the wedding rice

full of promise©papa osmubal

so full of promise©papa osmubal

the wedding rice
alan jefferies

Still eating the wedding rice
months after the big day.
Not that we needed to, mind you,
there was just so much of it,
a year’s supply maybe.

Remember the night we spent
filling tiny sandwich bags,
neatly wrapping each with crisp
yellow ribbon?

It’s not hard to imagine
there’s still a lot of sweetness there,
cooked into these pearly grains of rice
saved from the summer,
so full of promise,
so full of love.



i leading the way©papa osmubal

i leading the way©papa osmubal

alan jefferies

You came back
and wanted to buy ice
for some reason
which seemed obvious to me at the time.
I knew where you could buy ice,
at a place just around the corner —
there were great big blocks of it sitting inside the factory.
So we went there,
I leading the way
and you intent on following me.

When we arrived I ran into an old friend
who was there for a similar reason.
We were both surprised to see each other,
but that wore off after a few minutes
and we were left looking around at these huge sheets of ice
hanging around the walls.

You soon became one of the workers in the factory,
looking after the ice, acting like you’d been doing it
all your life.
And that was the last I ever saw of you.
I looked for the ice factory
around the corner sometimes
but never could find the same place again.
No one had heard of it.

Someone suggested that it might have melted,
but I knew that nothing could be that simple.


rainy days ©papa osmubal

rainy days ©papa osmubal


alan jefferies

Sky is raining like it has
nothing better to do.

indolent rain,
hands on hips

naked to the waist rain
forgetful rain
rain that forgets it’s own name

rain that whistles
while it works
that spits infinitives
that drifts
that dives
that aims at the heart

rain that drums along your spine
with tiny fingertips of rain

indolent rain
hands on hips,
naked to the waist

as if to say

leaves ©papa osmubal

leaves ©papa osmubal

as if to say

alan jefferies

                        i.m. Mark

It was not long after we met
we were taking a short cut through the park
I guess it was autumn, there were great big piles
of dried leaves everywhere

We were arguing about money
as I remember– not what to do with it
rather what to do without it

When suddenly you reached down
picked up a giant armful of dried leaves
and held them trembling
6 inches from my face
as if to say…

mysteriously my room

of lost childhood ©papa osmubal

of lost childhood ©papa osmubal

mysteriously my room

alan jefferies

Mysteriously my room
is filling up with hair,
short curly tufts of hair,
long straight strands of the stuff.

Everyday I sweep it
up from the floor
and everyday a little more
hair on my bedroom floor.

I guess it’s all my own
but I can’t be entirely sure.
One day I’ll need a broom
just to get through the door–

then I’ll know what to do

I’ll get into the business
of miraculous hair–
I’ll sell it for money
and stop being poor

and I’ll live like that
happily,  forever more.

the first face

chinese woman ©papa osmubal

chinese woman ©papa osmubal

the first face

alan jefferies

Today is the first day
for so many days
that I feel a face
on my face

Today will be known
as Monday,
the morning of the first face.

don’t feed the birds

ducks ©papa osmubal

ducks ©papa osmubal

don’t feed the birds

alan jefferies

Don’t feed the birds
that’s what the letter said
We, the Body Corporate
prohibit you from
feeding the birds.

He didn’t care
he sat all day on the roof
in his dressing gown
a bucket full of bread by his side

the birds seemed to like it
the skinny ones, that is
the fat ones could no longer make it
to his fourth floor balcony window.

While the hallway filled with letters
threatening court action
a firing squad at dawn.

He didn’t worry
as long as they kept coming
swooping over his head like the spokes
of a giant wheel

showering the suburb with the shit
his neighbours now held him responsible for.