Tuesday, February 24, 2015


We talk over the phone
you offering me
the latest in exciting
at a fabulous low price.
I say that I want
to see the offer
in writing
so I give you
my email address
and I never hear from you again.
Afterwards I think on this
and realise that
it is theatre.
I play the consumer
and you the
devoted servant.
Promising, for some reason,
 to make my life better
and easier and more fun.
While we both know
your bosses just
want my money.
I wonder how much
you get paid for
your friendly voice.
Not very much
I'm guessing.
So we are both
in this together
although that's
not how it seems.
And we are encouraged
 to not feel that way.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hemmed In

I sit in our small car
while all around us
great lumbering  SUVs
gingerly inch back and forth
trying to fit into carparks
made for the likes of us.
It is Saturday so the ritual
abasement at the alter
of consumerism is happening.
Headache inducing signs
encourage us all to buy THINGS
and make our lives better.
So that when we die
we'll have a bigger pile
than that of our neighbour.
Whoever that guy is
I think he's that old man
with the little car,
seems unhappy all the time.
Look at him using his phone
 what a brick!
Phoning my children
to see how they are,
I have to leave a message
because they're at work.
On a Saturday, which is just
another day, now. The rockstar
economy we have
waits for no one, it
will leave you rolling
in the tide
of the rising
if you stop to think.
© Hamish Mack

Sunday, November 9, 2014


We are at the shopping mall,
in a big box store
killing time,  walking aimlessly,
when I think that I see
Chewbaca down one aisle.
So I go back to look
because it probably isn't him.
It is a young man all in
flouro accented black clothes
a young woman very tightly.
Her long, honey coloured hair
enfolds them both and
lies along her arm over his shoulders.
And fake fur on her jacket
made the illusion I saw.
He is a big solid guy and she is
stretch fabric slim
but now she is the strong one,
 his posture is one of
defeat and he looks bereft
and she supports him.
I have to look away,
 the tenderness is too private
to be stared at.
Then a little later
we are buying fancy soap
and I see the person who
pushed me to the edge of breakdown
in a workplace a long time ago.
She is limping and has put on a little weight.
She does not see me because
she is gazing up into the face
of her partner who is supporting her
as they slowly shuffle past.
There is real joy on her face
and red patches shine on her cheeks.
It looks like this may be
the first time she has been
out of bed for a while.
I watch them go and feel nothing
beyond an appreciation of
the bond between them.
I do not wish her harm
life will scar us all

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Cats

The cats in my neighbourhood
are all on edge this morning.
Climbing up trees with
no backward look except
 to tell me that they
haven't the time to explain.
Or pacing the street,
counting out something
under their breath.
Walking straight past,
no stopping for
chatting today.
Black and white cat
protests that she's
lost her place because
of my yapping and
really she's got
somewhere else to be.
Tabby cat usually
so dainty
and easily led
is climbing up here
and has no need of me today.
All on edge, all on their way
to their positions, because.
Something is up.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


The house that belongs
to the man I talked to once
is being renovated.
It stands now, open to
the weather, no outside walls
just a roof and internal walls
with no coverings. the
bare bones of that place
showing as though in an x-ray.
He told me that his wife
and him liked historical houses
which interested me
because his neighbours house
is very grand
and I thought it must
have been the landowners house
in the past.
He agreed and said
that his own house has
the old horse stable
at one end and showed
me the gateposts of
the former driveway.
So all this history
is in that bare bones house
underneath the coverings,
on the beams and
Two by Fours we can
now see. 
The house, like a life,
gets added to
 just by living in it.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Word For My Generation

The word for my generation
has to be depression.
We've had it or know
someone who's had it
or got it and whatever the
relationship, we'll
never be the same.
It's not just our minds
that are involved.
It's the whole economy
which we tended for years
and years like it was
our own nest, our
own eggs. Only to
have it turn on us
 and leave us behind
while it accelerated away.
No looking back, eh?
And all that we did wrong
was to believe what we were told
that hard work and honesty
would see us through.
While we were disassembled
and restructured and
even repositioned to
a brighter future.
And as we left amid
the tears (and jeers)
there was no talk of
depression waiting down the road.
No talk of anything much
because, anyway
they wouldn't hear.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Coot

The Coot stands in
the same place
every morning
to announce that
she owns the pond.
"I am Coot of Coot's pond.
Do not try to take it from me
or I will drink your blood,
eat your eyes
and the wails of your young and
the cries of your mate
will be my lullabies!"
Her haka is the fiercest
and my son calls her
Aggro Coot.
I have heard the squeals
of a water rat who got
too close to her chicks
 and have seen her in
stand offs with ducks and even a swan.
Her obsidian eyes glittering
as she swore at them
full of menace and rage.
Yet with her chicks
she is the mother of dreams.
Calling them all 'cheep cheep"
and covering them with her wings
as they  fit into her nest
on a log, in the pond.
Yet it is the metre long
 silent submariner eel
who has the last say
with her cheep cheeps.
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