Άννα 3

Part of a series on the wisdom of άννα v, from whom I am learning about the wisdom of age

Greek to English, then to me,

Her ideas without sophistry.

Can I listen in present tense

Without destroying her tale’s essence.


It’s not translation that I seek,

To understand tales for the meek.

She writes her summary of each month,

What was learned and what to punt.


Just like a diary, that’s for sure,

Her writing makes me beg for more.

Each summary of some days gone by,

I listen closely and wanna cry.


Άννα 2

Part of a series on the wisdom of άννα v, from whom I am learning about the wisdom of age

What is it ’bout strength of character,

Well first of all, s’not in our nature,

To listen to the elderly,

‘Cos one day soon this will be me.


To hear reflections on life gone by,

Is not to reference “pie in the sky”,

Her intentions are for our well being,

So don’t dismiss them as obscene.


Basically it’s about her love,

Gifts she’s received from God above.

To hear her stories we are blessed,

Real truths revealed which pass the test,

Of wisdom learned, so quite profound,

To stop us going round and round.


Part of a series on the wisdom of άννα v, from whom I am learning about the wisdom of age

Listen to her tale of life,

Devoted Mum and faithful wife.

Her Harry buried in the ground,

A marble monument upon his mound.


We listen to her many story’s

Of pain and suffering, miraculous glory.

I could listen to her all day long,

Exposing these might be quite wrong.


But then again, there’s lessons here,

Reveals her story’s without fear,

These fables are told in the present,

And for her grandkids of Greek descent.

Gone To The Dogs

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Joe loved to follow the doggies. Greyhound doggies.

The Dapto dogs down Wollongong way were a favourite. He followed the form, got hot tips from other factory workers, but couldn’t always get to the TAB to put his wager on. Joe worked shifts in the wallboard plant.

At his work station he looked across 6 metre lengths of wallboard as they passed two by two under the glare of fluorescent lighting. The lights were set to provide an oblique glancing glare on the surface of the sheets to show any imperfections. Thousands of Australian consumers have Joe and his mates to thank for the smooth perfection of their wall and ceiling sheeting.

It was a low skilled, shit boring job.

As the cold night crept into the plant running 24 hours a day, shifts changed at the various stations in the plant. At Joe’s station, he’d huddle up beside the radiant heater attached to the machinery frame. The oversized swivel office chair on which he was perched would creak as he sometimes rocked from side to side.

By two am, it was darn chilly.

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He’d’ been reading the newspaper form guide for Saturday’s races, occasionally glancing at the passing wallboard sheets, but not detecting any worthy of rejection. Miss Antwerp and Golly Gosh, looked to be good options for the sixth race based on past form.

As he imagined what he’d do with his winnings, his eyes slowly drooped, then closed.

It was the witching hour.

He sat slumped in the chair against its back, hands still holding the leaves of the form guide, fast asleep.

Being a young and thoughtful foreman, on my shift rounds I went down to chew the fat with Joe.

Bit hard to do that when he’s asleep. I had no interest in greyhound racing, but here was an opportunity to bond and give Joe a hot tip.

Sauntering up to him, I could see he was asleep.

The centre crease of the newspaper was just above his lap. Carefully I placed a Bic lighter at the top of the fold and flicked it. The click producing the yellow bluish tongue of flame didn’t wake him. I retreated behind a corner.

The ensuing fire woke him.

“What da fuc you doin’!” he roared, imagining Dante’s Inferno.

His hands dropped the separated burning leaves of the newspaper, as he leapt out of the seat dancing around trying to put out the flames.

When the flames subsided I nonchaltantly apeared from round the corner and asked,

“Hey Joe, got any hot tips for Dapto on the weekend mate?”

He looked at me before blurting out,

” You bloodi chinaman, I a know it’sa you. One day you sonofabitch I gonna get you back!”

We both chuckled.

Point made, he resumed saving consumers from imperfections in their sheets of wallboard.

Years later I eschewed the opportunity to socially signal through rehoming greyhounds.

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See the source image

We’re going to Formosa, when Wuhan Virus restraints ease. Planned a year ago plans were truncated when borders closed. Circumnavigating the isle clockwise, planning was complete, accommodation arranged, just fares to book.

Westerly visit to Quemoy from southern Kaohsiung, the whole nine yards. A year later I thought to revise our plans. Formosa, some now call it Taiwan. Unreconstructed I persist.


Brought to mind Joe a bloke from my days at Concord plaster mils. He was a loner, very a loner. He shared driving the front end loader with Max Newton. They never said g’day to one another at shift change. One left before the other arrived.

Image result for front end loader

Joe lived in his Kombi in the car park in the cross street in front of the site. Sleeping bag, spirit cooker and smell of living rough pervaded, but he was never late to work.

A month or so before a long forgotten Christmas, Joe spent a few nights courtesy of Her Majesty, locked up for drunkenness or some other minor misdemeanour. He missed his shifts, and felt the shame acutely.

Three days before Santa 🎅 was to arrive at Joe’s Kombi, he hanged himself.

He was a Maltese immigrant

Vale Joe Formosa,