Proverbs 26:4-5

mooncalf they’d call me

because I was indeed a fuckwit

never mind a fool and his money being

soon parted

I was born always to be the right Charlie

acting the giddy goat

dumb as a box of rocks

crazy as a loon

howling at the moon

speaking only

because I felt I had to say something

in rooms full of wise men

offering nothing but sage advice

which I could never take

not being the sharp enough tool in the box

simpletons being like that a sandwich short

for the picnic just big bonehead chumps

shmucks never understanding dipstick rules

& if I held on to anything

it was that I was just a slow learner

hoping against hope

to one day get smarter

pass as one of you


she’d make me forget most nights

in the best possible ways

coming over about ten

bottle of vodka pack of cigarettes

but other nights

she’d start to weigh in around midnight

the booze having taken hold

get all jealous of me & other fictitious women

all in her sozzled & I’d forget

just who I was dealing with here

get to defending

other times I’d be sensible right away

hey you’ve come here

from your husband putting the kids to bed

if you were mine & mine alone

that’s a conversation for then

but the booze had taken hold

her flights of fancy made her crazy mad bold

the screaming would begin

& I’d have to ask her to stfu or leave

my rented rooms top of the house had other tenants

sick of the madness I’d invited in

I’d get crazy too being called these vicious things

& I called her a trollop

which broke the deadlock she started laughing

who calls that these days? but I knew & she knew

that’s exactly what we were dealing with here

I think the turbine is cracked I hear a whine

I could

try to tell her

like I’m trying to tell you

the hardest thing I ever did

was to try & forget my shame

not the poverty

that runaway mother

living in hiding behind doors

people raised me told me

I was worthless

feeling everyday like the other

but the needing to pretend

everything was ok

I was living fine

while inside I felt

nothing but black dust

smoulder fire

burning through yesterday


until there was nothing left

but a shell


these willow wisps



that spin out

& if

there is no pen handy

paper to place

the cat comes in

she calls from another room

the phone rings to sell me shit

a great song comes on the radio

salesman banging at the door

or just plain self distraction

looking out the window

wondering on ifs buts

these poems

vehicles for ideas

have gone

& they may or not


come up for air

once more

for his new judy

no big punches

came from the man

he was showing out

for his new judy

have you heard the new sound?

didja read the great book by?

yeah in that movie

the one you haven’t seen?

yeah he was great holds the scenes

man the dude was preening

flaring out those feathers

showing flashes of colour on each

but there were no big punches

just this steady pitter patter

slow low blows which could

given enough slow time

create their own winning route

all for showing out for the new judy

but what he did not know

would ever know from any of us

she would in the end let him down

same as she did one very one here

when they too once thought

she was mine

some misunderstanding

I wore clothes with colour

when I was a kid

& then?

that all stopped

never finding out

who gave the order

of why?

as it became harder

to find duds I loved

clothes I liked was easy

but loved?

menswear became bland

blue for jeans check shirts

black for trousers coats

greys in everything

but red orange purples paisley

were all gone


sitting on the river bank

half a mile from the sea

the tide is out now

& only two thin rivers remain

then we hear the commotion of crows

calling loud & crude

over the low water mud

we begin looking for the ruckus

& there

in the slight gloom of under tree

a faint colour

looking up into the trees

at the one jet black crow

on a low branch scolding

the fox begins slipping away

hiding under a melange

of flotsam jetsam washed up wood

our crow flies in to find foxy

as then a ginger face appears

close enough to snap at feet

so near to our now bird of prey

quickly the crow moves out of reach

continuing to screech

while Reynard

our newly adopted ginger step child

lopes away becoming camouflaged

while the crow scolds on

but our beast

has moved on

pushing through

in so many ways

she has never been

to these places

that i’m driving her through

delighted to see experience

if for me this feels as tho’

I’m pushing through

glutinous emotional soup

over there a wall I slept behind

a girl I knew & lost lived here

went to that university

top of that hill green & in the sun

& there on that black mountain

there I maundered lost lonely

a few nights of cold & tired

having nowhere to go

nobody to turn to

no money no job nothing

& now she is asking

why are you being so quiet?

& how to answer without

a whiff of whine

some nostalgia of self pity?

a look sideways

I’m not sure if she is aware

she is leaking letting her feelings out

about him

give a snideways look

mentions he needs bigger shirts

bigger jeans

as I give a sideways look

checking out his reactions

seeming unperturbed

accepting the comment

there are others to come

& another time he confides

they are rarely lovers now

which I don’t know how to deal with

sympathy sadness

suggest advice to go get advice?

instead we both look sideways

check out the scenery avoid eye contact

& I want to express some anger

when the fuck did you decide

to settle for so much less?

but no we look sideways

let the silence settle over us

we are men holding our feelings inside

sound of your own voice

sitting out sipping

& this one says

you do like

the sound of your own voice eh?

spoken unkind no hint of lilt

& what to say?

you are I offer welcome to leave

at any time

if I was talking

I thought I was among friends

happy to revise that

at any time

but she didn’t shift get to her feet

& I knew full well

I’d lost the audience

thinking when she did go

I’d change the locks

stop answering the phone

& see how much she liked

the silence then