Windsor Carpark

I had to look twice, without obviously wanting to look twice. One of those snap-your-head-back-into-position moves that happens after the event.
Looking in the mirror, I noticed the hair first, then the red cheeks and puffy eyes.
“Here” I said to my friend Paul when I got back to our table “Guess who I just saw coming out of a stall in the loos?”
This was three days after we beat them one all in Belfast (yes that is possible).
Paul looked up and raised an eyebrow. Never one for wasting words, our Paul.
“Billy Bingham”, I said.
Eyebrow arched closer to the hairline.
“Billy Bingham? Northern Ireland manager?”
“What was he doing in there?”

“Number two, I think”.

Navajo To Go

He-Who-Fights-Bears stood beside his onetime enemy and now friend, Calming Wind.
‘Bears stood over six and a half feet, broad shouldered, eyes that could turn black with a wayward thought. His solid silence in contrast to Calming Winds’ slender, lean tautness.
Together since dawn, they had gathered whatever the hours allowed them in order to see the day through. Both men aware of the unseeing eyes passing them by.
As the sun tired of watching from high and eased itself slowly to sleep, He-Who-Fights-Bears and his friend Calming Wind emptied the contents of the small leather pouch they now shared, to inspect the day’s cache.
Five dollars exactly.

Enough for two hotdogs and a chocolate milk in the 7-11. 

Strike Three

Neil had made three major decisions in his thirty five years.
One, age twenty six, was to get married. Ended in divorce.
The second, age twenty nine– obtaining a mortgage. Re-possession.
Third, last night, attempting to sever the arteries in his wrists.

Funny how failure can sometimes save your life.

Cuppa Joe

He had always been told that it was important to smile at others – make them feel nice about themselves. Coffee shop worker, bus driver, lady in the street. So he did. Sometimes they smiled back.
But he didn’t know their names. They had names, everyone has names. Other people knew his name – official people from the bank or electricity company. They knew his name and used it as a commodity.
Someone who would be happy to hear his name.
He did know one name – ‘Buddy’.
He saw Buddy one afternoon, standing on the path between the gate leading into the neighbour’s  house where he lived and the grass verge by the kerb. Buddy was just standing there. Looked like he was thinking, pondering, wondering.
Looking up, Buddy’s long tail waved gently, clearing the air for his friend to pass by. His eyes smiled.
A pat on the head is important, especially from someone whose name you know.
“Hey Buddy”

Hey Joe. 


Close your eyes for one minute. Just one minute.
What do you see?
A palm tree.  A desert island. Old school friend. His house, kitchen, mother smiling.
The beach. People walking. The newsagents, ice cream, double decker bus. The sun. Cars. 
A horse.
All from the past.
All unregulated and scattered randomly without pattern.

All yours.

Nowt for Owt

- What do you want to do?
* Everything.
- That's a lot of stuff.
* I know. That's why I do nothing.

He Lied

He felt tired. 
Tired of the words, the footsteps, the thoughts tormenting his soul. 
Tired of the act, the game, the relentless slide to nothingness. 
Drained by empty platitudes voiced in a monotone air. 
Worn down to the root by the self-enforced, unreciprocated lightness that compounds the bulk of this temporary contract we call presence.

But instead he just said “Great thanks, how about you”?


Full and thrusting forward
Clamorous and mean.
Streets strewn with weighty footsteps
Faces rarely seen.
Meetings to attend to
Goods transported there
No place for the faint-hearted
No place for a rocking chair.
No time for honest greeting
Or how are you today?
Rendered through a benumbed body
More move out of my way.
Regarding all the mayhem
On a Monday afternoon
Sits one man on a blanket
His hat contains two 'loons'.
Name of Willie Johnson
Born in Thunder Bay
A stranger in this city
Who's name you know.

Next Door

I met my next door neighbor
For the first time yesterday
I waved a cheery greeting
As I went upon my way.
Til then the only inkling
That someone lived upstairs
Were footsteps in the morning
And the noise of moving chairs.
I wondered what he looked like
Was he tall or short or thin?
Conundrum solved one morning
As he rolled his wheelie bin.
It’s nice to know your neighbours
Creating a new friend
It’s nice to know your neighbours
That’s what matters in the end.
Imagine my embarrassment
As I rose my hand up high
The wave not once acknowledged
Be neither seeing eye.
His dog strained his tight collar
With inconsiderable ease
But I’d wager one new dollar
Guide dogs aren’t Pekingese.