A Birthday Poem For My Wife

A secret plan.
A furtive wrapping.
A celebration.

The cards say “Happy Birthday!”
“Birthday Greetings.”
“Many Happy Returns.”

The milestones of a life.
The markers of maturity.
The wrinkles in time.

The little gestures.
The thoughts that count.
The grand declarations.

All in the family.
Dinner plans with dessert.
A quiet evening in.

Settled on the couch.
Animals resting in the warmth.
Another year starts.



Into the darkness she rides,
Lance before her,
Lighting the way,
Becalming the turmoil that night brings.

Moonlight glistens off the metal,
Armour clanks
As horses plod,
Their legs quiver with the journey.

The battle seems insurmountable,
Surely she will fail,
She cannot think that,
Faith must guide her.

She raises her shield high,
A blow is deflected,
Her sword is plunged,
Toward the assailant’s weakness.

Is this victory?
The darkness engulfs her,
A mind is set free,
Dreams are once more a reality.

I Listen To One Side Of A Conversation

(Say it out loud, try for a broad Australian accent, sit with your legs apart, lean into your phone, yell)

Yeah mate, waitin’ fer the train.

Once I’m on it, I’m only forty fu-en minutes away.

You fu-en wouldn’t believe.

Can’t get none.

Dad’s crop all died in this heat.

Fu-en huge, fu-en oath.

See ya when I’m lookin’ at ya.

Hangin’ mate.

Observations On A Train Platform

A singular pursuit

He kicks glass off the platform

Soft volleys offer small protection

Eagle-eyes search for all the specks

Joined in obsessive practice

His long time friend, half-hearted

They speak

of bogans*,


civic duty

Cut short by the ever-searching quest

A practice of responsibility

A foible and a folly; quixotic

He shrugs off his ill-fitting jacket

Reveals a nonchalant dress

Thumbing it to the corporate world

Kick, kick, kick.

*Australian vernacular used by the educated elite to describe people of lower socio-economic status and lower educational achievement.