Flying Home

Where are the women of these men
Whose voices rattle with easy insults,
hands that flutter like ghosts

The women are waiting patiently
will always wait on men
who cough long and quietly
leaving clots of rose-bud clarity
on hospital handkerchiefs…

And I am flying home to you
hoping that marriage
is a cure for my illness

Shall I have another cigarette?
It doesn’t matter
This modern cancer creeps on regardless.

Aug 1980


The River Break – Whangamata

The River Break - Whangamata






And … as some sort of context for ‘Killers on Tour’, this was the top 10 f0r the first week of Jan, 1975:

January 4th 1975

1     2      2      Sha-La-La (Make me Happy) – Al Green
2    3      5      Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – Elton John
3    1      1      How Long Has This Been Going on – Ace
4    5      8      Boogie on Reggae Woman – Stevie Wonder
5    9     12     Never Can Say Goodbye – Gloria Gaynor
6    7     10     Willie and the Hand Jive – Eric Clapton
7    14   17     Pick up the Pieces – Average White Band*
8   10   14     You Can Make me Dance, Sing or Anything – Rod Stewart and the Faces
9     4      4      Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin
10  15   20     Please Mr. Postman – Carpenters*

Killers on Tour

This was written in 1975 … as an 18 year old long haired tan and – I don’t mind admitting – lithe surfer dude.  We had piled in to ‘Laxo’s’ old Ford Prefect van, five of us including Laxo; Barnsey, Dave, Pricey and me.  The van had broken down going over the Auckland Harbour Bridge … and we had to get out and push it over the hump.  From there it was relatively clear sailing from Auckland to Whangamata – which if I recall had a few decent beach breaks and a really nice right hander that peeled away from the river mouth.  Mind you … this is going back sometime and I was not the bravest of surfers by any means.

It is a pretty magical place, though and this was around New Year … hot, salty, bare feet on hot sticky tar… sand in your sleeping bag.  That sort of magic.

We weren’t that tight as a group – but there are moments when everything aligns … sometimes those moments are fleeting… minutes.  This was one of those … dusk, a day in the surf… hot pavements and … striding through the town.

Have you ever seen Richard Ashcroft’s clip for ‘Bittersweet Symphony’?

That’s it.

Here’s the poem

Killers on Tour      

On beaches we wait,
around bonfires we sit
the way young boys do.

Through dusty beach roads
we drive
hoping to quench our thirsts…

Along sidewalks,
past movie theatres we stride
with the confident lope of killers.

We will wait forever
if necessary,
we have waited in towns
like this before,

nothing can touch us here.

April 1975

Gorgeous … lost …

For Shelly                                                                                               
I went to sleep
thinking about tonight
how we both kicked off our shoes
to dance the night away

and how I kissed you then
and you kissed me

The music stopped
and it seemed as though
I had always been your lover.

Sept 77


I’m not sure
how I came to be in your bed
on that Saturday night.

Perhaps it was your unsteady hand
or the way
you pulled your red night gown
over your head.

As I made clever promises
you raised your fingers to your lips
then touched your breasts
stopping my
unnecessary pretence of love.

Not fooled by my need for explanation
you, apparently, needed nothing
except to make love
as if
your warmth was a wall

March 1976

Daryl’s Place; Thoughts on Gisborne.

Ok – so for an old bastard I’m pretty new at this … not so much the poetry thing … I’ve been banging on since I was seventeen about almost every aspect of love and the human condition … though I ground to a halt some years ago.  I blame the corporate machine, but that’s for later.

No – I’m new to ‘shipping’.  That is – getting something out there.

Heres’s the second piece.  Gisborne is a coastal town in Poverty Bay in New Zealand.  I had moved there in the early eighties as a teacher and fell in with the most wonderful bunch of degenerates and reprobates you could ever hope to spend time with.  DB, by the way was a pretty ordinary beer back in the day; Dominion Brewery is what it was.  Cut my drinking teeth on that and Lion Red.  Oh Dear.

The reprobates, led by a fellow teacher of Art at the local high school, were a great cure for a lonely boy even if the loneliness, of course, was my own silly fault as will become increasingly self-evident.

Daryl’s Place; Thoughts on Gisborne.

Thoughts of my friend (my enemy) fade to grey,
The slur of the windshield wiper
reminds me that winter is near.

A group of Maori girls
huddle for shelter outside the movie theatre
a wet Saturday afternoon
waiting for the two o’clocks to start

Two blue
eye shadow ladies
cross at the lights
Tight pair of jeans and a mini skirt
(fuck she must be cold, eh)
make a bee line for the ‘Old Boy’s Bar’

The road to the beach is slick
the wind blowing foamy from the sea
buffets my car.
Nestled between my knees
is a cold bottle of DB,
a drink to the Kaiti Leopards
rattling down the Coaster Sports – Line.

Later at a friend’s place we watch the sea
the Autumn sun struggles to our table,
glasses raised to toast an empty beach.
A decision must be made
on who drives to the pub

Keys are passed in a moment of silence
The fire hisses
a wave crashes…

This then is my new home                              This then is my new home
somewhere, to someone                                the warmth spreads in my veins
these people belong                                       and with it the thought
alone in the warmth of my car                       that at last to this place
I feel like that forgotten lover                          and these people I belong

So much has been lost
so much regained…
This, then, is my new home.

March – 1980

When boy meets girl … and boy gets what he deserves

Black and White (A shorty history of betrayal) 

  1.  Dreams.

Dreams, sometimes,

of flickering farewell airport scenes

and you turning

to say you’ll stay

and that you love me


2.         A Premonition.                                                            3.         Black and White.

Pale as death in the shop window                                          Death is like love
my head aches from the dirty air,                                          a friend writes to me.
I imagine your legs wrapped                                                  Death and love rise,
around another man                                                                portentous,
and my stomach knots with fear                                            from the sea.

I am preparing.

This is nothing like death

for me.