Unsung Heroes

Vilakazi,
in the riots of  ’76,

Henderson,
in the shadows of ’77,

Bailey,
through the dark and bitter end:

Not sacrificing themselves
for a cause,

these ordinary men,

just rescuing
our hopes,
one act at a time.

Photo by RIP - © beeblu

Photo by RIP – © beeblu

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Throwing the Switch

was it the 500,000th
cigarette
that threw the switch,
sent
your light flickering?

i see you bathed in darkness,
no light, no air,
just the rasping
of short-circuitry

Was the timer on before
you were born?
i don’t know…

Maybe the 500,001st
was the nth
of vice,
lights-out for a pulse

If Leibniz were alive, i would
ask him,
but we wouldn’t
share a smoke

Dad IV

I glimpse

your ghost

in

the sure hands

of a carpenter,

the polished grain

of Oregon pine,

the automatic way I

switch off the light when leaving a room,

the geometric folding of

a newspaper

on the train,

UPPER-CASE EMAILS,

those who talk to

dogs

as if they were human,

to humans

as if they were

joy itself,

the cheerful scatting

of a man in his shed,

brother’s

exasperation when someone goes right

to turn left,

sliced tomato on toast,

and – every morning –

in the shapes

of my

toes

BBC – Horizon – The Ghost in Your Genes

Dad III

The smell of sawdust

takes me to a time

you’d send me to pick leaves for the silkworms

after your tools turned on you

(usually the ratchet screwdriver)

my young ears safe at the mulberry tree,

brother’s mosquito gang

wheelieing up the laneway

for a smoke and 50cc tune-up

with their favourite neighbourhood oldie,

night-scented gardenia

mixed with varnish,

crickets and

Erroll Garner

illuminating the nightwaves