Vol. 2, No. 7
she is thin and beautiful
graceful as water
it flowed around her knees
undulating over the bicycle’s wheels
Will you meet with me
To fish once more in
Before our solitary deaths?
Will we meet again before
the final task
Near Jerusalem’s Beautiful Gate
Before the city is razed to ash
….Smoke rolls over the walls
….In the dark night weeping…
….Sweeping emotions take flight
….Sparks illuminate the dolorous sight
Lift from my lips
the thought in my head
Sediment, kelp… boulders
of tundra & time, along shoreline…
Sand and Surf, sloshy reverb of suds –
applause for beached ramparts of castles –
The fortifications, stockade… moat or causeway;
Driftwood palisades, cartilaginous shells
pillaged of pearls, like bright
Oracles who sizzle over waves
From decadent hull-beam remnants,
Aging timber of rib & mast…
minstrels rage after Muse on Brigantine decks;
the crashing swells of thunder &
lips of rain.
Speckled skins show age;
past prime, undesired… yet,
It’s all become pretty muddled; too tightly woven
But I want to get down to it –
The bottom of it.
Trying to find the end piece so I can start to unwind,
Trace back a ways.
Reminded of an attempt to untie a knot in the chain
………..of my necklace.
Disbelief at how it could’ve gotten so impossibly
While sitting cautiously in my jewellery box.
Don’t know where to start,
I’ll jump in.
Pulling and yanking any way.
Simply want to see how it comes apart.
Instead, I’ve chipped a nail in the battle.
It’s just as well.
god spoke through me
told of two forces
the one above
the one below
i am in between
pulled both ways
sometimes too grounded
sometimes too cosmic
do not judge
just be aware
You come in the night…
I lay asleep
on damp sheets,
feel a faint
breeze from the
come in the
as a lover,
In the break of day,
It wasn’t your moon, nor mine,
or the cow that flew above it
out and about, it’s covering me
not with cheese, you ask?
with misery as I sit here,
the tittering of the stars cast a light upon the sky
for it is I, sittin’ up here,
waitin’ for the love of day to come back on home
it wasn’t your ocean, nor mine,
or the fish that hover below the sea
through the black vessels,
the whispering waters
I swam for hours,
sinkin’ deep to the bottom
but it wasn’t you I was searching for
it was me
It wasn’t your sky, nor mine,
or the clouds that float by easily
the puffiness absorbs me in every way
but day passes throughout to night
and soon, I feel my eyelids grow heavy,
my heart beat steady
as I close these eyes, with you by my side,
in my mind
and drift off to sleep
Your peace dove
Coos alone, on the fragile limb
Of the tree you have left empty with thirst.
Your ammunition soars
Into the sky, and your children
Are wishing for peace.
When all birds come to roost
Your children they lay in fear,
And yet, against all odds and despite limits
They see stars you can not imagine.
And one day they will end
The wars of their fathers,
And their sisters will
Rejoice, and all prayers,
Will say, thank you for
I have held a mirror to your skies,
reached into this upside-down world,
dipped my toes in your clouds,
splashed your rain on my face.
You are, at once, a pebble in my hand
and the ceiling of my mind.
The curve of your oceans
meeting Hale-Bopp on the horizon,
the Helix Nebula as your halo.
I sense your spinning, your hurtling,
your reckless careening.
I, the privileged
and you, the hallowed
that laws of physics grounds me to.
But it is not gravity that keeps me here–
it is my clinging,
as to a mother’s bosom,
into which I weep,
for I cannot walk into your forests
nor traverse your rivers.
I cannot save one life
or even stand upon a podium.
This poem is all I have to give.
I share my wife with other men.
It wasn’t my choice. It was hers.
That was the only thing
I was unwilling to share.
So she was taken from me.
Well, she decided to leave.
How much did I help that choice?
Without being aware,
Now she shares her husband
With other women.
She and I share only
The children we created together,
And the hurts we caused each other.
A lonely old painter in his cap and his shawl
Leaving his mark on the world –
Knowing his paintings say it all.
Only matchstick bones
Save him from falling down
But one fine day he’ll be right as rain
Then he’ll paint the town.
There’s a man outside painting in the rain
One eye’s blind the other is pained.
He works night and day it’s all the same
Painting sketches and rainbows in
the pouring rain.
Street people stop to watch his fair trade
A single dollar’s all he’s made.
He sees water coloured shadows
As people walk past thinks rainy day
People walk too fast.
A nearby café’s safe and warm for him
Trades his precious art work for a pint of gin
to the first star that comes
curious to watch our rain
(all poems need some kind of rain)
I’m walking in the rain to the Public Gardens
early, before anyone
else is on the streets
rain makes dog shit look like hummus,
red flowers wine-sea purple
snails stick their heads out
so as not to drown
when the others come
walking their dogs
snails will get shat on anyway
the river escapes me
upstream and down
the foothills flatten
on the passenger seat
the van drives me
feels the shape of the earth
my dog out the window
smells invisible colour
Curbside rendezvous, international departures
the fog panting an anxious perimeter around us
there, we identify the red car up ahead
a plainclothes RCMP officer and his counterpoint
signal us in strained Acadian dialect
a French Connection you meet with dainty English
belly stuck out, pregnant and proud
heavy with the greater good, the New Deal
your hands surround the precious package
and suddenly a winged beast roars through the air
spooking a little man from Finland
the Mountie draws near, he bends the officer’s ear
and a second car creeps from the mist, time to go
hugs and handshakes, just like any airport scene
then we’re rushing off with that little box
decayed discs from fading theatres of influence
records of dying lands
where Rwandan mothers keep their children alive
while neutered men weep round cairns of genocide
Back in the car we lock the doors
press our scalding mouths together
your treasure of African song on that swanky belly
everything becoming inside you
amidst the tired planes rumbling home
one shimmering winged beast cries out
and climbs over the curvature of the Earth
up! up! through an ecstasy of cloud
Whispers in the opium den
Make claim that Shangri-La is buried in my backyard.
Somewhere, incongruous, concealed by a mountain of blight.
The first expedition to find it
Meanders past a Titan’s cradle in the earth,
An omen for the Byzantines and broken urns that lie beyond.
The second journey is without guile or merit
And the natives I find there are swollen and clamorous.
But the third venture sees summit beyond a labyrinthine path,
Made all the more devious by endless siren tributaries.
At the Matterhorn crest lay bodies resplendent in birth-state.
I descend the mottled road, past a copse of sheltering trees
And sentinel stones; standing like uncarved Moai.
Down to where still water kisses flawless shore.
I tarry for as long as can.
Fearing that I will never again be content.
Knowing that I have discovered Paradise.
With the terrible epiphany post-script voice:
“I can’t stay here forever.”
like sounds that screech out
to reach the ears embedded in the mountains
like small foothills and potholes and coves
those hidden wonders
murmurous and cooing
like those solar vibrations that humble the earth
and rattle our sediment into stones
it’ll be thread unraveling
through some dark pine land, it’ll come to you
that gentle bungalow, dusty soul, will travel
with windy reeds and seeds until it falls over
captures you and cares. wet soil, warm roof.
this courage, this courage!
to secure you into known
and shown and trusted
capture you and care
The rain spits down hard
as my heart does for her
the one I need
the one that for I breathe
and sleep eludes me, for she
is all I see when my eyes retreat
Without her love the minutes are immense
Today I picked Queen Anne’s lace,
golden rod and pink clover,
a milkweed pod
ripe for its release
and a sprig of wild grapes.
Bound them with three blades of wild grass.
Red sumac smoldered on granite slabs
I dropped my honour flowers
into the churning core
of the Wabosini
its river journey
it was gone.
deceptively nice but then
permeating eau de mildew
through wafer thin ceilings and walls
amusement park appliances
darth vader fridge, volcanic oven
washer and dryer shuttle launch
relentless overhead noise
clanging, thumping, stomping
a lumbering heavy heeled walk
things dropping on carpetless floors
for five hundred
is it the tv remote
or the hard landing cat on all fours
music blaring under raised voices
family feud, slamming doors
in the early wee hours
blood pressure rising
red eyes, dark circles and bags
jarred to the bone
spells, curses, hexes
and many a four lettered cuss
several ignored complaints
slum landlords r us