View Issue vol. 11, no. 4
ISSN 2369-6516 (Print)
ISSN 2369-6524 (Online)
Select the author’s name to view a short biography (if supplied) and all poems by that author.
Upon the dog’s beating heart
I pray to you,
The silver-hair goddess of Israel
Do not tread where spies hurtle spears
And follow the mongrel by the coast
Through the straights and narrows
The twists and spirals of city plaza and
The men with kestrels will lay traps
The cobras in hood and fang
Strike in the sun-blasted alleyways
And the songbook that echoes upon the
Sandy plains dune after dune
Red Earth, how ye raised me
In the pillar of the sea
Sun and moon were a mirror
And the hearth prosperity
At last they caught God
and brought him to trial.
The Crown said he was odd,
the defence said he was normal.
Crown: He’s been proven toxic.
Defence: “We know he’s healing.”
Crown: He’s like an addict.
Defence: “If so, addicted to good-feeling.”
For everything, you know, he is to blame.
“Everything can be credited to his name.”
He doesn’t exist, he is an illusion.
“Let go of your mind, lose the confusion.”
And then the judge banged his gavel,
and spoke with a voice of grumbling gravel:
“Court will hear the accused himself speak.”
God looked around, old, frail and meek;
then eyes lit up, grin infringed on his jaw:
“Have you heard the one about The Law?”
Now, close your eyes
Let the air sweep over your soul
Is perceiving and penetrating
You see that
Swaying treetops and grass-blades
Who have placed?
A gyral anchor over there
Bringing the earth a gentle throb
That all the wounds of your heart
Quiet, peaceful, more than usual.
No churchgoers today.
Everyone staying home,
due to a covid virus.
My radio clock comes on,
yawn, stretch, it is 6 am.
My first waking thought is for
CBC’s Weekend Mornings.
But first the news.
As I drift in, and out,
of sleep … did I hear correctly?
Nah, not here, not on a Sunday.
Slowly, lazily, I’m fully awake.
Feet on floor, on with the day!
Once more, staying the blazes home.
Being busy, but not really tuned in.
Eventually, a nightmare
becomes … real.
Key word – “multiple”.
there’s 4, then 9, then …
22 souls gone,
in a trail of massacre,
150 kilometres long.
Bluenosers’ hearts are blue.
Each time his lips, parched,
Embrace the rim,
His soul lifts in pleasure,
Warm and fulfilled.
This is all there is
Around it is blackness
Cold and empty.
So with blistered will
He pulls at the edge,
Against his fall.
waking early tingling with
hopes wishes and dreams
two loons on the morning lake becalmed
two newspapers, a mistake?
intuition and emotion piqued
is there peace in twos?
sixty-one is family and introspection’s own
here we are self isolating
keeping safe distances
the morning after such horrific tragedy
innominate he will now mark
our Province in infamy
Portapique forever blue
a soupçon of sunshine
the hope of spring
the birthday of my bride
April heralds growing things
Earth Day two days on
and what have we now?
a quirky fox sparrow
symbol of life
fragile and frenetic
They have Jean-Luc Godard
locked up like Fort Knox
We can hear him
Through the wall
Cutting sounds from our dreams
And through a hole we observe
As he tears apart our fears
And turns the mess into invocations
A hot soup
On a cold day
I cross your name off
of a square in my planner.
Can you feel that?
All curtains and eyelids,
Were drawn closed
Tight against midnight,
Except one pair blinking,
Unfurled by either draught
Or ruptured dream.
Paws padding down
Into bottomless black,
Over backbone stairs
Pulling its liquorice shadow
That stretched obliquely,
Over the nocturnal canvas
With a painterly presence,
Among blurred ebony
And near palpable greys.
The thief of darkness
Moved with utmost grace,
Through pure breathless silence,
En passant among the other
Our tables and chairs,
Ever stalking, possibly lured,
Past the fridge mantra hum,
In quest of kibble.
Eyes like quiet wind
Stirring about, back and forth
No expression shows
The crocuses are rising!
The grass is growing!
The birds are singing!
The sun is shining!
The earth is warming!
Our spirits are lifting!
Spring has arrived
This is not contrived.
What can you say?
It is going to be a glorious day!
Murmuring pitter, patter,
Moments to Ponder.
Four eggs you’ll need,
____separating yolks from white.
A cup of butter next,
____but margarine’s alright.
Two times the sugar in with the yolks,
____three cups of flour (no more, Folks).
One large spoon of baking powder
____stirred in evenly with the flour.
Now add milk, just one cup,
____but thoroughly stir it all right up.
Yes, all the above (except egg white)
____are mixed together
____to whet your appetite.
Now beat those whites until they peak;
___then fold them in, so to speak.
At three-and-fifty let it bake;
then you’ll have in just one hour
____a “one-two-three-four cake.”
Yesterday I sat and watched
As a small boy chased the pigeons
Scavenging there for crumbs
He seemed delighted
Keeping the pigeons on the run
Laughing with glee at the excitement
Of making the pigeons take flight
It wasn’t the power
It wasn’t the wish to cause fright
It was just that when they flapped out of his reach
He knew they’d be back to do it again
And every time they did
There was a chance he might finally catch one
I had a dream one night
I not only remember the dream
I remember the feel
What it was like to take flight
To soar effortlessly over the town
The freedom that made the eagles scream
I just somehow knew what to do
How to lean just enough to take off
And how not to lean
So far over that I would just fall down
When I awoke
I couldn’t remember how I did that
I keep dreaming
Birds in trees with skies at ease
and the snows of branching trim.
For winter’s full as she gives bare wood
to starling crow’s fresh prim.
They sit upon their perches eased
and sing as earth rotates.
And winter’s lease is well thought of
as old to new abates.
Got put in a love triangle.
Had doubts whether or not to stay or go
The answer is I don’t know.
This is getting old.
Played this game for quite some time.
But I’m going to get what’s mine.
The fact is it’s time to shine.
‘Cause I know I’m fine.
To get to where I am at,
I had to look back,
On the story of this track,
That made me have a set back.
This positivity in my life
Makes me not want to fight.
I am not a fighter no more.
‘Cause this heart is no longer sore.
We have been told, we are now in the “zone”,
And for the sake of all, stay the blazes home;
Curl up in a chair, turn on T.V.,
It’s not ‘oft we are told we are no longer free.
No longer free to mix with friends;
No longer free to eat out and spend;
No longer free to camp or fish;
No longer free to share a dish.
Welcome to this new way of living,
But to stay at home is a way of giving
Others a chance to avoid the flu,
Known as Covid-19, it’s the least we can do.
Isolation, it is really no fun;
But it only works if done by everyone.
Have I not seen smiles on a lover’s face
Have I not seen love fall from grace
Have I not seen innocence in my children’s eyes
Have I not seen grins from their childhood lies.
Have I not seen sun through veil of cloud
Have I not seen rain beyond the sun’s shroud
Have I not seen green peek through the hills
Have I not seen grey accompanied with chills.
Have I not seen time grind to a halt
Have I not seen years covered in fault
Have I not seen the world bathed in glory
Have I not seen Earth embattled and sorry.
Have I not seen my life simple and strong
Have I not seen my life loud and wrong
Have I not seen tomorrow unworthy of mind
Have I not seen today alert and kind.
Have I not seen.
The slender monkeys I met were not visible.
Merely, the trees rustled through the middle with
A small commotion passing along a series of trees,
A pendulum of arms and legs and tails.
The tiny monkeys swung up and down the branches,
Dipping down one and reaching up into the next,
As if tossing themselves onto ocean waves
That never give way, only roll over.
Like children at the jungle gym and climbing bars,
Hands moving, searching, touching – their eyes alone
Counselling caution, like angels not wanting
The universe to wake up yet.