This Is What

This poem was written for and recited on a momentous day : Saturday 18th of July 2020. It was meant only for those who heard it first, but those special people have insisted I share it . . .

Heaps of parsley on the countertop
A house full of stuff to borrow
Dad playing sudoku at every o’clock
Mum wide awake into tomorrow.

Morning notes on envelopes
“Maroo, wake me at eight thirty”
A symphony of ringing phones
Rarely the call is for me.

Plain and simple, everyday
581 Shields Road business
Precious in their own wee way
This is what I’ll miss.

A home full of music and greenery
Creativity, joy and rhyme
Moments like this in my memory
Enough love to last a lifetime.

Two buoyant brothers: Mike and Paul
A family who makes me laugh
The kindest hearted man of all
This is what I’ll have.

To preserve some space and mystery
To journey together to undiscovered ends
To honour our roots and history
To always remain the best of friends.

To keep in sight the things I know:
That love is in the here and now
And union is to make us grow
This is what I vow.

When I’m Alone

I sit cross-legged on the rug
eating cheese sandwiches
drinking cardamom tea
stare out the window
an absurdly long time
resting cheek on knee

I look back at poems I’ve written
or wish I’d written
might commit to another
if inspiration has bitten

Sometimes – not too often
I surrender to boredom
or salty tears
thinking about
childhood years
wipe each flashback off my face
return to the tick-tock
sweep the kitchen
tidy the place
fill a glass with water
that I forget to drink
fill a bag for charity
clear dishes from the sink
stand in the mirror
check thighs not too fat
then remember I’ve chosen
to do away with all that

I guess what I do
is voyage home
to a stranger I know
when I’m alone.


Do they know what I’m really thinking?
Is it written all over my face?
I’m trying to act agreeable
I’m trying so hard to show grace
But inside it’s like heavy metal
I’m flattened, offended and blue
I sure hope that they don’t suspect it
But I wish somehow that they knew.


Go away, summer rain
Where’s your invitation?
Frankly we’ve had quite enough
You’re spoiling the celebration.

My shoes are laced 
My jacket’s on
I’m ready to rumble and roam
Oh drat I felt a raindrop
I think I’ll stay at home.

Oh won’t you put the kettle on
and make a pot of tea?
Wait, who is it I’m taking to?
I forgot it’s only me!