Friday, May 25, 2007

Random Thoughts While Responding to Alarms

I've never measured my steps
with the exact science of a mathematical sentence

not on these streets so far from where I was born
not having jumped through the hoop of change
so often that there is a blur between coal chutes and ATM's

I was torn from my homeland by circumstance
and given a country and a culture to learn

perhaps I've been in metamorphosis too long
to understand one equation from the next
one foot placed on concrete the other on a dissolving shoreline

just as one arm is placed across your heart
the other giving birth to another verse

today as I sit at the security desk alarms flash
by in ever-changing rhythms disolving to reform again
like this city which renews and grows with cancerous intent

the distance between my workplace and home is measured and set
the distance between my loves is variable and calculated with potential

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Poet Staggers

downtown and words fail away
in the same way the slope in stages negotiates
its route to flood plain awash
in swallows/finches/the stadium
wave into May

this path follows the river/peeks out
at gravestones of meadows become
corn fields becoming subdivisions
with their severe formality to line/function
expanding tax base

I snap photos of mid-metamorphosis/there are
no words/just muddy path/fading
trilliums in tree toes/faux
kame hillocks dotting the ripped
flesh of sprawling gravel pit

we imagine downtown on aging continental ice
shivering winds tracing grey snow
from Whitehorse to Albany/a crowd
of carrier pigeons fingering the downdrafts
of a wordless world

in silence we hike home

Monday, May 21, 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dear C/I Dreamt

last night ice boxes danced down
coal chutes/autumn’s jaws opened to
release/a windfall of leaves and we
somersaulted into a sea of ethereal events

do you remember the CPR rhythm to
resuscitate your laughter on Haliburton
dock/me chasing you into retreating tide
one Nova Scotian summer night

how I cried when L & M were born/
perceived no other joy beyond
the realization unfolded time had paused
a moment/before resuming to morph

I write notes in Sauble sands
this spring day/I have become
a book/pages well-thumbed by experience
and downtrodden hope

I awoke at three wondering if
a beach dreams highlands/hears the faint
conversations of its voice
riding winds falling from

those glacial/urban/pyroclastic heights

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Fiddle

where has the north sea gone
and icebergs negotiating whales and whaling songs

I’m east and I’m west and I’m climbing the rock

there is no reason not to believe Brighton Rock or St. John’s
the love songs of cod in the Arctic Sea

we’ll eat cod tongues as the sun scratches
sharp rocks of Labrador/the waves of Newfoundland

and plays hop-scotch across the mining field of Wales

I am a melody and a memory in amber chords/I am
the tides of St Andrews by the Sea flowing endlessly

to battle the foundation of a newfound country

where has the fiddle gone
and history/the lyrics to its convoluted song

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Note to the Hyacinth Lady

The last snow has been
stolen from sere woods
across Lackner Boulevard
where I find trilliums and jack-in-the-pulpits
impatient (and moss slowly eating horizontal
trees limbs). Hyacinths are old
news. Geese protect goslings. Lounge
chairs crowd the deck along with
the cleaned barbecue. Grackles
have returned to reclaim the back
yard cedars. The snow shovel
hangs in the garage. The snow blower is stored
off to the side and last fall’s unfinished
refinishing projects have room
to sprawl where a car has so seldom been parked.
I am one year closer to the hope I can
retire. The kitchen needs a phoenix’s touch
as does the outside of the house. It’s eight
o’clock and the sun has yet to set. What time
is it now in Afghanistan? Today in the Sunday
Sun there was an article about our lost
compatriots. For each death was a picture
of them young on a black and white beach
riding a tricycle or posing for hockey
team photos. My mother will be eighty-eight
this year. I grew up with her stories
of the war in Slovakia. She never forgot
the price of exaggerated dreams nor how
people can be defined not by who or what
they are but by agenda and the need to consume
everything the eye can see. She says
this is history again and again and again. I will
retire this year. The days are warming
and lengthening. The gales of
will find me prepared.

Friday, May 04, 2007

A Forgotten Conversation We Must Have Had

Mostly meaning is a place-setting of words
while weighty matters occur around
the event of cobbling together a sentence to explain.

(When nothing touches or feels.)

Then we parse back to genesis, congratulate ourselves,
sleuths discovering that need. A poem, a book,
the way a table is slanted to the door just so, just so.

And the wave rises again because all waves are forgotten
once they reach the shivering beach. Only the pebbles
and sand retain a fading memory of having been

at a place and at a time. (For a while, no more than that.)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I no longer believe the language of anything but trees

I no longer believe the language of anything but rocks

I no longer believe what my eyes see/they lie

we can create anything we imagine but the clouds
will not change/the sidewalk still exercises between
squat and steroid buildings/a table by the water hears
the difference in the songs of evapotranspiration
and ice/your voice draws me to you

I will no longer look for snow in summer clouds

I will no longer be influenced by the handcuffs of money

I will no longer regret each moment lost to anything but the plan
The Seasons in Two Rhythms

the sun isn’t dim (by five) on falling
snow and drifts lashed to rising boulevards
(so far north from forgetfulness)

at eight o’clock Kitchener waits
for the sun to set on greening lawns
and the months of despair

we’re again fifteen (or younger still)
and growing to meet the hours becoming
days dancing their memory dance

we can forget that in our bodies October
leaves still fall to be picked up by a restless
wind and that promise of lasting snow

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

For Those Shadows Beckoning

The poltergeist moves amongst us
pyroclastic as though
rebuilding the past.

A lost insect eating through onion skins
it lacks sea legs. I’ve memories of drinking Coke
on a Georgian Bay beach.

That was before this and what
happened in between. A mountain
has grown from the coarse summer sand.

Such obstacles abound. No voices I have
can scale these realities. Rely on fire
and brimstone. Rely on rain and wind

to return us to the beach. In time.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007