5min pressing a day (#363)


Out in the forest
ancient trees
moss and fungi
one fungi stands tall
above all others

Being first to emerge

I have noticed
that every year
at about this time
we emerge here
on the same old log
amongst the moss and litter

There is a hole in the canopy
in it distant peaks
can be seen
rocky outcrops
a scattering of snow

We have never been there
laments the taller toadstool

We need a leader
that is what is lacking
in this community
it is leadership that is lacking
we need a leader
who will take us there

And it should be me

The other caps look on
never having thought of such a thing

No one says anything
except one tired looking cap
wilting on the edge of the hamlet

Whatever has gotten into your mind
we are almost nothing
a collection of filaments in the soil

I like this old log that we live on

The taller cap stands proud
it is a boring log
always here in the same place

Another cap
somewhat obscured amongst the pack
coughs and announces
excuse me
we wouldn’t survive in that rocky place

Fool! Loser!
announces the tallest cap
anyone who objects to my being the leader
rightful and proper
announce yourself now!

All remain silent

The old cap again objects
but there is only one of us
living in the soil

Then something wonderful happens
the taller cap
a parasol
curls up on the edges
lets loose a cloud
of toadstool spores
then collapses

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5min pressing a day (#362)


The belladonna do nothing
even as the couple come to sit near them
in their garden

Overhearing their comments
that the flowers seem very
this year

As if it mattered

They are perfect in every way
the Belladonna protest
do you blame us
for a faulty summer
or that the puka tree has
taking away the sky

Without asking permission

The flower is perfect
even after the caterpillars
have eaten one side
and the spiders
woven their web on the other

Looking out into the garden
seeing only themselves
vast interior landscapes

The couple have
since upsetting the Balladonna
proceeded to annoy the rose
criticising its leaves
for being spotty
the grass for being too long
the azalea
for harbouring
a dead branch
putting the dandelions nose out of joint
saying that they are in the wrong place
or that they shouldn’t be there at all

The snapdragons have rebelled in the past
and will continue to do so
a rebellion against such attitudes
supported, suprisingly
by the crocusses

The couple, alas
do not notice its coming
nor its going
the snapdragon rebellion

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5min pressing a day (#361)


Gagakbengkol and Kendhanggumulung
walking to their job
at the palace
on Monday morning

Last night I dreamed
that I was far away
in a forest of mushrooms
in Hungaria
says Gagakbengkol

I dreamed I was at sea
says Kendhanggumulung

In the forest there were also giant trees
clothed in swathes of green moss
towering above the mushrooms
my sister had a mushroom house there
a tiny one
she would sit on the verandah
watching the insects in the garden

At sea I was the commander of a ship
one moonless night
the sea anchor
was ripped from our vessel
and it broke free
we were dragged about
by currents and forces beyond our control

Steering our vessel
was to no avail

My sister would lament
for she is too often alone
once  having met a nice man
she would wait every night
for spring to come

With shoals and reefs and sandbars
to navigate
in full darkness
the darkest of darks
we were long into the night
unable to read the map
no stars by which to navigate

They fell in love
but propriety tore them apart
the nights are very long
in the mushroom forest

The nights are long
when at sea too
with no moon or stars
to guide us

Waiting, facing east
Eventually the sun will rise

The seafloor is littered
with craft larger and stronger than mine
their treasure spewed across the seabed

In the mushroom forest
it can be difficult to see
whether the sun has risen or not
no shadows to hold things apart

Gagakbengkol and Kendhanggumulung
arriving at the palace gate
look at each other and sigh
before passing through


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5min pressing a day (#360)


The kinds of people
who eat
lots of garlic
and who have no friends
except the ones who come and bother us

Everything about them

Their cake
tastes like garlic

Their ice cream
tastes like garlic

Their ginger biscuits
taste like garlic

Their laughter
seems to taste like garlic

Even in the morning
they sit around on the terrace
in front of their house
singing loudly
they seem terribly thirsty
drinking as if to stave of
death by great thirst
and laughing loudly
in a horrible way
even at this time of the day

Their singing brings
no joy
their laughter
brings only unease
attracting no other laughter
the locals close their doors and windows
pretending to be asleep

No one else laughs at their jokes
even the drunkards stay away

The locals
the introhermits
as we call them
don’t like any of it
it makes them nervous
it can’t finish soon enough
for them

All caused by an excess of garlic
they assure themselves
peeking from  behind the curtains
when it eventually falls quiet

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5min pressing a day (#359)


At the guitar shop
stringy old gentlemen
sit on the verandah
together they gaze
at the approaching
end of the day

With their guitars
six strings
three strings
two strings
or one
if there are no strings
beating out a rhythmn on the soundbox

There are always enough strings
to pluck a melody
to depict a story
and there are plenty of songs
to be said

Plucking away on their guitars
they will pluck your life out of it

The diva passes
out shopping
for shoes and sausages
pausing for a moment
as if she had stepped
in a trap

her friends all run out
as hidden in every recess
all of their stories
to fill the day
and to fill the night
more stories than what can be told
more stories than we can bear

Mr Macgonnagel
comes out of the shoe shop next door
with his bagpipes
to join the party

Everyone comes up
one by one to tell their stories
and the guitar pluckers
will pluck them out

The diva sings
and her friends
dance in a circle
a religious leader passes
deeply frowning
he carries his book

He looks as if this will create new sorrows
sings the diva
were are easing the old ones

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5min pressing a day (#358)


Two rooms
down the end of the hallway

The room to the left
is rented
by an artist

with intimate portaits
of the heart

Intricate portraits
any good scientist would be excited by what they see
everythong resembles
mixed with electron microscopic images

More importantly
they reach inside
and rip your heart out

Don’t go to that room
for it will always come as a surprise
go instead  to the room on the right
the one that we have rented
in there we have  stored
all of the things
that we don’t know what to do with

A collection of old dreams
memories and homeless affections
and all of the sad feelings
for people that you cannot help

Put all of your silly fantasies
in there
by the sash window
the one that is always left open
the wind will pick them up
and lift them as a cloud

Be aware that they are sneaky things
be sure that they don’t
come back in through the front door

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5min pressing a day (#357)


It was a regular fixture on Friday evenings
the Renggo sisters
five of them
all would take their place on the sofa
earlycomers would get the best spot
neither size nor seniority could shift them from it

First watching Hawaii Five-O
all singing the theme tune when it finished
then the excitement would begin
Andy Wibowo
would sing a song
live to air
the girls would flutter their eyes
at the television

Their mother never understood it
but she tolerated it
her man had returned after the
struggle for independance

It was a happy relationship
until Andy Wibowo announced
the love of his life
a Chinese girl
the Renggo sisters Booed
exclaiming that she wasn’t beautiful
and then went on strike
followed by a boycott
of anything to do with Andy Wibowo

Although they followed news of his honeymoon
and with great interest
the boycott remained
and remains to this day

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