They picked up the shiny pieces of their lives

that put sparkles in their eyes

and threw them all together


memories spun round the room

little lights of childhood

lies and disappointments

from a thousand mirrors

bounced off sequins

and black patent leather

and finally landed

dead in other people’s eyes


Five Dollar Solar Eclipse

Royal blue freshly mascaraed lashes

pressed against dark glasses:

a five dollar solar eclipse.


Can I look through yours?  

asks the man with the angry pitbull terrier

I rest my eyes on the glittering sea.


Sorry about the dog.  He kicks it.

It growls at every passing cyclist.

The sky is a lazy blue and the moon glides slowly past the sun.


Bloody hell, it’s good, he says and staggers backwards

Thanks for the look!

Grasping the dog’s skin he freewheels off to an art class.


Last time I saw a total eclipse was 1999.

The lights came on along the promenade

and the birds began to roost.


Here, the sky is already brightening

and people and cameras gather

for some prince and his consort.


At the national museum,

on the other side of the harbour,

I see the painting for the first time:


“Angels Herald New Beginnings.”

Outside sweepers sweep the waterfront clean

and a police boat trawls the water’s edge.



The Gift of a Poem

He brought a gift to the housewarming – a poem.

At first, the sun blinded him and the poem he had written

made little sense in the glare. The words blurred, lost form,

like sad aged eyes. He heard whisperings,

made false starts and repetitions.

He looked for exit signs and for a moment

he imagined everyone before him taking turns

to read aloud his own work.

And if you could ask, why a poem?

He’d say for today is the poets’ inauguration

“Seems something artists ought to celebrate.

Today is for my cause a day of days.

And his be poetry’s old-fashioned praise…”(*1)


A whirlwind rode through the plain

Snatched away the piece of paper in his hands

And so he read his gift outright; this time the one he knew by heart

“The land was ours before we were the land’s.” (*2)

Like a tree you can’t possess or be possessed by

But it is yours nevertheless to keep or give away

Plant a forest and see what will become of it

A tree is a tree and his was the gift of a poem.

*1 from For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration, Robert Frost

*2 from The Gift Outright, Robert Frost