The Writing of Thane Zander
General Poetry Nineteen
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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The Rafter Series 6 (on a theme)




Dried teal blue eggshells

litter a ground long

on springs harvest.




Captain Ahab (deceased)

stares from a ghost ship

the Deep Pacific blue

blinding his ghastly vision.




Blues, for Boys,

any colour you like

for little Girls

with a lot of growing up

to do.




Her depression matches

the colour of her room

the gloom too hopeless

to find a way out,

‘Oh Blue’ she calls out

come rescue me from Black.




I lay on my back

shielding my eyes

from the bright sun,

the pastels blue

painting watercolours

a la Monet.


The Autumnal Dust Storms of African Origin.


Autumn has arrived, great nights of cool

great days of blissful sunshine,

the heat still sauna-like

roasting human bodies

in symbiotic heat.


Autumn has rushed in, mushrooms aplenty

nature shifting focus for winter

when the dark clouds

wash afresh and anew

the puddles soon to be knee deep.


Winter knocked at the door, the nights chilled

see birds shutting down

butterflies missing

bees catching last pollen

the ladies of the lake feeding errant swans.


Summer said goodbye last week, winter colds

sniffing and snuffling and achooing,

the last light frocks and T shirts

in bed for another semester

daisies fight for a little more.


Autumn has come, I like it, it’s fresh

the putting to bed

of the Southern Hemisphere

the moons darker and menacing

it’s intent - to rule nature.


The Bed is loaded, extra blankets and a duvet,

the sheets at first touch, chill

till body heat that can’t escape

warms the whole room

moths flitter and flutter chasing light.


Out of the Trash Can


Her mind was a dizzying purple

her life reminiscent of Dozy The Clown

she wore stark pink to offset

to challenge society to label her

to lead human life up the garden path


Her hair was a deep maroon, nearly black

the style of her commentary in brisk tones

everywhere she went, she left a calling card

a reminder for all to accept

those that don’t reach for acceptance.


Here handbags were all picked for their memory

the dark ochre the last boyfriend

that shat on her very existence

her green one to remind her

that the Irish are funny, but poor spouses


Her shoes matched her mood, even the pinks ones

the degree of her inner feelings

trod apace on bare pavements

wiped on Welcome Mats in disdain,

her last pair of boots to kick the shit out anything.


Today, she thinks blue, or maybe grey, depressed

handbag more a brick laden missile

tan boots to play hopscotch in

hair dyed last night, deep green

and dress meant to tease only.


Today she walks a conglomeration of human life

the Goths will wonder, her mascara deep

the Punks will run, her green hair

the Hip Hoppers joy at her hopscotch

she herself, Souixie and The Banshees


just for one day.


To Nowhere, with love


Roads to nowhere actually lead somewhere.  The problem is no one is someone enough to see where it leads. I followed the road that lead to the Bridge To Nowhere, and stopped before crossing, an intuition that where I was about to go was not where I wanted to be.  I turned the Jeep around, not even crossing the bridge, and left that little mystery to manifest my core being.


I walk the avenues of hope

polishing my silver

cleaning the gold

gone rusty from romance,

I pack a cold lunch

for a job I find distasteful

make for the easy streets

carpeted in human blood and bones,

the ladies of the night dropping pennies

and condoms long on memory

short on use.


Yes life is a mystery, the goat in the crossing yard stands there daily chewing the same grass, (as if it grows that quick).  I sense people through old boots and stained Persian rugs to it to keep it well fed.  I see the Welcome Swallows arrived today, very late for them, probably mustering for the long flight home.  A guy I know, Gerry Falwasser paints on hoardings his depiction of city life.  The goat is missing.


Sally from 19, the call girl

whistles to me, at me

as I take the stairs down,

she’s always giving me a hard time

knows I didn’t cross the bridge

knows I’ll never bed her

knows all too well

that we are friends,


the date on our friendship

smiles a delicate three years

and yes we are fond, no love

I whistle back, wolf style

and she breaks into cackling laughter

the mirror in the hall as I pass

echoes a resonant “fuckwit”

I mean to clean it’s mouth out one day.


It’s a mile from home to work.  I always take a different route just to keep the idea of the Road to Nowhere exists, but in my case there is daily a wherefore. I often wish I’d taken the bridge on, but the city is full of tangibles. One winter, the snow piled 3 feet deep, made walking impossible.  I took the Jeep Cherokee on those days, yes a wagon well capable of crossing the bridge.


I passed the drapers shops

the confectionary stores

several Two Dollar shops

a Four Square dilapidated,

went into Ikes Barber shop

for morning coffee and a chat

they ask me how the Bridge is?

I reply with a snicker,

punch my guts, “one day” I exclaim.


I once knew a road that said it lead to Nowhere, but in actuality was in a place called Somewhere.  The Bridge to Nowhere this fine day, crossed, the destination wherever the road lead.  I’m heading there now, so stick around and I’ll tell you what I see.



The Errant Life of an Ant and Anteater


Little ant, you are mine

I watch you with avid interest

as you scuttle to and fro

watch you carry your burdens

back to a nest

dominated by an Errant Queen


Little earwig, you are mine

I espy your daily carriage

of objects heavier

than 10 times your weight

see you carry your prizes

to a place I can’t yet discern.


Little Ladybird, you are mine

flittering and fluttering

the day of the week

means nothing to your insect life

you just do what you have to do

and then fly away happy.


Fantail, you are not mine

you playfully dart and dash

your tail feathers fanned

to attract a mate, for life

your fanciful dance through the air

followed by a stint in a tree.


Welcome Swallow, you are not mine

you fly fitfully in rapid motions

your movement to catch a mate to,

with grace and high speed

you plunder the airwaves

ready for a long trip home.


Tui, you are not mine

you are a bird of extreme beauty

your evening song heart wrenching

your call for a mate mellow

I hear your longing in every tone

marvel at your persistence.


Kotuku, you are nobody’s

your white plumage and dress

make for a pleasant thing to see

your elegant movement

your passive manipulation

of dance sublime.


And there endeth the poem.  I’m a nature beast, I live for nature, I love nature, I hate to see natural things end just because we want to build bigger cities and towns.  The Government have in place a department called The Department of Conservation, to safeguard nature as it was before men arrived, to stop the clear felling of native forests and as a consequence, natures wonderful birds and insects here.  My father was a local member of the Society, and he worked hard to stop the incorrect use of rivers and forests by people with agenda towards not caring.


I wasted years of my life stuck in a steel encased tomb at sea, but did have the pleasure of seeing lifes creatures in their natural environment.  When I see Beer Wrappers thrown away and washed out to see I feel for the Penguins and dolphins that are caught up in that mess.  Yes real issues for me.   I used to admonish people for chucking rubbish overboard without a moments thought.  Food scraps, yes, but not stuff that could be stored until a suitable landfill was reached.


Sadly today I have almost lost touch with reality, but if not for the creatures I mention in the poem I would only have the flies and moths to tell me how Nature is going these days, and they tell nothing.  Thankfully, I smoke, and I have to do it outside and every time I do go for a smoke, Nature smiles.

Ride of the Valkyrie.




Yes the Wagnerian piece

how it inspires great thoughts

the middle ground of fantasy


the ride of the heathens

borne on the wind from the north

creating merry hell in Teutonia


the black horses draped

in sheet clothe of homespun

to protect from spear and sword


man and woman fight aside

their power in numbers

in the tempo of their song


those Teutons who stand and fight

meet a hailing banshee, Celts

borne from the wind of Brinhildar


the song of wolf maidens

peels the atmosphere, another slain

and put in the hands of Odin


Skuld and alikeness’s are many

they too battling the foe, the women

of the great lord Odin, carried of to war


then placed between the sacrificial mound

the captured soldiers of battle, war torn

and unwary, cast to his bidding.




I listen to Opera on the radio

the songs of the tenors and sopranos,

the baritone and mezzo, the chorus


Wagner’s work drawing out my German side

my deep baritone echoing the strong vocals

the urgency of the music blindingly strong


the tales from long ago, ringing in modern ears

brought to life with vocal precision

the horse, the warrior, the Valkyrie


all have their say in a piece of music

rich in temperament, long on wealth

the voices entreating response with a beating heart.


Silent Sentinels


I wake each morning,

a nervous smokers cough to start,

check the windows for late rains,

stormful breezes wafting,

see the stands of Conifers,

Karaka and Kowhai

gently rocking in an air

of utter disdainment.


The flight of Fantail and Blackbird

the dance of Sparrow and Tomtit,

the gentle passage

of Monarch Butterfly

across my errant vision,

the Dance of Nature

watched by the Two Sentinels,


Woodland Oak and Prime Totara

stand pride of place

staunch guardians

of nests within

with fruit without

ever present

ever watchful.


I park my carcass on my seat,

switch off Nature as I compose,

the reality, a screen and keyboard

neither flighty or staunch

both an arms throw away

unlike the trees and birds

always a goodly distance

down the evolution track.


Tomorrow I will do the same,

though one fears

with autumn finally here,

we may be in for a few surprises,

a cold night here,

the birds gone to roost,

the trees disrobing for the chill.


Tomorrow, the sentinels will stand and stare

not knowing what it is they are guarding,

null of thought, null of feeling, just null

sadly though, they wither

but spring back into life down track

to help me keep reality in check

to soothe aching minds and wings and twigs.



Breakfast at Stephanie’s


The crackle of crisp bacon

many splatters of fried corn fritters

the chop chop of a finely diced onion


a delicate carving of an over ripe tomato

the turning over of the fritters

a gurgle of fresh milk


sounds of breakfast

the family milling around

the taste of food consumed with ease


fresh cream on cereal called Skippy,

the pop of toast from the toaster

knives spreading Marmite


She whistles as she works

wispy cool air pervades the room

a dog outside whines for the cooking odours


a mess on completion, husband and kids gone

the dogs getting scraps, the cat cream

the sink a litany of overuse.


Tableau Art


The last drop of wine

dribbles from a disturbed tumbler

etches stereotypic images

on a floor much used to art.


A foot runs through

new art

a piece upon reflection

mirrors Gauguin’s best


the images spread around the room

a psychiatrists ink blot

unwary drinkers

oblivious to their standing,


and so the beast of Red Wine

encompasses all around it

but none the better

the dribbles on the tableau


where idle fingers sketch a romance scene

the cherished pinky dotting I’s

crossing legs and fingers

for the right Mr Right to notice


and care.


Dead Mans Journey


I raced my car at 180 kilometres per hour

down a steep hill, up the staple slope,

I raced like the wind had no power

all the effort in the act of planting boot,


I sped along the Western Access roadway

my Escort Sport 1600cc sports car

racing like the howling banshees of Eire

spread across the volcanic plains of home,


I careened at break neck speed past fields

past tall volcanoes long silent and ready,

past waiting police cars geared to chase

past the timelessness of an errant desert,


I swung the nose, pointing down the highway,

the speed stretching to 200 kilometres per hour

stopped briefly for a refill, car and driver

and back on the journey to hell, home


I glided like an F1-11 fighter, honed to kill

to disintegrate on impact, to cause havoc

the last vestige of rubber plying the road

four and a half hours from Auckland to Mum,


I drove with extreme car and speed, home

the streets with children crossing, old folk too

a place where the dreaded cops lived in droves

a place where my parents knew everyone.


To this day, both well buried, they knew not

the devil may care freedom of my High Road,

though up there or down wherever they know

and to date I drive no more, lived life once.




I see

the Beijing Olympics

a political hot potato



Iran claiming Iraq

I see the US hamstrung


I see

the Arabian Sea

drowning in Arabic blood


I see

a US recession

dragging all behind it


I see

the European Parliament

taking a stronger hand


I see

Japan’s industries dying

to the sound of no petroleum


I see

my Mother and Father

both long dead, crying


I see

a new me, a new hope

an old way of changing times,


I see

my children’s future

still plenty of good


I see

the wars of an errant world

capitulation a Buzz word.


I see

from my window to the trees

life’s mysteries still playing.


I see

the News on TV no more

the sound of the radio comforting,


I see

that the downhill slide

will happen this year, 50!!


I see

what a momentous occasion that will be

so many times I could have joined my parents.

What has Dying got to do with it.


I champion Euthanasia

the right to choose

the right to die

in ones own time.


I see the elderly marking time

and wonder,

“do they think about it”

yes, an interesting thought


Today a daughter was jailed

for helping her cancer ridden mother

move on from this cruel planet

her fate in the hands of Justice


But there is no justice

in suffering pain daily,

in being a frail shade

of your former self,


there is not dignity

in letting friends and family

worry about when, not if

no dignity in dying publicly


fought the urge to berate folks

if they don’t understand

they’ll never be capable of knowing

yes, count the elderly,


I have this pact with God

should he inflict cancer upon me

I shall have the right to shorten

the blow that will affect most,


I champion Euthanasia

because I know there is a chance

I too will get cancer, it runs

in a family not capable of caring.



How Education isn’t the key to Life


I promised my daughter

I’d do something to make her proud,

she smiled

said “Dad, I’m already proud”

I smiled too and left it at that.


The Rafter Series 7




She leapt to attention

made a quick salute

realised the Officer

neither cared or noticed

she let her arm

trace a “fuck you”

around a dissipating innuendo.




The pump’s busy

petrol awaiting a hot car

both require each other

to go fast and fly

seven drunken youths

taking a devil route home.




We both kissed each other

as only two people can

with longing,

cherished feelings

the passion in our after-breaths,

lady luck shines once

in a love torn world.




Railway wagons rolled ever eastward,

the long journey in often cold winds

biting through cattle wagons

long in human suffering,

yet those that were a part

stood still and said it didn’t happen

said the Jews were happy with their lot.


De Nile is a river of pain.




I make paper mache figurines

old newspapers, a bit of glue

(not the kind you sniff)

applied application

tenacity the order of time,

yesterdays figures

already put to use;

the fire roars hot.


Reflections on Life in Bold Type


In my childhood, I’d go to the river, and skip stones.  I’d stand on one bank too, and try and throw a stone across the river.  I tried this until one I succeeded.  I didn’t need to throw any more, but still had to skip to see if I could break my Father’s family record.  One day he died and I had no need to chase his record.  I have daughters now, and neither have been to the river to skip stones.


Legacy is endearment

the chance to pass down

a recall of ancestry

a play with real life

to counter negative things,

the pace of life

dictated by

the things we do daily.


My brother’s in love with his wife

she’s a veritable witch

does that make him

Dragon master?

or just a lucky soul,

that’s happy with his life,

does it make him greater than I

greater than the cosmos?


I took my family for a short bush walk.  The place was a motel/camp called Sapphire Springs.  It had to be lucky, my wife’s birthstone was Sapphire.  We walked for about two hours and crossed little streams (I didn’t skip stones) and climbed small hills.  We all enjoyed the twitter of wild birds, the patter of feet on undergrowth, the splash of dirty shoes in puddles, the aroma of old forest and trees meant to impress.


I made my bed every night

the same way as I made it I the morning

an attempt to engender order

and regularity,

the sheets crumpled

pillow puffed out

the dust mites crawling.


Sadly I was divorced

I found this enchanting

Me – divorced

ever the careful Father

ever the happy husband

Happy Ever After

shot to pieces by a mental disorder,

I was happy with my life

now I’m sad

and happy

and joyful

but by heck I miss my family.


We made it to the five mile bridge, Sally and I.  She a consummate walker, me a doodler, just making the distance.  In my youth  I would have run that distance in the blink of an eye, but now my youth has deserted me, left me for the decay of oldish age.  My running is now in my fingertips, the need to write poetry and short fiction to sate my existence.  I made an acrostic up the other day.


O – on

L – last

D – days


and realised if I put any letter at the beginning I change the effect of the words.  I liked BOLD – Bloody Oranges Lack Desire.  I thought again about going down to the river and to see if I could throw a stone across it.  If not, then I’m a kid again, regressing.  I’d also be so bold enough to skip stones again, to try and break Dad’s record (in my dreams).



The Sound of Easy Street

(or a Chorus Cacophony)


He’s a bright kid

barely seven

sees a 12 inch

polythene pipe

on a bare street

in Hoboken.


Picks it up

blows through one end

no noise

just the whoosh

of air passing through

turns it around

blows again

a higher resonance

but still noiseless.


He takes it home

goes to his Fathers Toolbox

gets the auger out

the right bit

drills a series of holes

so fingers can play,

takes the piece

“Pipealene” he calls it

blows again

still a sound of whistling air,


ruffles around in the garage

finds something to fit the end

drills out a mouthpiece

inserts it in the cavity

of a pipe ready to play

claps his hands,

and blows hard

too hard

wrestles with his breath

purses his tongue

and voila

Peter Pan.


See Peter and the magic polythene pipe

see the rats from the neighbourhood

see what invention and desire can do.



North Riding Bus Shelter


They cue for hours, ladies in Pink tights,

children blessed with the clothing of winter,

Fathers without the car, DUI.


The bus comes Red and Yellow

a taxi cab with forty seats

and a place to park mothers prams,


The Number Seven takes us all the way into town,

the Number Six drives by the Supermarkets

where all manner of society detrain.


Past the Gothic Cathedrals of downtown

the towers of Light refracted beaming down

the rank territory of the Number Three.


Passengers come, they go, they sit, they stand,

they ogle if old gentlemen, tut tut if elderly Ma’ams,

the children keep their mouths shut, just because,


The Number Two regularly breaks down

the roads difficult to negotiate, Chinatown

the pace of life fostered in Wonton Shops,


Sadly I await the Number Thirteen Bus

the bus to Hell, the ride even nastier,

yet each day, I go to Hell and Back, survivor.


Wild Bean Café


A stop on the Main Highway

at a BP station

in a Holy Hell

named Taihape.


Hot food, hotter coffee

a caffeine fix

for the long drive

to revive

flagging spirits.


Clientele a cross section

skinny pink girl

old guy with wispy goatee

staff flat tack

in serving

and counting the money.


A not so cold night

but travellers aplenty

all hungry, thirsty

all in need of a fix

to keep tired eyes open.


Behind us the Wild Bean diminishes

the hot coffee sitting well

in a stomach

happy for a pie too.


The Dangers of Lust


The temperature was hot, very high on a scale meant to measure mediocrity.  The summer plants sheltered with secretions, the spring plants long burnt off and dead.  The rising damp in houses down Dreadhill Drive reminiscent of the Titanic taking on water, though the cool ice of that Berg would be welcome now.



It takes two to tango

thrown pans and vases

pointing to a dispute,

was it the man the night before

or his errant flippant remarks

perhaps the bottle of vodka emptied

where two meet with a fiery outburst.


The kitchen resembles a bomb site

dishes stacked willy nilly, haphazardly

the left over food dripping on a floor

long in need of cleaning.


Orange juice from the vodka slammers

pools in dribble marks across it

to a refrigerator emptied of TV dinners.


Yes, the insipid heat, the tempers fraying, the plants all dying off, not being watered.  The house next door has a green lawn, floral displays in fine fettle, all the regalia of care and attention.  The hangover looks out the window at it, and cringes, dives back into the bed in search of another bottle.  ‘Thank fuck the kids have gone,’ she thinks, ‘they’d never believe it.’


Her latest boyfriend snores on a sofa

his large feet, too large perhaps,

extends over the arm, his toenails uncut,

the remnants of the kitchen walk still clinging

to soles used to regular cleaning,


She wanders in, naked as a bald badger

her Brazilian flashing, her pierced belly button

her heavy makeup, all point to youth,

a youth she never had, her first child at seventeen,

now in her early forties, fortified

garish and gaunt, smiling and not

tickles the bare foot, another romp

before he’s packed off for the day.


The neighbours never talk.  There is a perception she is a whore, the many men that come and go, that she’s a self made prostitute.  She doesn’t work, or has never been seen to.  Even in winter the comings and goings match summers heat.  The lash of a bullwhip in one house suggests S&M could be a possibility, to get the bitch into shape.  No that’s too extreme, still George at 356 practices everyday, having been one of her visitors many moons ago.  He hallucinates.


They drive hard on the couch,

her sweat mingling with his,

the sudden fierce thrusts,

mingling with the smell of decay,

her kitchen fermenting

the lounge retching

a bedroom with week old sheets.


She farewells him, he says tonight

she say “I doubt it”, and laughs

yes she’s in charge, her destiny

she smiles as she sees the lotto ticket

pride of place in a disheveled sitting room,

the winning ticket, been two years now,

too many times the children haven’t visited

happy to get a share, but not to share her life

those many days where loneliness

is killed by bars and clubs, and men

maybe the odd boy if he’s willing.


They all look at her place.  They knew she won, and are not pleased to have her as a neighbour.  The children see things and ask awkward questions.  Most tell the truth, a lonely witch, a scion on society, a blotch of misread makeup as she wanders in and out in her own time.  The taxis are often, her and her men.  She doesn’t drive now, too many DUI’s.  The Porsche in the garage a toy for her son to play with if and when he comes. Sadly for her, and the neighbours, not too often, she gets the cleaners and gardeners in when family are due.


The shower, relief, sensational

the hot on a sweaty back

nipples aching from a good time

soothed by water flowing,

the pounding  offering an ache

‘nevermind’ she thinks

‘tomorrow another stud

to soothe her appetite.’


The police were called

the noise of glass breaking

bottles thrown at mirrors and paintings

the sound of a running vacuum

being flung in the kitchen

smashing dishes and glasses;


they packed her away

off for psychiatric assessment.

Loneliness is a silent mind killer.


The Rafter Series 8




Women who think they can multitask

should decide whether a dying cellphone

or an automobile crash

take precedence.





The Vatican Army

is a peace loving outfit

designed to look silly

so invading armies

laugh themselves to death.




Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

such a lovely suite of music

mix in Tchaikovsky’s’ Swan Lake

and you have beauty in tune.




The bravest of men and women

assail the winter chill

climb peaks of Ice

to get the warm afterglow

of a mountain well climbed.


Chickenshits grovel in their own inadequacies.




We made it two o’clock,

the meeting

to iron out tax rebates

and any money due me;

The Government always wins.


Mortified Manuscripts



I tasted the deepest regret

a taste similar to hot onions

or chili peppers roasted


I sensed the move from Right to Wrong

as a parting shot misfires

the target missed, on the move,


As the Eiffel Tower reigns over Paris

so do doughnuts on a cops beat

the taste of hastily eaten fare


those seven second moments

when sex dissolves laughter

the lasting relationship – two years,


Da Vinci invented many things before his time

a bit like Martha Davis reinventing cooking

the last drops of summer rain signify winter.


I paste topics to a bulletin board for comment

similar to chopping wood with a blunt axe,

days when simplicity is replaced by luck.


We wander the realm of Journeymen

explorers of local content,

the hill behind Macy’s attainable.


The life of Brian Dougherty very Irish,

his Celtic brogue, his lilting Catholicism,

the sounds of Belfast emanate from his home,


Suddenly all life is wrung out, hung out to dry,

to capture sunshine and warm zephyr’s

giving new life to old clothing, zest to the wearer.

One day in a Ward



We paced the floor, you heavily pregnant

me with nails shorter than they were this morning

the moment drawing near, encapsulation

when waters break and the dam bursts free


I see the head, pass words of condolences

help you by blowing on your face, your arms

the fighter in you saying Birth, the process slow

the body appears, then legs, then feet


the mid wife smacks Amy Nicole’s backside

a centuries old cry echoes through the room

the sound of another life bursting forth

the first cuddle, fresh and clean, memory.


You make it sound so sweet, forgotten

the hours of pain and curses, sweat

yes they mop your brow to freshen you up

to be able to hold your baby, our joy,


This year that baby is twenty one years old

should I show her this poem I wonder

a tribute to her health, her vitality

her mother who gave so much for her?



Fifty Two Percent


Today’s rant.


That’s how I rate as a poet

fifty two miserable percent


I know my work is better

than others I’ve helped


but bloody fifty two percent

the class average was sixty two,


Yet I don’t sit here mulling it over

I know my portfolio two is worth more


the standard of poetry greater

than a lot of those I’ve helped


yet yes, fifty two does irk

I look at my work submitted


and rejoice a seventy five at least

so I’ve fallen a little short, teeth gritted


for the long battle ahead with academia,

(what the hell would they know?)


If I had a bottle of Whiskey

tomorrow it’d be bone dry.


Today’s Poem


In places

I dive deep

to pull

wide eyes

out from

staunch sockets,

to raise

a broomstick


deft of touch

class of tuft

ruffled to ensure

green grass


in a solid




Sunflowers wilt!


People Watching



I’m an inveterate people watcher.  I look at how people dress for their standing in Life.  I see that sometimes people overdress, their perceived standing only perceived.  I watch how people walk, to discern handicaps or imponderables, concepts of right and wrong spring forth too, does someone look right, and what’s wrong if they don’t.



The dead come out at night

reclaim the dark streets

left vacant of chatty school kids,

the howls of laughter reminiscent

of squealing tyres and doughnuts

(not the kind cops on the beat devour)

no doughnuts leaving ghost trails

of black on pavement surfaces.


I see mothers and children too young for school, shopping in haste before the next downpour flourishes.  I see the elderly spinster in her motorized buggy crossing the road too far down from the zebra crossing, dodging traffic and maddened drivers.  I espy the scruffy cur digging for scraps, his mangy fur dank from years of abuse.


The Night riders with money to burn

and gas to guzzle,

racing down Broadway

early in the morning

stretching rubberized skid marks

to impossible lengths,

leaving watching fillies aghast

at the audacity of the young ones.


The ghosts of Night, screaming

in bedrooms dark with fear,

night sweats, nightmares

night the realm of the doomsayers,

parents too busy making love

to help a mercilessly lost child.



I watch outside the Supermarket, the long limbs of the sexy girls, the short limbs of the elderly, the languid looks of frazzled mothers, uncaring fathers, noisy kids.  I remember those days when I was one of the above, and now appreciate what fine hunters Mothers have become, and what terrible waste of time fathers have become. I think of the Black Widow syndrome, if only the mother could kill the father of her children and devour him for the daily groceries.


Late at night, love churns

in bars, in cars, in scars

the battle cry of the new millennium happening everywhere. 

Give me your baby Boy

so we can become old

and gracefully ancient

so we can walk, me ahead,

you two paces behind.


The last of the ghosts settle for the night

I see on my Nannies tombstone a eulogy

“life is meant to be enjoyed, as is death”

I think they’ve forgotten her, I haven’t.



Yes, I watch all people, and in them each I find a little of my own life, wondering too if I’ll be the daredevil Granny on a scooter, no longer wanting to walk two paces back from the Black Widow, happy to stand and stare (yes sometimes gawk) and to think that mangy dog was me for a few days in 2005.  I know the long legs are history, and the burn outs to impress the young lovelies, but I always have my eyes, my mind, and always as ever these days, a poetry pen with which to write about it all.  The ghosts are the empty pens I would have had had it not been for the PC and internet.


A Puff of Wind


We sailed yachts, striking white,

sails fluttering in a summers breeze,

the spinnaker filled yet fluffy,


the gibe to port to win the race

and another to starboard,

to gain an untenable advantage,


We chased the teethy dragon,

to outstrip the many sailing craft behind,

the bow of “Fantail” a hairs breadth astern,


the gates of the finishing post

draw closer with each puff of a dying wind,

the spinnaker flicks and then refills,


enough energy to push our boat

a little further in front, to a meritorious win,

we drop sails and stow away, another race run.

What’s on your Desktop


I never really look at my Desktop Icons

I know Word and Excel live there,

perhaps Yahoo IM and MSN Messenger


The Connect to Internet thingy is there too

along with Adobe 8.0, and a Print Icon

but what else is on my Desktop, on yours?


I’ll have a look, hmmm be patient please,

Oh yeah MS PowerPoint and MS Access,

Batch Thumbs imaging resizer, AD-Aware


Avast Anti Virus and InterVideo Win DVD,

and now a regular potpourri of software

hardly used, USB Handsfree and Solitaire,


not to mention Hearts and Spider Solitaire,

Windows Media Player and CCleaner,

iP2000 Photo Application with a User Guide,


and now other less used programmes,

Recycle Bin and My Computer, Xtra,

My Documents and Shortcut to FP30.


Since starting my poetry course,

only the anti virus software and Ad Aware

and CCleaner have been used with vigour.



Time, a silent collusion.


We look at clocks

tossing aside the minutes

the past once the now

consigned now to history books

or a poets ruthless tableau.


The wishing well in the mall,

collector of children’s pennies,

memories of wishes

pushed aside for Time to rule,

the Now lost to the disappearing past.


The lifeblood of living

the ticking of an errant heart

the pulse of blood

through distended veins,

marking the passage of life.


Our hearts beating as one

erroneously in cases, tripping

the exodus of happenings

awake to the possibility

of a clock telling the future.


Today, in collusion with Father

we roasted marshmallows

melted moments as memories,

the collector of seconds ticking by

the hand moving clockwise.



Hey Big Bullies


It was a busy day today,

started with Gina the Bus Driver

kindly pointing out my zip was down


I made my way to the middle of the bus

sat with an elderly gentleman

who sat picking his nose all the way to town.


I passed a paddock with seven bulls in it

god you could smell the testosterone,

I counted seven, there could have been more.


The hills in the distance

showed a fresh dump of snow,

hence the reason for two days of winter (in autumn),


I had a Hearing Voices Workshop to attend to,

made it in time, yes made sure the door was shut,

set about setting up before the others arrived.


I snuck a quick ciggy, as you do

spoke to Dean (yeah he smoked too)

we readied each other for the 3 hours to follow,


Off the cuff, I’d say the girls arrived (and Kerry)

and set about changing the room from what we had done

no sweat off our backs, we smiled.


The victims arrived to be enlightened,

and the workshop began, me speaking

telling them of my life with a mental illness,


what it means to be a voice hearer, implications,

ramifications, conflagrations, deliberations,

how answering back is hazardous.


Pretty much three hours later, drained

ready to pack up, lunch first – supplied,

then into the debrief, home soon, another bus,


I stepped on the bus, a new driver, Aaron

he didn’t dare look at my crotch, bullish man,

yes counted the bulls again, still seven.


I got home, a cup of coffee, a couple of smokes,

passing the time with the other “inmates”

winding down  (looking at my crutch -sensing testosterone)


Writing Mark Twain, by Huck Finn


I wandered the streets meeting lodgers

hopeless codgers, the Artful Dodger

I met Mark Twain again and again

this time Huck Finn was on the train.


I paced the Maternity ward afraid of life

more afraid of a baby bearing wife,

I saw Emily Bronte write a book of love

saw the pictures, poses, scores from above.


I snail mailed you a love letter for a laugh

the dialogue monotonal, crying in the bath

pulling legs stiff from disuse, abuse, obtuse,

ladies legs with cellulite a sign of life’s refuse.


I wandered free in the storm, tossed, toiled

the first thing a Dad does, the nappy soiled,

a piece of time, chimed, rhymed, sublime

the necessities of life like a mountain climbed.


I called out to the wind, wind, find, grind

the last days at Brackenworst gone behind,

Ladies dancing in windows, pillows, prose

the poems of writers lost like water from a hose.


Drip, drip, drop, drop, the whole shebang flops,

the daisies in the garden yellow, mellow, STOP!

The poem’s not about anything tangible, bull

a revision says this poet has to go back to school.


What’s Love got to do with Life?


You should be ashamed

calling me a liar and a cheat

I didn’t even go with her


You have this argument everytime

I say hello to a natural blonde

and you assume my come hither eyes

are working overtime.


You spill too much champagne

your gut rotting with each drink

and once again you accuse me of cheating,


Too polite to correct your mind

I sally forth and teach you a lesson

take you out to a steak eatery

make you quaff down red meat


and once again, your drinking causes problems

this time I’ve ogled the waitress

pinched her cute behind, and winked


Of course I’m a cheat, I do these things

like I don’t love you or anything, I do

just hate it when you call me a cad.


Today I took my secretary to lunch

I rang and told you, you screamed

“what about me, you bastard” you cried


My point of placating fell on deaf ears,

so I booked a motel room, and yes

I did it, I cheated, just to feel what it’s like,


No guilt, no recriminations, I told you too

you just scoffed, as if the thought was incomprehensible,

you knew I was lying, I knew I wasn’t.


Yesterday, me and Susie, the secretary

moved into a flat, the relationship sweet,

no more accusations, no biting alcoholism,


just simple sex, simple cuddles, simplicity

no cheating either, though this is just the beginning,

I don’t love her, I don’t love you either, get it?


Ones Last Breath


It was like, oh I don’t know,

ten camels in procession

kicking up dust,

coats swallowed in sand


Raspy as a saw on wood

the continual hacking

a sound reminiscent

of old hickory burning.


The heave of a swollen chest

like a ship against the swell

the strain showing on every rivet,

past meeting present, swollen.


I guess if it needs description

the sound of reeds in the wind

an oboe in a full orchestra

outnumbered by volume.


Me and my chesty cough

chugging away, phlegm aplenty

the spittoon filled to overflowing,

yes camel shit in abundance.

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