On cue, the magpie pagoda

Mar 2007
Digital collage
114.5cm (45") x 63.5cm (25")

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I should have been a fireman
(Psychometrics said it was so)
_ _ _

This evening as I make my meal I will drink a toast to you.
Drink to your health, hope you are well, and that life's been good to you.

Most evenings I drink this toast.

Sometimes I even drink two.

And after eating up all my food,

I will drink another toast or two,

And should I end alcoholic,

And should I end alcoholic, I will blame it all,

And should I end alcoholic, I will blame it all, on you...
...What is all this activity for, what is it meant to do -
How does my liquid good intent
In any way benefit you?
No arcane mechanism connects
Butterfly with storm -
or you.
That dullard's excuse for 'reasoning'
Well, simply it will not do!

Perchance the spirit befuddles -
Perhaps reason slews, and loosens a screw,
That's as it may be...,
But this I know to be true;
The fridge grows emptier, lighter
As my waistband wanders askew -
And so if perchance the spirit febuddles
I will certainly perhaps blame it
on you!
_ _ _

Promethean conflagrations,
From crematorium to fireplace
Conflate with a douser's deluge -
I should have been a fireman,
Psychometrics said it was so.

Had I been your fireman
I'd have fought your fires for you,
Doused every unwanted blaze,
Or kindled kindly flames
To end your winter chills -
Warming your heart, your cod roe
With my potent chilli sauce.
I ponder this as I make my meal, while drinking a toast to you.
I could have been, perhaps should have been,

Your fireman,

Making myself useful in kitchen
And who knows where,

Doing my fireman's duty;
Coddling your mushrooms,
Or quenching, oh over, and over again, quenching, quenching your burning bush!

...But then again,

Let neither of us forget,

Didn't light up your cookery book
Or thaw your frozen heart,
And your burning bush, well,
It never burned for me...

I never was your fireman -
Extinguishing infernos,
Broiling up your roast -

So now

All I can do

Is make this


(Words - Aug, Sept, Oct, Dec 2018, Jan 2019, July 2021)