Blue Clothed Lady

The concert
ran from
dramatic to humour
national to crossing boundaries
and we enjoyed
the piano, choir and soloists all.
following each particular excellence
sometimes during
the blue clothed lady would stand in the front row
as elegant as a queen,
and sit.
Sometimes she’d
go purposely
in front of centre stage
and the soloist.

It was surprising, distracting,
unusual, funny
and then annoyingly individual
for me
much more so for the

It continued on,
the bobbing. Through intermission, through the second half.

But I wonder now
when the applause has died
and the venue is quiet
she and not I
with my small addition
to the group-clap
did more
to express

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Further down the road
the grass grows
and the wind sings

The signs
stork less
from the edge
but the birds
don’t think
about how lonely
it is.

The people
you find there
are quiet
on their own
as they have
foregone their

Here they
my reluctant
so still
life silts up
leaving me

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What is larger
than life?
Stranger than fiction?

I know I can
and do
I can’t just go
to the Emergency
and see someone in handcuffs.
I have to add
make the story make
my kind of sense,
make it funny.

When it clearly isn’t.
Maybe because it isn’t.

I mean.
I’m there for something not funny
So was he.

But if it’s funny
there’s a change
that seems to help.

If I author
my own
for you you’ll use
me sense
and nonsense
about why we are here and still alive.

No wonder
a sense of humour
is valued.
It’s no practical stratagem.
No sure solution.
But it might let you cope
with a little
less drudgery.

So it is ltl?
Is it stf?

‘Cause that’s
we need it
to be.

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Carmina Burana may save us

Karen, Justin, some friends and I attended the closing show of Boris Brott’s Music Festival last night in Hamilton. I was on holiday so it was a bit of pain to get there but it was a chance to see Emily sing in the choir and I was very glad we made it. Their Carmina Burana was outstanding and deserved the standing ovation they received. I enjoyed their rendition of the Chichester Psalms by Bernstein too. Emily’s teacher Leslie Fagan was the soprano soloist and she did an amazing job in both pieces.

It constantly amazes me to see people, especially young people, who can work together in such a finely tuned coordination of skill, timing and motivation to produce such an unlikely reversal of entropy. That’s what an orchestral work with a choir is: literally hundreds of people absolutely in sync for a handful of hours. An amazing sign that there are signs of hope for our species when you think the world is unravelling.

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Sickness blesses
at times
not like a blessure
but maybe so
now that I reflect
as it gives us halt.

Which is always

And that
allows introspection
and pause
to absorb
more and slower
so you
see what you
missed at breakneck

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Hot Foot Ball

Fermi Enricoed the uranium
underneath the old Stagg Field stadium.
Football couldn’t compete with collisions
like that Chicago Pile won reactions

that signalled the end of hard ball racquets
as the heat turned out hard in those outfits
and lead to an endangering arms race
of cool science and hot head‘s slick embrace.

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The Colour of Jealousy


Peter, bewildered,
stood from his seat
in the rapidly

He hadn’t seen Thom or Sylvia
in a month
and now he wouldn’t likely see them
ever again.

He did watch his ex-wife
his Janine
who he’d promised to love for all time
swagger out of the courtroom
with her lawyer.

She stopped at the door
slowing all in her wake
and turned eyes
of triumph
on his.

Her mouth a white line
she turned and left the sudden silence.


But I didn’t cheat on you
I could never do that

Her eyes flashed.

Then how did that lipstick,
red lipstick,
get on your collar?
You never liked me wearing it.
How can you explain that?

I can’t.
There has to be some other explanation.
Janine, please believe me.


Janine shook with anger
when she saw it
as she shuddered back
from the yawning mouth
of the washing machine.

A red smudge
bright on Peter’s collar.
He’d worn it to work today.
He’d even worn it in church the day before.

Tears sprang to her eyes.
And other matters sprang in her mind.
Explanations for his tiredness.
Lateness at work.

How could he do this to her? To the kids?


Peter picked up Thom
though he was getting too heavy
and tried to concentrate on the homily.
The speakers up in the balcony weren’t
as good but the kids
weren’t as distracting.

Thom hugged his Dad
His little, sweaty hands,
one clutching a thick red crayon,
crushing into his Dad’s clothes.
He liked the smell of his Dad.

Then he wrenched around,
reached down,
bent over
and was set down.
Back to filling in the big heart
in his colouring book.

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