just because

just because I learnt something once

does not make the lesson stick forever

just because

I was wrong about things

all those years ago

don’t ever think

I might not do them

all over again

& if you think there

was some learning

all those tears ago

don’t ever think

I might not get to do them

all over again

too

& mine only

there are moments

& this might be one of them

where the faces swim into vision

leering at the window of my past

peering in to create a future

where the verbalising takes place

scolding me for my waste

my taste in delivering adventures

to the maw of experience

I am but a conglomeration of these

those admonitions premonitions struggles

drive formed of predispositions & worse

all the faults carried over to bear witness

to my failings that are mine

& mine only

throwing in the light like a grenade

I learn slow I know

& not always in the best way

she broke me down

a slow process

getting me to give up

me

bit by bit

morsel after morsel

enticing information

which I gave up freely

not understanding then

her plan unfolding

mistaking this for intimacy

& when she dropped the boom

I was pretty well bashed up

that all that I’d kept on the inside

was now all over the outside

open for derision & laughter

& it took me some time to learn

she had done me a favour

throwing in the light like a grenade

on faces

we don’t talk on this

I have felt deep fear

seen the look of joy

on faces

on those

dishing out the hurt

not just the bully types

the teachers

cops

any fool feeling authority

giving out their views

lashing out their bad news

felt the fear inside

all I could do was run

hide

endure their shit

again

has begun

I need a tarp now

my sleeping bag in a swag bag

& if I can

a fire

less booze than then

when we’d ride ‘til late

pull off to the side of the road

find a clump of trees small wood

open up the booze

eat whatever we had left

tell our stories near misses

talk of miles done those to come

wake up with the sun

check the gas in the tank

kick out the fire

& be gone

now we wake cold & stiff

needing to piss

to set off find breakfast

have coffee before the day

has begun

for Zoe

when you meet the right person

at the wrong time

but no that was not completely it

it was the wrong time for sure

& she was the right person

just I was ploughing thru’ the shit

of an ex creating problems

money where to live who was who

& Zoe lovely as she was

was just too young to be holding me

listening to my issues strife

through all of my age-old ex-love problems

she needed happiness not bitterness

& I let her not for badness

but because I was the wrong person

at the wrong time in her life

hand on my knee

her fella

had gone out on his hog one morning

never said where he was going

just had people to see

& never came back

she waited for a year maybe three

but could never find another

take his place in her head

home her life or bed

I was listening hard

ears open all three

but the thing

that was bothering me

was that hot hand

right there on my knee

shanty

we came down thru’ the cliff face

lime chalk & red sandstone

found the shanties here n there

made up of driftwood

whatever washed ashore

& I wanted one right there

to be told of grandpa rights

no bill of sale just passed down

son to son daughter to daughter

I could see me clear late nights on a porch

glass in one hand pen in the other

using the moonlight & booze

to get down what I needed said

wake up in the morning

still sitting there pages of notes

yeah I can see that he said

you always were a redneck

like he thought I’d be insulted

coming home to roost

you’ve changed man

he tells me all sad

I find you so hostile now

& your part? I ask

I dunno what you mean he goes

eyes all wide innocent

the first refuge of the guilty

the secretly mad

being caught out

you were telling people

you’d seen a different side of me

so now I feel its time to give you that

I tried kindness

you treated me my time with disrespect

let’s see how this works out eh?

& you know he blustered

all flustered

his chicken shit words

coming home to roost

dreams

I had dreams alright

to invent myself as a writer

perhaps to create plays

maybe journalism to pay the rent

& all they did was laugh

c’mon man

y’got to think of your starting point

the where you’re coming from

& being a dreamer

I could not see the problem

we see you in industry

mebbe some kind of engineer

& I was looking around

who?

but I could see no one else here

they meant me

they were going to keep pushing

down that chute you go son

you’ll see