Why Would You Want to be Old?

My days are numbered I know that well
it is why I’m stuck here in this living hell
the biscuits stale, the tinkle of tea
and the nurses told not to bother with me

The Truck

The truck stops, week in, out, inconvenient in the striving street
regular, if payment is required
to collect the stock piles of baby puke and waste convenience
and plastic worn deliveries, slit and thrown

We’re Not to Blame

It’s not our fault, we’re not to blame
we’re just trying to maintain our freedom
we mine our dark materials, this is not a game
because there are other poor people who need ‘em

Why Do I Do It?

I don’t do it for you , so your thoughts can rest easy
as you nod in your pleasant agreement
while you sip on your drink, peculiar and queasy
at my anticipated long due achievement

If Not This, Then What?

It’s not the Masses, not the torments, not the nightmares of our longing
Not the grasslands, not the homelands, not the roads to our belonging
Not the mortgage, not the storage where our things are kept for later
Not the governed, not the owners, not a Priest to set us straighter

One Day Closer Every Day

Sheep droop jaw and hooves split in the stumble for the hay,
eager teeth picking at the stubble and the crust
Knees buckle their hollow humble eyes stare down and absorb
what was mud is now unsullied deep red dust

The Sweet Sweet Sound

There’s a sweet sweet sound moving across the settled ground
it whispers in my ear in the morning
like a solitary breeze that whistles through the trees
and summons all the birds to cease their yawning

What Are We Made Of?

What are we made of? asks the child who cries
who just wants a toy she can play with
or to ask most politely before she dies
“is there someone out there I can stay with.”

A Place to Breathe

My, what a lovely place you have, you must be very proud
I love your modern furniture and the space that you’ve allowed
the kitchen is so stylish, are these appliances new?
I’d love one of those in our place, I bet it cost a few

The Lifestyle you Ordered

The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock
our warehouse has been stripped of supplies
our people are working around the clock
to ensure you get your hands on the prize

I Remembered Yesterday

I remembered yesterday the times that I have with you
And visions of the grateful days and all that I have wished for you
I’d stand out in the wind and cold and meet you in the rain
and offer no patronising words to beat us up or take away our pain

One Day

There’s a ghost selling memories down by the shore
as a jury decides its fate
there’s a man of religion knocking at my door
I need to lie down, he can wait.

My Own Best Friend

Stooping down and listless still
the rain, the pavement scarried
the men they took my food and oil
and all that I had carried

Bleed for Mary

It’s a recurring theme invading my senses
I’m lining up images all in a row
They’re blowing up bridges and cutting down fences
But I keep on moving but my moving is slow

Silenced by the Sight

You have 10 minutes in which to write something using a randomly chosen line from a randomly chosen page from a randomly chosen book… “standing between earth and sky, we are silenced by the sight.”

Colin Birtles is stuck in traffic

Colin Birtles is stuck in traffic, or more to the point, stuck in his car, in a queue, at a service station, idling his engine, with other unfortunates, in traffic, victims all of a garish advertising sign offering a fuel price discount, pock marked on the side of the road, with all the other pock marks, blathering the health benefits of Gatorade, the communication benefits of a mobile phone, or the freedom offered by the latest Jeep.

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How has it come to this

It was a woman at the checkout buying coconut oil. She had put it in her bag, with all the other groceries she was purchasing when she noticed that the seal on the bottle underneath the screw top lid containing the coconut oil had come lose.

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Who stole the time

I was approaching, in my car, some months ago, one of those ubiquitous discount fuel outlets that have become symbolic of our consumer age. As I had a voucher handy I decided that I should probably refuel.

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Thoreau was Right

Am I happy? It doesn’t matter, it’s not relevant, I accept my fate. Thoreau was right, the mass of men really do lead lives of quiet desperation

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Notes from the Road (2)

Caravan Parks. Classes don’t so much merge, as congregate there. Images of atmospheric smoke induced fellowship. Joy in green cans and littered superlatives. Smirks between crooked weathered tram lines suggesting paradise is at my doorstep.

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Notes from the Road (1)

There is not much to recommend Ballarat. It’s flat and it’s flatulent. Its people walk slowly along grey bleached streets with grey gold smiles on orange wrinkled faces. To drive through it, to the other side, is to celebrate restrained liberty.

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Floyd Collins

Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes. The “hood” – a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy.

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The Boy with the Broken Arm

One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.

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Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen bent down, the brown paper bag lay on the ground in full view. He picked it up and he looked inside. It was money, a lot of money, crisp new notes. Someone’s betting money Patrick thought. Maybe it’s ill gotten gains, he had no way of knowing, it was a racetrack after all and gains were there to be had, both ill gotten and legitimate.

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King & Webber

Webber and King were walking towards the one cafe on the main road of Grey’s River, it offered what appeared to be the best chance of a decent breakfast.

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Lulu

Lulu sat on the edge of her bed and contemplated it, before she started slashing. And so the violence began, controlled violence though it was, down the arms, across the chest, down the back of legs; none of it designed to inflict real damage but enough to draw attention to the inalienable fact that Lulu wanted someone to listen to her.

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Theodore Claw

What was meant to be an evening of conviviality amongst friends and acquaintances amidst the deep furnishings, large squashy cushions, paintings and dark woollen wall hangings from Turkey in the living room lined by book shelves containing manuscripts and novels, texts and biographies of those who pleaded to have their stories told…

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