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.

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.

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.


Who says when you’ve
forgiven enough?

A loved one?
Some higher authority?
The Oscar or Grammy winner?

It’s love.

Your capacity
or, more to the point,
my capacity
for love is the lowest common

If you have not love
then there is nothing to forgive.

there’s nothing.

When the fluff blows away
the residue left behind
from the lonely me generation
is a pit of depressing force
leading to an event

Where all our humanity
is pulled.