Too Many Years

She’s tired
too many years
wars and wars and so called freedom
wearing and wearing her out

Pain etched lines across her face
lost loved ones
alcoholics and children
ravaged by life

Pork grease and dirt warmly embrace her
garlic and salami
sing with her sweat
songs of isolation dancing in loneliness

Prolonged survival hardness
elbows her way down the trolley-bus
she stands, stares and glares without seeing
refusing comfort and seats alike

she won’t sit down
because if she did
her pockets would relieve themselves
of her boss’s cutlery

Saplings In a Forest of Poverty

[Poverty is fruitful
malnutrition and infirmity
grow from the hearth of the poor]

Rodelio and Rohelio
twins born into a
hessian hut amongst
the pigs and papaya
of a poor

Malnourished mum
addicted dad
produced a son
with club-foot

[Another sapling rises
promising to bear
more fruit for the stricken]

With quick action
such an ailment
can be treated

The poor
have neither
money nor influence
Treatment is
another person’s

But with a sense of injustice
that only the rich can have
I wage war
on a
that I know
nothing about

[I search for the sapling
to rip it free
never to bear
fruit again]

My doctor said
“I don’t help the poor”
Community Council said
“no money, can’t help”
City mayor said
“I will pay”

[I finger the
fresh bark
of poverty’s

A mother
a four-day-old twin
humid heat
and an open-top jeep
journey together
to the city

Four days later
to the
pigs and papaya
bamboo and hessian
with a straight ankle
and a leg in a cast

[I snap that sapling
clear from the earth]

Itchy casts are no fun
for newborns
Rohelio screams
through the night
His mum comforts
her inconsolable infant

But waking from
the haze of glue
his father takes action

Morning light
reveals a suffering mother
and a castless child

[I missed the
root, the
sampling sprouts]

Father said, before
back into the peace
of his addiction, “it is
the divine
of God
that my son
like this”

[the root grows strong
and takes its place
in a forest

And Rohelio
drags his
the pigs and papaya
of a poor

[Poverty has


My hair is in my eyes,
it’s a tragedy.

black   sunburnt   leaves   floating
spiralling down
in the winds of depression

I am an emo.

Surviving in the pain and suffering
that I call existence.

emotional      emotionally hardcore

Suicide is such an unjust ending
when your shoe lace is undone.

that’s heavy

A Fresh Red Wound

A Fresh Red Wound was first published in Blackmail Press 31, MARGINILIZATION. issn1176-479


A Fresh Red Wound

In horror she watched
her drunken mother
tumble to her end
and in horror
she read
of her drunken father’s death
ten years institutionalised
and craving the honour
of being treated
as if someone cares for her,
that is her life

cast into the shadows of school
to be tolerated not taught
a bad one, an orphanage kid
drowning in a system
that refuses to acknowledge
her existence

slowly she sinks
into the claws of poverty
its talons wrapped around her throat
quenching her pain
with the spirits of addiction
until death shares her bed

she is an orphan
a fresh red wound
from an old Soviet scar.

Thank you so much for reading ‘out for lunch’. If you would like to contribute, please do. Thanks Kel.


‘David’ was first published in ‘Blackmail Press 28‘. [ISSN 1176-4791], New Zealand. 2010.


You lie there in the starkness of your understanding.
Four green walls and a lifeless gurney.
The tube down your throat sucks your history from you,
As the drugs that you use depart from your decaying body.
Detox is the intersection where your history is flushed away and your future is chosen for you.
Borstal for users and naughty boys, but not for drugs.
The court has deemed for you a childhood with a lock and key.
But David as they pump you dry and further condemn your future,
I want to reflect on the fourteen years that have got you here.

Did you ever get to call out the names Mum or Dad,
Is there any memory of them at all?
When did your heart harden,
Did it happen when you were abandoned and institutionalised?
Or did it come from being bullied and beaten, underachieving and surviving on your own?
David you are still a lovely boy, you’re still good inside,
But the barrenness of living with eighty kids has made for you some unhappy choices.
So now David the perception of your genre has moved from a problem to user and looser.
There is only God for you now.

By the way, I saw your abandoned little brother yesterday.
The poor soul was moping around as lost and lonely as ever.
The kid’s still a dreamer but now his hurt is closer to the surface.
He is too young to understand your loveless life,
But he’s old enough to follow your example.
A government paid caregiver, social worker and coach are his last line of defence,
Before he meets you on the other side behind the lock and key.

I don’t blame you David, I am angry at you and I love you, but I don’t blame you.
I don’t even blame God, let alone the system,
I am just numb from walking the tombs of hopelessness and helplessness.
Just numb from the empty lives of so many lovelorn kids.

Thank you so much for reading ‘out for lunch’. If you would like to contribute, please do. Thanks Kel.