Month: December 2016

Song of day

Walking down the city street at 7 a.m.

Smiling like a fool at the new day,

People return nasty looks

But I have no work to do today

And a place to sleep tonight.

But 6 p.m. on that same day

Sad and alone I sit

In the corner of my room

And cry.

The light shines naked on the wall,

A harsher light than before.

Snapshot of city life at Christmas.

Open the window

and feel the wind.

See the leaves dance along the street.

Hear the cars pushing, always pushing forward.

The windows are lit for Christmas.

People push along the sidewalk,

pushing each other with arms and elbows.

I saw an empty park yesterday

and out of the bush and long grass

stepped a black rabbit.

In this city park, it stopped

and ate some grass.


Any town drunk.

From out of the pub, the drunken man stumbles.

Into the black car park at 2 am, he falls.

All carparks look the same.

Lonely, dirty, quiet and painfully lit.

A white cat walks slowly by,

it is so hungry; each step brings it pain, and it will soon die.

The drunk stops by a light pole and leans against a green bin.

It was here one week ago

his friend was punched and killed.

It was on this spot the man died.

A red mark stains the ground; it looks like old, dried blood.

Here is another death. The drunk thinks about his dreams,

which, like the blood,

are now dried spots in lonely places.

The beer burns in his guts, and churns,

a sharp, hot wind blows grit.

Work again tomorrow, that depressing place.

His hand numb with drink and life holds him steady against the cold bin

and he cannot remember to which town his ex-wife

has moved his children.

Christmas is coming soon.

Dark places

Those dark places exist

Because your dreams die away like flames in melted candles

When at 4 am the darkness is running down your walls like rain

And there is a flash of light,

But the room is empty.

Was that someone standing at the end of the hall?

Look again and know no one is there.

The fear of knowing no one is there,

Like an empty room from where music is playing

Or an all-night radio station, where no one is playing music, but the music keeps playing.

Loneliness creeps into your life,

Enemies appear and everyone is against you

And you remember the girl

Who leaped from a bridge to the freeway below.

In that moment of silence before she died

Did she feel free?

Or does terror blind you?

It hurts so much, and it never ends.

Fishing from the boardwalk

Simon Ferris stood on the boardwalk and leaned over the edge, looking at a large timber pallet that floated in the salt water below. The timber was covered in shells and black worms. He stood a long time and wondered what the things on the pallet were. After a while, he pulled back and staggered down the boardwalk. The timber was uneven and hurt his legs which were twisted and weak. He had refused to take a wheelchair today; he wanted to walk.

Halfway down, back toward the street that led up into the city, he stopped and watched a pretty girl who sat on a bench in the shade near Shraff’s Amusement hall. She wore a tight red top, and her blonde hair was tied back with a blue ribbon. Next to her was a baby carriage. She leaned over occasionally to look inside. Each time she leaned over, she smiled. Her red lips pulled back showing her smooth white teeth.

Suddenly a great tiredness overtook Simon and his legs gave way under him. He toppled sideways, off the boardwalk, into the water below. An old man watching nearby, tapped a young man who stood next to him.

“A man just jumped off the boardwalk,” the old man said.

“Are you sure?” the young man answered. He looked over his shoulder. The young man held a fishing line and was reluctant to let it go.

The great beauty

She was one of those girls you always look at when she comes in the room,

you try to see her out of the corner of your eye,

you watch where she sits

and when she looks up you look away quickly, so you’re not just staring at her.

She has that long flowing hair that drives people crazy

and she is really well shaped.

Not thin like some stick, but pretty.

Her nose is a knockout; it sits there like it was made for nothing

but looking pretty.

When she smiles, it’s like when you see a new sports car or when you see a thousand dollars in cash,

you just look at it because you know it is so good.

But she comes in the room surrounded by friends

and smiling that thousands of dollars in a sports car smile

And she sits down over near the old timber bookshelves that have been there

since 100 AD or something

and she just owns the place.

We all belong here, and we can all take out the books and write on our laptops,

but she owns it, like we are lucky she lets us stay.

Anyway, no one from my table, over near the vending machines, can talk to her,

we all just look up every now and again

and feel that happy, calm feeling.

Knowing that someone so beautiful

can exist in the same town, the same university, as we do.

Story teller

He was a writer and a poet

A real writer though if you can understand,

He would bleed words all over the page.

Notebook after bloody notebook.

Piled up on the table and in his wardrobe

And his wife

Would say how he was always writing,

Even when he was supposed to be doing else.

He would journey back to his childhood in his mind

And tell us stories.

To catch the train, he and his sister

(Who was five years older),

Would have to walk across the neighbour’s farm to get to the little platform.

Then they would wave the train down with a flag

And it would puff to a stop so they could climb aboard.

One year, when he was about twelve years old,

Some kids started catching the train to school with them.

They were working on the farm nearby

And they were dirt poor.

These kids had no shoes

And summer spike grass

Or winter frost would attack their feet.

They had black toes and hard horny feet.

The boy, tall and thin, with long crooked teeth

Would get on the train and smile,

Hanging his hands down by his side, he would whistle,

And the kids would gather around him,

There as the train picked up speed and filled their lives with smoke and cold wind

He would tell a story.

The boy’s face would blaze as he spoke

And he would hold people with his words.

The poet would open his eyes after sharing that memory

And, a little sadly, would tell us

 no matter how much he practiced and wrote,

He never captured people in the same way

As the poor boy with no shoes.