March 17, 2017

The Uniting

Tony's Barber Shop. What neighbourhood does not have a Tony's Barber Shop. The price caught my attention first. A board in front, $21 for a men's cut. Skeptical I turned to see a shop full of people. We're either all cheapskates or the place is good. Hopefully the latter.

Sit there waves the man who appears in charge. Tony, thinks I. No his name is Rudy and he does own the shop. Has since coming here in the late eighties. A Ukrainian conscript performing his central service in the Volga suddenly unemployed by glasnost. He and fellow soldiers made a run for a western country and Australia was the beneficiary. Rudy bought the shop from Tony.

Rudy has three chairs. His is by the window where he can greet customers, direct who goes where, and can keep an eye on the register. Cash only. There's a fourth barber's chair at the register. A cross dresser is seated there waiting for a shave. He's dressed to the nines in a fine short dress with fish net stockings and gold stilettos. A bright pink wig is in his lap, waiting to be popped on once his head is shaved bare. He has to wait his turn as he only trusts Rudy’s blade. Rudy informs him I am next and then him, even though I was there after him. No worries he says in a thick Russian accent.

The chair to Rudy’s left, the centre chair, is controlled by an Indian woman. Her bright clothes and cheery banter adding to the brightness started by cross dresser guy. She gets the boys (no girls come here) and short men. Even then she has to stand on a stool to reach the top of the handsome Laotian teen she is trimming. His mother is trying to keep a younger brother out of trouble, her broken English struggling to say the words, older brother filling in the blanks for her.

The last chair is run by a Moroccan. He's a quiet man, quick with scissors and razor. He has completed two heads to one each from his colleagues. He has a big toothy grin. Each tooth with dark empty gaps between. His dark eyes taking in all. A happy hum.

Beside him his next customer, an old Greek man. Another Russian, though staidly dressed, me, and between me and Laotian mom, a Jew.  He owns the jewellery shop up the road. This week he hung going out of business signs and a for sale notice.

“I hope you aren't selling to the Chinese” says the Greek. They're coming in. Two weeks ago they took over the Church. Took down all the English signs and put up their language. A debate was entered. I, now in Rudy’s chair sat fearfully still while Rudy opined about the merits of the Chinese coming to the neighbourhood while scraping bits of errant hair from my back, necks, and jowls. His opinions were met with concurrence and disagreement.

The debate fell into awkward silence. India woman broke it: “They took the derelict Uniting Church and fixed the bell tower, painted the trim and doors, fixed the landscape, replaced the fence, and paved the lot. They have advertising in all our languages inviting us to their Church. They are offering free English lessons. They might be Chinese but they are uniting. They will be good neighbours. They are just like us.

And we all agree. A shop full of immigrants uniting in our acceptance, feeling welcome with each other in this land. 

October 11, 2016


There, is this place
Wrapped in ornate card
A thin piece of leather
The remains of a spirit sacrificed
To seal this journal
With the pages stories
Strung together
In layers of truth
And lies
And misconceptions
With love
And heart break
My children are all within
The ones I grew with
Battled and defended
Profound the dangers
We prevailed to slay or allay
The haunting of lineage
My children grown from the uncertainty
My doubts never of them
To blossom their stories
And my children mine
The blessing beyond reproach
All love and support
For me and beyond
My truths hidden from you
A shield protection
To bring you forward
With lineage blessings
God’s gift for me, for you, for your mother
Shared and unshared
Supported as best I can
Where some say selfishly
To fill the emptiness within
With children from my day
Those who know me and quietly understand
Who will love me and will stand with me to fight the ghosts
That will close my pages
Bound I am
To you all
This tome of tales
Romances, comedies
Love stories, and tragedies
They stand the test
While these pages continue their long purposed turn
I will stand for just
I will live for pure
I am here
Your brother
Your father
All this love


it niggles at me constantly
sometimes great sometimes small
how oh how did I get it so wrong
that anyone could stoop so low
so to threaten their own
to derive failure over another.

yet will you ever be satisfied
never says I
the hunger and thirst to get even
compels your very existence
at the detriment of all others
and then you wonder where the love went

I watch from afar trapped
my very blood waning while I remain
a helpless now hapless soul
confirmed in your very actions
the type of person you truly are
I know then my steps were correct

he may perish and never again will I see him
penalised by deception and greed
wronged by hatred left so long gone
I ache for you cause I was so wrong
were you not a good person at one time
where did that person go?

July 18, 2016

The Dud

To have bombed
And not connected
No failure of launch
The failsafe switches
An immediate
Safe turn to off
To code them on again
Requires two keys
Impassive peace reins then
A truce beholden
The blue aftermath
A first response
Classically conditioned
Learned and placated
The dud turns within
Sensitive the role
Perspicacity the valour side of better

May 22, 2016



Double take again, dis

Lessened of course to an insult

With added function

Eliding to discourse untended

If intended then disturbed

Is that multiplicity of incensed

thought -

you understood the collective figurative

triangulated n=1 though there is no won

equals more

as do other geometries

this simple slight

of(f) hand

adds to the dimensional focus

albeit latitudinal it may go in every direction

sort of(f) course

your approach a disciplined reproach

designed to cause me to die

right away 

if possible but there’s added disturbance

this truth 

the distance much greater

than geographical discoursed

the life force that moves me

is also the one that will pull

this ethereal body from the precipice black pull

of vengeful tactic of damning abnormality

to factual normality 

this joy

di-folddis fold?

nay 501 and then some











May 03, 2016

Jekyll my Hyde

well then
or not
how can I put into words
when the words cannot be there
how can I contain the hurt
when to release would expose me
my being my rules
these bind me together
tightly strung
emotionally aware
emotionally bereft
this mortal coil varies
unique among each of mortality
thwarting connection
by rendering low the being  
well then
no use crying further
to move forward is an imperative
unwrapped and unwound
the wounded left a flower placed
apology does not seem suited
though it is tried
a hollow render of this reflective self
and reasoned excuse an unrepentant loss
yet nevertheless

April 16, 2016


Been at it so long
So hard. Too hard. 
All that energy. 
For what
There was effort
I've done my best
And I sure hoped it was enough. 
It wasn't of course
For everyone
They the relentless
Never content. 
Until the tired
Becomes unending sleep
I am tired  
Too tired
For now.