ground

her girth nothing compared to Ocean God’s vastness,

children of Hills and Trees surround her protectively.

A bond of wind and cloud shares Ocean God and Lake Love.


Tomorrow the Sioux will pack their summer camp,

follow the eagle south to the savannah of Montana,

a footfall of the Buffalo King drawing bows and spikes,

new clothes for the tribe, meat for the jerky.


Ocean God offers up fresh Salmon for the tear ducts,

the Sioux capture before the Grizzlies take heart,

Mountain Man climbs from his slumber, his spirit guide

and points the way for them, danger free, solace.


Sleeping Lady Dancer, soothsayer, dances good omens,

sees Mountain Man and Sky Woman dancing

the wind fresh, the cloak of Grey/White enveloping,

journey to the hunting grounds fresh and safe.


Sees Far Man takes a look at the weather pattern,

signifies the day has come, Ocean God’s bounty abroad,

the great lady and man dancing across the grasslands

whillywhirl aplenty as maple leaves dance high in the air.


Great Wolf Cub signifies the journey to start, omens good,

old fires burning down, the north wind encroaching,

lady of the Sky and man of Mountain settle down,

the wind of Papa Sol moves around behind, driven.


All too soon the grey/green of an angry Ocean God

whisks snow flurries to Sky Woman, reaching everywhere,

dark grey of thunderheads over the Sierra Nevada’s,

children awaiting the first snow flurries of the year,


the day when the Sioux reach winter home

children chase grassland animals, and men hunt

buffalo with horse and spear, no guns yet, soon

a sigh of the grasslands as the north wind cuts through


sandy beach where the Mayflower touches ground,

arrival of the White Eyes, soon to affect them all,

the Ocean God, Man Mountain, and Sky Woman

all unsullied by the approaching nemesis, scum,


diseased, downtrodden, downright dastardly demons

the process of modernisation about to affect deities,

about to affect the way of life, about to demonise false gods,

about to sodomise the very life of the plains Indian.


One Crow Feather Bigfoot*


*The title is my Indian spirit guides Indian name for me.


I sit upon the crown of Snow Covered Pass

tasting the wind my grandfather tasted,

the foul stench of LA born on a westerly,


I feel the snow beneath me melt slowly

as it melted for my father and his forebears

as we each sat and sought solace from above


the spirits purely divined by the cold of reality

I look beneath me, the winding of many roads

the associated poison these bring daily,


the buffalo gone to ranches in the north

no hunting unless permitted by authority,

the young ones lost to Playstation and Xbox


I sit here and ponder about the direction of the tribe

cooped up in a reservation for generations now,

missing the maples and caribou of the northern lands,


Yes I sit here and ponder Sky Woman’s vapour trails

Papa Sol’s global warming, Man Mountain’s many tunnels

the saplings stripped at early age for a new suburb.


I think back to my grandfather, and his grandfather

the generations that fought and died for a cause

to keep their domains, their livelihood, their mana.


A tear drops to my knees, I smoke the pipe

to try and get a vision of what’s in store,

but my European mind now says more of the same.


I make my way back to the tribe, puzzled.


The Children of the Mist


There’s a groundswell of movement back to the old ways,

the Maori of New Zealand, the Plains Indian, Zimbabwe,

the need to recapture the old traditions and beliefs.


Te Reo Maori or recovering the language is huge here,

not just within Maori, with the Pakeha* too

the need to recognise the deep cultural diversity,


I call the Indians of North, Central and South America

the First Peoples, though it’s debatable if they were first,

they more than any have lost their cultural identity,


except maybe the mountain people of the South Americas,

the tide is turning however, the likes of a Sioux

going to a mountain again to seek guidance


the Maori Kaumatua** reading the weather patterns

Israel Kamawiwo’ole the Hawaiian Superman

lamenting the loss of lands and fishing rights


Today is not an amalgam of yesterday and tomorrow,

today is the knowledge that change can be made,

tomorrow the new weather roars in and cleans anew.


* Pakeha – Maori term for the Europeans/Strangers

** Kaumatua – Maori word for Elder



Question time.


It’s a super day, when children come out to play

it’s a great evening, when ships ashore are heaving

It’s a green zone, where flowers grow alone

it’s always the right time, when bells in clocks chime.


There’s a blue sky, that blankets the ground from on high,

there’s a green belt, where trappers trap beaver for pelts

there’s a white plume, where a volcano consumes

there’s never growth, where never growing betrothed


Can I see you, the person who mixes the herbs in stew,

can I beg for money, where the food of the day is honey,

can I rhyme, where the ropes on the hill mean climb,

can I pass algebra, where the only clothes you wear’s a bra.


Do you see me, the man that wiles away his time in poetry,

do you understand, the need to be better well at hand,

do you miss the clouds, the remnants of Christian shrouds,

do you make love, when the scent at hand is a foxglove?



The American Dream (or China calls the tune)


I bought a toy today, was nothing fantastic,

just a plastic Minnie Mouse for my child,

I noted on the packet – Made in China.


I thought of all the job losses over the past decade,

the factories shut through economic reasons

workers now living on redundancy, unable to work.


I drove past Rudderheimer’s Boutique Toy Store

popped in and sure enough, all made in Asia,

the taste of the toys suddenly overwhelming.


I see the Jackson Wanderers have Sony backing,

Japanese yen sponsored funding sports teams,

so where is the Mighty US Dollar these days?


I got home, yes I have a car and a job,

searched the internet for items that used to be US,

Levi’s being manufactured in Mexico and Peru,


Nike shoes made in Indonesia, Asian cars everywhere

remember Michael Moore’s Flint Michigan special

the sound of machinery made in Japan or Korea?


I couldn’t get over the Walt Disney empire,

plasticizing toys in mass production in China,

I see the number of American tourists is down.


Yes I hear you say, we are the healthiest around

and wealthiest too, millionaires galore (are you one?)

the slum areas in most cities is growing daily, the poor


the workers who can’t relocate, who can’t earn,

their skills lost to other places, their time dying

I see Coke have a plant in Russia supplying Europe.


I see my camera on the desk in front of me, Kodak!

I’m too scared to lift it, to search for it’s country of origin,

My wife sees my face and shivers, I’m despondent.


Notes from the Red diary.


Somehow I sit here ruminating,

child tones from yesteryear waving

the sound of crickets early onset summer


The rice I had for lunch sitting

many people in town shopping spree

a clown on a unicycle saunters by, smiling


Pastries from the night before

crumbs for birds flying inside the hall

a parking meter clunks, a sound of revenue


A pizza parlour pizzazz croons

diatribe between two banks and money

suddenly the exchange rate jumps, smokes dearer


I unlick my ice cream, dripping

seven new pairs of shoes for family

cars in carparks silent like a death dirge.


Notes from the Red Diary – Connie’s Chest


I opened the curtains, the day growing anew

sunlight poured in from the rising sun, aglow

the purple of autumn leaves reflecting down,


the birds gathered leaves and straw, spring

nests to be built, flowers to bloom and grow

the Wordsworth book on the table by the door,


winter’s chilling blast etches icicle furrows

the drip of water silenced by being frozen

the snow has footprints of night time animals


the early rise of the sun and late dipping

hot days when the pool is used many times

shade under the Yew tree a place for picnics


such is the breadth of her poetry, we’re amazed

a flow of verse, the descriptions succulently passed

the readings always a pleasure for eye and ear.


Notes from the Red Diary – Gardawgs Gavel


He wields his vast poetry pen,

the gavel of poetic rites and rituals

ladies in Red appear from billowing verse

the Gambler on riverboats – Whitman


tastes of the old country

diaries read and reread

the dates ineffectual

times when ages dictated

fiction or non fiction.


We read from the same book, you and I

the tome that says spread the word

a volume open at all pages

for a story or two to dance out


Laced Ladies in petticoats do the Cancan

the streets of New Orleans yet to be discovered

Mardi Gras wishing and waiting

a poetic dive into prehistoric America.


A few thoughts to myself,

I write to appease my own sense of voyage

to dictate the thoughts of others

I am Gary, but more than that I’m Gardawg

Poet, statesman, raconteur – Laureate!!



Notes from the Red Diary – Allen’s Acquiescence


He sits there




with a breath of fresh air

longing for

ten more

empty pages


see the poem

run amok.


Lately he’s given to driving

home the point

like a well tuned


the ducks




spill opulence

upon a quaint



he eats salad

in winter




of éclairs


the favourite)


yet suddenly

he shines

the beard



a way


into the

never never



I salute his style and tenacity

the dogged determination to keep it going

to muster daily a poem we can all share

and indulge in, I salute you, Sir.



Notes from the Red Diary – Sue’s Soliloquy


Gracious lady of the board

simplistic yet glamourous poetry

times where words speak louder,

louder than the language itself,

when a day is not wasted

when everyone is honoured 

to have read her erudite words,

the love of her poetry borne

on words with meaning and hope,

those days when stars are born

purely from the tips of her fingers.


Global Acceleration


Raindrops seem heavier than before

they seem to drop and poof!! Puddle,


I remember twenty years ago, the rain

pitter pattered it’s way from sky to sea


Now it drops like fifty icebergs from heaven

the floods severe and deadly now, shame


Is there a way to reverse the current process?

To spin Earth on the same axis as five years ago.


I remember yesterday the wind blew dust

never remember a drought this side of the hills


not the least at this early time of summer,

I remember it rained 8 days ago, at night.


I recall vividly the long hot summers of the 70’s

the kids splashing in shallow rivers, the beach


then no worries about how much sun to bake in

the times when less dressed was best and more,


the dresses shorter, shorts said you obeyed the Sun

now melanoma and 50spf sunscreen abound, so…….


…..the glaciers are melting, and the northern Ice Cap

dare we produce enough sunscreen to save the day?


Mirrors through the Looking Glass


(Also known as The Mad Hatter was a Stoner)


I sat whistling the tune from The Fisherman’s Daughter, the high key shrilling out in high F, the bass key Low B.  The ladies walking their dogs kinda skipped along when they passed me on my own park bench, the remnants of pigeon poo washed off by morning rain.


He stood staring

eyes wide open


the affects of the acid tab



in every crevice,

he touched his red nose

Reindeer hallucination,

seven long fingers stroked

eyebrows bushy

from too many


chasing that dizzy blonde bitch.


The local cop sauntered by, his night stick twirling deftly in his left hand, the gun hand stroking a solid .38 clipped back to handle deadly situations.  I smiled at him, he pretended not to notice, but his eyes were lavishly passing to and from, me and the path ahead.


Alice sucked

on a popsicle,

practising for when

the Mad Hatter came down

from his monthly high,

yeah A in Wonderland

for adults,

Lewis Carroll apparently

must have been high

to write such folly

a looking glass that looked back

even when a bunny ran forward.

The Doctor from Doctor Who

zoomed in, in a time machine

to whisk the stoned ones

off to foreign land

(Earth I hear)


He’s gone now, chasing some inert pigeon that shat on his head, the .38 waving wildly about as birds flew amok.  I settled down to a two day old Subway sandwich (been saving it), the pregnant mother with one in the pram not long off the nipple (if at all) sails by in her Zambriskies designer track suit and Nike runners, hair carefully pony tailed back and the face a picture of a painted model.  If I had smelt her, wouldn’t have been surprised to smell Chanel No5.


Dollydumplings, Alice


big, round, chocolate

and marshmallow,

the lace on her stockings

twisted to insinuate

sex wasn’t her forte

"margarine cup cakes Doctor"

taste the therapeutic nature

of Mary Jane sticks dipped

in copious ambrosia.


The tree fell!  I know, I’ve been sitting here on and off for thirty years now, my spot, but the bloody thing just toppled off it’s base and crashed in an almighty heap in the spare ground next to the Bird Aviary.  Scared the shits outta those birds I assure you.  Gave me the collywobbles too.  I stood up and went over to the silver birch that had just passed away, and as self professed Padre of the Williamstown Park, I administered last rites to the poor tree and any animal that may have either been in the tree or under it.


Dreams saunter

I waltz to Lou Reeds

“Take a Walk on the Wild Side”

As a rather high Wabbit

I can bellywho to whoever,

do the bunny hop

to Stings stupid songs,

Alice MY Dear

give an Old

discerning Wabbit

a magic spell

to send him bye bye’s

We see in the mirror

the wicked witch

from Snow White (hussy)

Seven Dwarves indeed,

suddenly the room went blank,

the Blonde tart

took a leap

through the cupboard door

into her bed

where replaced with

a siren from Roxanne’s.


Totally immersed in my repartee, I failed to see my brother and sister come to visit.  They must have seen me ranting and raving, so made their way over.  I heard them approach, turned and confronted them both with a special spell. “Hi duckerus, dindycator catchstickery” and poof I closed my eyes and they disappeared.  However when my sister asked what the fuck was happening did I then open my eyes and found my wizardry to be as effective as my Spirituality self.  Today I put the rest of my life behind me and followed them back to the Redcliff centre for the Mentally Challenged.  Yeah, ok so the cop might have had good reason.




The garbage man filters the bins,

a lady's white tights

a Mad Hatters Mad Hat

the Subway wrap scrunched up,

a seat next to the bin

with pigeon poo and a twig

obviously from a fallen birch,

the mirror in pieces adjacent

the other end of seat.


A silver dollar, gold coated

a sign the Wizard of Oz

left the planet again.


The Bond of Matrimony.


I sit here, my twilight years, not dreaming anymore, but reminiscing over the early years, the kids, their education, their respective marriages, and more importantly the part you played in it.  I sneak a quick look at the photo wall and your beaming real man face shines back.  The last time I saw you alive, your smile was booming, the celebration of another grandchild, the fifth, and the fact it being a boy and bearing your name, your smile just exploded.


I smile seventy styles

the corners of my mouth

etched in joy.


I see you my darling, I’m your angel in the photo, the one next to the marriage ones, when we had our first child.  I watch over you from here, and from Heaven too, your standing is such you deserve it.  I see you mind in your reactions, read your body language to tell me when you are ready to come hither.  The signs are good, you’ll be a great grandmother one day, and that’s a fact.


To live beyond hope

special care, love’s game

tomorrow will come.


Love on A Christmas Tree


I see you Elvie, fifth Branch third twig

hanging by your lovely string, toot sweet


Yes. It’s me, your love from last year

the Angel with a branch rudely poked


You love me still, it’s been a year

energy from the lights tires you huh?


What do I see this year?  Same family,

same house, te wallpaper has changed,


the fire is now gas, no more smoke outs

Oh must be another child, more presents,


Yes they have the Christmas cake there

where Santa comes down the chimney,


you’ll be safe, at least until they fell the tree

and put us daydreaming Fairies and Elves abed


Too right I love you, next year you need to be higher

so we can smile at each other and swap secrets.


“Ok then, sleep it is, until the little ones come down

and see only presents and the wrapping paper,


not two lonely figures atop a tree in love

the eyes of the world falling to sleep.


The Loneliness of Christmas Past


I see me and the wife rigging the room

setting the tree, parking the lights

all this done in the middle of the night.


We make the cakes, puddings too

seeding the fridge with things so sweet

heavy of heart, strong of feet.


Buying presents for the children so good,

boxes so big, wrapping so careful

missing friends can be so tearful.


Now I sit in my one bedroom flat,

the children all gone now, living elsewhere

the life I once lived follows me so clear.


I got a present from an early Santa,

a cuddly teddy meant for my daughter

my degree of loss heavier than water.


I sigh now in sudden repose, remembering

the energy we spent to make the day great

now spent without me, my time comes too late.


And suddenly the cloud of grey settles deep,

morosely settled in a place far away now,

hopefully I can talk to them, must figure out how.


God revealed.


I stood ramrod straight, anchored to Icaria

raised my hands above my ahead – “Take Me God”


the baleful moan of family and friends – “fear not”

I seek reverence to conduct myself prophet-like


A sudden BOOM! Lightning strikes my feet, I jump

the sudden revelation electricity is the real God,


saunter inside the Palace of Chaenik, my abode

feet bouncing on sheepskins and doeskin rugs


“I am God, all I need to do is place a finger in the lamp

and watch the glow in the room amplify to motif size,”


the light from my eyes shining pure gold, reflective

family members cower near the door, wizardry


a Sharman comes to the door to see the occurrence

trips over on the rugs and falls at my feet, Superman


I reach a hand down to him, silver blue lightning strikes

his hand, out of curiosity, touches mine, electrifying


I hear God in my head ‘use it well, to heal to cure’

if the Romans get wind, there will be hell to play,


some say the event created a little boy, a manger

down Bethlehem way, a pure woman, and a man


dare I take the journey, many miles south, Greece

to lonely Palestine, I’d stand out like anything, but….


I had to pay homage, this day was more than realised

the day God passed on his heritage, to two, anointed,


I released the Sharman, the blue light dissipated now

I might change my name to Paul, and go on a mission


no matter the time it takes, I am driven to a place in time

the need to carry God’s Word, but we’ll see, saviour.


Footnote:  I’m not totally aux fais with things biblical even though I have read it, doesn’t make me an expert.  This is just a story using characters from that time, even the places might be wrong.  I know, weak excuse, the import in this is faith in God, not the prophets or disciples, especially in all religions. One truth I do know of, I was struck by lightning last year and my feet are still light.



And the Shadow of the Day


These are lyrics from a Linkin Park song that I am really enjoying right now:


And the shadow of the day,

Will embrace the world in grey,

And the sun will set for you...


Christmas dawned bleak and cold,

the wind from the south spreading morning showers

times when good cheer and heart are molten to gray.


The Christmas dinner was lunch today,

cold turkey, ham, and copious vegetables,

had a cold beer beforehand, first this year.


Some folks had gone home to family

here I sit composing another poem for good people

the good people I used to love no longer care, shame.


I’m not down about it, far from it,

I like to see the world in it’s true colours,

I take homage from friends I have made here.


Yes embracing the world in Grey

the cloak of a dying wizard shines dark in life

in death it recolourises to a shade of white.


I know, it’s after Christmas.


Santa sent me a return email

“bit early asking for pressies innit”

you haven’t tested the new ones out yet,


Ho, Ho, Ho, the dogs bark reindeer style

the snow on the ground somewhat out of season

a room in the Manger emptied for a donkey,


Doctor Watson called for, something untoward,

‘her hymen’s stopping the birth process, Sir’

shall we call the Pope, let him know we have another,


I believe this is called silly season for a reason,

when people are vehemently looking for a saviour,

mayhap they peruse their navel and the cost of living.


I married my wife in May, she married me then too,

luckily we parents are two, makes for easier passage

the right to tell everyone we have a MUM and DAD,


September was a great month I believe, the equinox

ten shepherds travelled a few months too early,

a King in Waiting travelled too, the occurrence rare


suddenly the Moon stopped over Auckland, a beam down,

God’s hand in affairs so people can witness his act,

the revelation that a new born King was a miracle, Oops,


It’s considered lucky to keep the cord, especially for sailors,

her father kept it in his wallet, even to these days,

the one for my first daughter lost in the melee.


Africa moved closer to South America today,

squeezing the Atlantic north and southward,

Great Britain weighed anchor and settled anon,


in a place of great grace, the Mediterranean

shaking hands with Italy, Greece and Turkey

camaraderie amongst the European Union.


(Did they see the Moon, up there, in the north)

the King is actually a Queen we are told,

so the new born brat of God born to Marie,


will grow a seamstress of the royal realm,

a bunch of seventeen seamstresses in Otara,

making cheap clothes for the markets, for the poor,


And suddenly the doors close, the world a different place,

what’s yet to come to be announced and anointed,

Ten centuries will pass, I predict, before war again.


Purple Dyed Hair and other nuances.


You dye your graying hair purple, a sign that things aren’t sitting well with your aging.  No matter how many times people say things like “you look great” and “I wish I was in your shape at your age” don’t weigh too heavily on your disposition.  Even I have said you are great, but still, the changing of hair colour and lipstick (a deep reddish orange) signifies that things on your mind weigh heavily.


The presents unwrapped

playthings played with

the little ones

dancing to singsta

Great Aunty Neva

singing Green Green Grass of Home.


The planet shifted direction

last night

a minor readjustment

so as not to collide

with an errant Mars,

no one noticed

except Great Uncle Albert

eyes stuck to his old telescope

He sucked in a breath

and died peacefully

his secret

just that.


Yes we argued, the dress was just too skimpy, yes I like it on you, but the looks you’ll get from the public just not marriage endearing.  Knowing you’re tarting yourself up for your 50’s irks me, am I supposed to move with these changes, or dare I behave myself, set a good example and grow old graciously. There’s not a lot I can do to hide my advance into netherworlds for aging rockers, my long haired mullet a sign I’m too fighting it, but at least it’s a badge of office for my age.  Looking like Mary Suffragette the Prostitute is not my cup of tea.


Although she danced

her heels kicking up

she still showed enough leg

to intimate a liaison,

she had golden hair then

even as a child it was gold

I made my move when she

moved into the neighbourhood

star struck from first meeting,

yes childhood love

that blossomed to eternity.


We argued, this time the kids were away at school, we argued about our changing lives, about the mellow me, and the indignant you, we argued to the blue blazes until the purple of your face matched you finely dyed hair (which started this anyway).  We decided to settle amicably, the grey would come back, the dresses less eye catching, the lipstick less threatening.  I promised to mow the mullet and to trim the long beard.  Well we didn’t actually agree to anything, but we both knew what each thought of the other at such a crucial stage of matrimony.  I reminded her the other ladies of the school committee would have adverse things to say about her, she chortled, a sort of mellow “fuck them”.


Kids, what were they

all that mattered

in a 19 year old’s summer

was good times and sex

beggar the consequences,

yes she was on the Pill

but really, it didn’t matter,

she’d know when the right moment

was to stop taking it

to test the fertility waters,

a few years yet,

maybe a few months

soon however marriage bloomed

happened so fast.


I made my bed and lay in it.  I see this morning the dye has gone, replaced with a new golden look.  The first thought was that street in Matamata where the removal truck stopped at 19 Rawiri Street, my neighbourhood.  I walked up to her and kissed her cheek, muscled my way into a packed bathroom (school clothes strewn), sought the solace of the Wahl Sheers, and gave the mullet it’s final rites.  The beard I was asked to keep, my badge of office.


Time catches up with all

pregnancy speeds life up

driving children around

to get them asleep

the ladies in Plaid Dresses

marveling at earth science

the secret of Uncle Albert

kept in the family until news time

in a century when descendants

dance Maypole Dances

to a pagan ritual

“Who did he tell?”


A child’s lullaby


I whisper Jack and the Beanstalk

to start with, the more you closed your eyes

the more I changed the story for your dream.


I leave you safe in the knowledge

you are sleeping in peace

your dreams about to surface and warm,


I stop into your room from time to time

to see if you head, cushioned

by the flow of golden locks

is resting in happy mode.


Your smile says yes, I know now I can sleep well.



The Ice Prostitutes, Lininsky Prospect Moscow


She’s a 14 year old girl

a Dacha not her calling

the frozen cement of Lininsky Prospect

snow falling around barely clad.


The cars crawl by, John’s

or in this case Vladimir’s and Ivan’s

the rubles clashing with gifts

a life of a southern girl

wrapped in a small apartment

or in the carpark in the back of a Chrysler.


She stands there, the snow falling

ice under her 50 ruble black market Nikes

the stockings failing to keep the cold out

twirling snowfall settling on fake fur coat,


I’ll call her Stephanie Svetlana

a petit orphan needing saving

we start to chat, seems she’s happy

the drugs keep the cold off,


she asks me if I want her

I say ‘no’, I do want to save her

sort of  My Fair Lady if you please,

she looks to the building behind her


the face of rough cast Russian Thuggery

a smile, if that what passes for one,

a foreigner, big money he thinks

she stands her ground, the snow building at her feet,


offers me again, this time I know she is gone

I walk up the prospect, towards my chariot,

I don’t like failure, but when nature calls

The Ice Prostitutes heed the call, daily.



Ode to Summers Past (A Man Retreats)


Those summer drops of light rain

barely touched a ground scorched

sovereigns of a past nation dance

to bring the lightning gods

for children to play with in absentia.


Under the porch a grey gold cur ruffles

the dust settling over a mangy coat

the low growl at passing humans enough to awaken

there’s a drop of rain in the pot Grandpa

shall we go feed the cornfield with the offering.


It’s hard to decipher dust motes

they dance in wind driven patterns

to a country reel or Rock’n’Roll whirl,

landing in Grandmas lap, dusted off,

to fall under the footfall of another infant.


I make a stand for humanity, actually two

the water from the heavens sent by God

to a prayer I had last night, and the dog’s dalliance

signified that winds will prosper from dustbowls,

the MidWest in August signifies death and reverence.


We all dance in the rain, high summer’s repost

the devil cat, jet black despite the dust, howl’s

not too far in the distance a coyote replies,

the sound chilling and awakening, Pa races inside

loads the old side by side with buckshot, the hunt


A rusty Ford F100 drives up the road, still dusty

the rain only light enough to wash his screen,

and for the dust in the wind to kick up when disturbed,

looks like Uncle Clancy’s in time for the hunt,

stops his vehicle, sees Pa’s shotty, grabs his



off through the cornfields, towards Harcourt’s Gut

both in tune with each other, splitting as they neared

suddenly a boom, and another, double shot

and the howling of a wounded creature, shame

it’s an animal that rarely attacks, scavenger really,


I watch cousin Patty play with the rain drops in the dust,

her skirt dirty from childhood excursions in the Mog

outback of their place several clicks down the Rod Road,

She picks at the bubbles with a stick, all the while watched,

from under the porch, and from above too,


Has it rained yet?  Ma comes out from her bedroom

sees the melee going on around and in one look

decides it’s time to cook some grits, and tortillas

the men return, as the rain drops intensify,

this time punching through the dust and making Mud.


Pa sat and related an oft told tale of the Great Wolf Hunt,

when he’d been a vet and working on Grandpa’s spread,

yeah that’s right, the one way up north, fenced

and hounded by this wolf for days, a hungry cur,

so the boys grabbed their rifles to go a-hunting


found the beast in a gully several clicks from the farmhouse

Uncle Grant got the first shot off, missed and spooked

the wolf took off towards them, then got the scent,

veered to the west and I got a shot off, winging the animal,

we left it at that, never saw it again, nor heard it,


The rain was now pelting down, enough for the dog

to come out from his hidey hole and do a shaking dance,

everyone had fun when he tried to chase the rain,

his feeble attempts met with even more rapturous applause,

Ma came out with the grub then, plenty for all.


I sit here now, nearing 95, in a tenement apartment

the city lights graying with approaching dawn,

my mind residing on the good side of my pen,

trying to recreate the Mid West in simplicity

and simplistic it was, least that’s what they tell me.

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