Friday Night On Main Street

Vertical and horizontal signs
blaze Korean alphabet signs
around shop fronts and mall
signboards on brightly lit shops
and three storey shopping
malls lining the multi laned
roads crossing the intersection
afire with many traffic lights.

Crowds flow along footpaths and
shopping aisles released after
a day at work and school.

Time to eat out; in a small
family restaurant or a food
court stall ?  Or at Macdonalds ?

Sit cross legged on the floor
wielding chopsticks round potato
pancakes or a table of
many dishes and sauce bowls ?

Or sit on chairs at tables
at the Lotte Marte food court ?
Or in the Macdonalds shop eating
burgers with Korean flavoured
sauces?  Followed by an
American ice cream shop sundae ?

A bright evening wherever I eat
surrounded by jaunty crowds.

Friday Night On Main Street

A Lone Child

A lone five year old in the
Korean English kindergarten
slips away from noisy boy
rough housing, only goes to the
boy’s toilet when it is vacant.
He shrinks back from his
classmates’ loud voices,
covers his eyes when lights
switch on, on a dark day.

The creatures in the rock pools
which he visits with his father
on Saturdays fill his mind.
and the facts in the rock pool
books his father buys him.
He recalls them all for his
teacher on Monday mornings
in impressive detail.

As Mrs Jenny walked past the
family car at the traffic lights
he called out, talked to her
at length in excellent English
as his father parked the car
at the kerb while they talked.

At the library his mother met
Mrs Margaret borrowing English
books for the kindergarten.
“Something is wrong with him?”
she asked. They both cried.
Mrs Margaret told her the
word that is not mentioned,
that parents’ love and
Saturdays at rock pools
will buoy this child
in the world.

They both fear for him
at the big state school
next year.

A Lone Child

Picking Flowers

Tall trees shade
the garden’s back corner
where plants sprawl
over the ground
in a rampant wilderness.
Violets spread prolifically
around gnarled tree roots
their clumps of leaves
speckled with
tiny purple flowers.
Wandering Jew crawls
over tree roots
around violets and
long stemmed grass clumps.
Bright green oxalis starred
with tiny mauve flowers
fills in the gaps.

The three year old is
enthralled by this
multi hued carpet
dappled light and dark
by wind fluttering leaves:
enchanted by its flowers and
tall grass seed stems.

She walks through it
picking flowers
and seed stems
followed by the
black and white cat
who stared up at the branches
watching birds fly away
when his collar bell jingles.


Picking Flowers

Korean Typhoon

Down the side street
across the road shrieking
gale force winds bend
lashing trees horizontal
close to the ground.
Huge gusts of rain
blast along the empty
street, cascade down
the window panes
like Niagara Falls.

The principal rings to say
the English kindergarten
will be closed this morning
as the buses are unable
to collect the children.

Oh dear !  Korean mothers
want full value for every
cent of the fees they pay
for their children’s tuition
at the private English

There will have to be a
Saturday lesson to make
up for the missed hours.

Korean Typhoon


Militarist conquerors
subjugated Korea’s peninsular
enslaving its people for
service on eastern coasts
they invaded across the
narrow sea. some were
herded on to their conqueror’s
ships surging southwards
invading other island nations.

Enemies captured some of
the conqueror’s ships, imprisoned
their sailors in far away
southern lands. Would be
escaper uniformed sailors
remained locked up. But
thin gaunt slaves in coolie
rags now had adequate food,
shelter, clothing. Work parties
with a single guard daily
laboured on farms short
of wartime manpower.

At war’s end they were
to a liberated homeland
wrecked by forty years’
militarist occupation.


St Kilda’s Bay Lament

You and she had four bright days
on southern tussocked hills.
On Monday night in jagged pain
you crumpled to the floor.

On Friday morning there we sat
baffled, unbelieving,
in the chapel at the cemetery
above St Kilda’s Bay.

Up at five that morning
for two hours she drank tea,
listening to your skirling pipes
cry from your CD player.

We listened to your eulogies
told by friends and clan,
while to our left the windowed wall
showed us St Kilda’s Bay.

Vast clouds billowed back and grey,
dark seas endless stretched.
The waves were surging back and forth
down on St Kilda’s Bay.

She did not want you rushed away
after your hymns and rites.
By your casket at the windows’ end
she stood alone with you.

Did you see her ?  Did you hear her ?
She bent down and leant her head,
her arms, on your timbered chest
for you had deserted her.

She smoothed one hand in circles
on the wood the shrouded you
trying to draw you back from
beyond St Kilda’s Bay.

We kept our distance by the doors
in that keening silence.
At last she turned, walked back to us,
you 14 year bond severed.

Dark grey clouds were billowing,
the gulls and wind screamed out.
The waves were surging back and forth
around St Kilda’s Bay.
Continuing  the mid week reposting of my early writings when
my views, likes and follows were still very low.


St Kilda’s Bay Lament