Tuesday, March 31, 2009

History Falls Out of the Pages of Books

There is a place, being commitment,
the way it feels listening to nothing
when there should be a child
gurgling and bubbling and feeling
along the channels of her day –

not the silence of shallow breaths,
the question which hurries between
life and death, flowing through
the gaps of what we can accept
and what we would never wish

on anyone. Our own child, caught
between one breath and the next,
between her first birthday and
a funeral. These are events
captured by a newspaper, crystallized

is a time which flows past us –
lazy river, lazy events.
57 Ford

Blog this – coal rolling
lazy down the maw of
microchip enterprise events
happening in silicon places –
a woman’s face embedded in
the chip of cognisance,
winter white on sun blood.

It’s where we disembark,
travellers of concrete walkways
and doorways, the spits
beyond a setting sun, blood
in the rebellion of grey gutters,
music a moment in another
place we’ve always been.

Constructs continue to crumble
as time does, mendicant to
boxcars on a spur line between
intent and what really happened
in the gap of cradle and fifty-seven
years in the same factory job
making glue for idle daydreams.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour, 2009

street lights remain
on, descending flight looking
for airport flashes in star braille

and I listen for oars slipping against the sides
of time – Odysseus searching
the unknown at the point map falls off the world

because there was no entertainer light
and the Aegean murmured Poseidon’s name –
bit player in time’s chorus

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Black Widow

She’s a creative artist,
although I’m certain
she’d take umbrage
and deny it. As she’d deny

that reality can be as badly bent
as light gouging a path
through her kitchen window
in summer.

For her, the light strike point
is miles away in an emotion
and a moment.
Because her footsteps never

walked the path
she describes, her voice never
communicated with the voices she
says she heard. Yet she believes

and perhaps the god she denies
told her everything she knows about....
That the rains which
have visited west and south

are now visiting her town
and in the corners of bedrooms,
people are experiencing new
thoughts...rhythms which don’t

conform to the story she weaves –
black widow in a world
that never unfolded her way,
until she crafted the reality

seen from a rocking chair,
by a window,
in a room she doesn’t leave,
because to understand

is to control.
Even so little.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The way you look
at a field
of tulips sometimes
in June.
Nice arrangement.
Tag it to
an experience.

Walking a forest trail.
Hear water dropping
from a nick-point.
There is a form
created at contact.

And concrete and corners.
Doors. Windows.
A slash of dress
against skin.

The hand reaching
across table.
Through experience.
Through wine.
The hand signing.

And it disintegrates.
Pick-up sticks.
Bodies after the explosion.
An inability to construct.

Because you’re forever
caught in the amber moment
of explosion. And are
more parts than possible.

And there are only
words. The blood
that bleeds
from the shattered soul.
A Big Canadian Welcome

twenty poets were gathered in an antebellum square
flowerbed by the fountain –
benches by cool stone walls

(a cascade of banks, pharmacies, the general store)

and each poet wrote a poem for the scene
and for uninquisitive passing clouds –
a child’s smile caught in the memory amber of storefront glass

that feeling just on the periphery of being
a solid handshake with an event – then everyone
moved on to the corner restaurant – wine and lunch

then home again, home again, to wife and children

at 23:00h when the moon was skidding along treetops
and an owl heard the sound of a mouse in flowerbed –

(a convoy passed the square, transporting body bags,
the soiled clothes of dreams, duty and an empty soul)

it was February, on the 401, somewhere west of Trenton (or did it
begin just outside of Pickering), I began to see people standing
on bridges, looking east

I realized that another body was returning from Afghanistan –
homage to change in spite of politics –

outside of Trenton, a young man stood on a concrete guard at the side
of the highway, Canadian flag held in parade position

at the next overpass, the bridge was commandeered by EMS vehicles,
lights flashing, waiting at the beginning of
the end of the long road home for a Canadian soldier

down the highway of heroes

Monday, March 23, 2009

I want to find something to fill the spaces where echos
play hopscotch with meaning, boomerang off beige walls,
slide under the doors of stunted comprehension –

somewhere far from coffee shops, café’s in which one buys
croissants, drags the emptiness of a pocketful of minutes
to a metal chair near the sidewalk painters and the traffic –

and begins another solitary game of philosophy scrabble,
fitting meaning to pieces of broken calico memory, finding soul
in street numbers and street names, love under a tablecloth –

before another red wave begins to peck away daylight
and night staggers with me, old friend, into the alley of false
godliness, shallow truth, my ears filled with liquid cotton..

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Re: Lent

Lent – that time when waves
recede from the headland of rock

and detritus investments in
the mortal means to happiness

ebb from each touch and purchase
on the firmament of daily survival.

We scurry across beaches reduced to
sand and sunbathing environments

the occasional love affairs – sunsets
on sanguine waves suggesting

life in the Bahamas and red wine
on a porch facing true north.

And having forsaken everything
for a fraction of time we can

return like the returning tourist
fresh from the hovels of abstinence

singing the revival of the latest religion
in the church political choir.

I am thy retail life and thou shall have
no other fashion gods before me.

Do this in remembrance of the prosperity
which you dream of and credit to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I will sit under the apple tree. I will watch the clouds.
It will be late May and the blossoms on the apple tree
will have been kissed by bees and sundry insects. I will
remember our making love and the importance of
full moons in June. I will reach for a drink and find
the hollow elbows of shadows. I will try to remember
events discarded along the road time uses. I will wallow
in roadside café’s and bars. I will dream technicolor
dreams of automobiles dressed in the fins of ‘57. I will
construct and deconstruct philosophies for five o’clock
in August. I will sing the songs ants and grasshoppers
memorise in childhood. Clouds will be stratospheric
waves. The moon will be a pebble on a beach of stars.
I will be the child who never grows up. I will play
the song of words forever. I will twist events into a
Gordian knot and call it Saturday. I will drink to that.

I will ignore the creaking doors in my mind. So fragile,
that space between a summer breeze and snow. So
soft the absence from the hard spaces of contact with
gravel roads twisted into pain between farms and
farmland. Villages and villagers. The debarkation
point for dreams and an alley where sleep escapes
the sleeper. So hard to take up arms against entropy.
So difficult to change the way light falls on a kitchen
table. So enervating to pick stones from a secluded
beach and call them castle. Give them the importance
of safety. So impossible to bend the straight line of
memory until it remembers not lies, not reality, but
rather potential, that point before, yet still going
forwards, that point where no matter how hard we
want it, there is no choice. The sidewalk has ended
and the road is the next step.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Trips From Freedom

For the tourist, there is no vision on the tour bus,
just streets in linear array and snapshots of a statue,
a door, a window and the floor leading to graves
which have been honoured in ever school book as history.

For the tourist, the tour guide is the history book,
the perception which should, somewhere down the alleys
of time, bring the tourist back to beaches of white sand,
a drink at the swim-up bar, all inclusive, with sunshine.

For the tourist is a moment in a long-run play,
which ignores the bit players selling cigarettes and
chocolate bars at a bus stop – the bit players who are
arrested and mistreated in places the tour bus avoids.

Even totalitarian governments can be painted with
broad strokes in a sympathetic way – as long as the doors
which appear in the tourist’s photo album of time
in paradise – as long as those doors are always locked.

Friday, March 06, 2009

When You Expect and When I Don’t Deliver

Call it fate
though fantasy is more exact.
That tendency to
peer into an unrealized future
and construct an infrastructure
of events.
Then expect the realization of speculation.

Gamble. Buy a lottery ticket. Expend time
on the Ouija board. Pick up stix
and toss then into readable pattern
as though words are never enough.
And waiting out time is too long a time.

The sun setting will never be a surprise.
That cloud positioned just so
will be. Because in the world
of future telling there are no clouds
just events in harsh sunlight.
Noon. There are no shadows
because shadows have their own life.

The world between ‘I thought’ and ‘I know’
that events will unravel to the tune
of ‘this is what I knew would happen’.

As though time has no personality except the one imprinted
on it by the breezes of our passing.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Politics and Love

are inseparable. Just as
I could not imagine anyone
else sharing a bed with you
so I can’t imagine anyone
running this country who’s
not created in the image
of my lover my God. In
loving we’re always two
steps away from losing
everything just as in
politics we’re always two
policies away from being
torn from the soil of our
flesh. Armies come armoured
in tanks and Cupid
carries an Uzi.

Sunday night in Canada
NASCAR for Los Vegas
clogged in cautions runs late.
Into the Tournament of Hearts
final. The hell with rubber
on asphalt. Give us
elementals – stone and
frozen water. Give us
erratics moved by ice.
And give us a six-pack of Blue.