Thursday, 19 December 2013

Absence a Presence

The way the air saturates,
flailing out of the mist,
grey into white, fog into sleet,
slush at my feet.

Face stings in the cold,
fresh to my touch,
hair soaked to my scalp,
brain freezing again.

Soaked to my knees.
but my parka is down,
and keeps the core warm.
My cocoon in the storm.

The waters rush like
a thousand whales breaching.
White foam in the night,
no seagulls, no screeching.

I feel your absence a presence
a comfort this wet that
collects at my boots,
keeps me sloshing around.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

My Mind Takes Place

Billie Holiday was on the radio.
And I was having a hard time
making my mind take place.
You know, I have my reasons
for the ongoing participation
in this experiential sequence.
Especially, since some (so called)
time has passed.

Nothing is more permanent 
than the temporary.
Like eating bread and 
making no crumbs.
Or, when death will part
us from these kids.

See the bud, it stands
for all things,
even things that don't flower.
Sometimes it's necessary
to re-teach a thing 
It's loveliness.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Wild and Free

Her hair loose in the wind, wild and free.
With top down speeds and open sky night,
warm summer sweat between seat and me,
mapping our lives in broken line light.

With top down speeds in open sky night,
we don't talk, we just want to drive.
Mapping our lives with broken line light,
feeling, not touching, senses alive.

We don't talk, we just want to drive.
Warm summer sweat between her and me.
Feeling, not touching, our senses alive.
She's loose in the wind, wild and free.

Monday, 9 December 2013


How did you find your feelings
after the marriage broke down
with your vows long forgotten
when the house and the cars and the cottage
came to claim more meaning
than the last thirty years and the kids
growing up and the dogs and the pups,
long rides in the car in warm summer nights
the windows all down and her feet on your lap,
her hair blowing wild and free.

How in God's name could you watch it all fail,
like the plate glass window after the bullet
with thick bands of tape holding it up
until the window guys came.
How in the hell could you 
keep it together.

You managed, but now,
your soul's in three pieces and
you sit on the street with your 
head in your knees.
Your house is empty and
the lights are turned off.
I hear you cough and
I want to go down 
to see you again
but then
I decide, it's all too much for me.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Genesis Love Song

If I reach beyond the 
borders of self
and fall into your
will I be saved?

If you catch me within
the web of love
and you cannot hold
will you be damned?

If we both fall from grace,
becoming one,
where gravity fails
will souls be lost?

I don't think so.
Dissolved selves
make the best brine,
for the new world

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Phone Call

I don't want to write.
Instead I'll remember
how grief took her
like demon possession,
heaps of emotion,
on a cold tile floor,
fluorescent light shading
us from her sight.

She had
left with her son
who vanished in a phone call
never to be heard

We also changed
into transparency
as her husband lifted her
back to life,
but only partial;
what is lost is lost.

Monday, 25 November 2013


Is meant to be read aloud
away from the crowd.
Get yourself all alone,
a dog with a bone,
growl and sneer
at all who come near
while you chew
for the marrow,
neglecting tomorrow,
because no one can borrow

Sunday, 24 November 2013


I can never know the outcome;
my mind runs to disaster.
Imagining the worst;
proven wrong well after.

I think I've learned.
Think I'll just shut up.
I'll learn to laugh more.
Learn just to give up.

And accept my pardon.


Let me dance like a Sufi
And spin tales of desire
for a vastness of spirit
and unquenchable fire
For abandon he's drunk
all the wine that was made
The wine of your presence
that's made him insane
but so many they follow
and give up on this world
My friend let go
and give it a whirl.


I have expanded my reality
from a string of solid facts
as narrow, strong and
cold as a razor's edge
to a wild chaos of possibility.

When He Left

When he left the first time
I stooped over the car and wept.
A neighbor was watching thinking
I must be having a heart attack.

The second time he left
we got into a fight
railing accusations
well into the night.

The third time he left
I hired a lawyer
and dropped five grand
with no place to land.

Now he comes and he goes
and I fit in the place
of allowing the facts
and accepting the grace.

And enemies don't prosper,
resistance never wins.
And I stand in the place
of I don't know, I stand.

What I Will Miss and Miss Already

The rough hands of my father,
the coarse voice of my grandpa,
my grandmother's scoldings,
my brother's embrace,
my sister's clear voice,
my daughter's laughter,
my wife's explanation
of the TV shows ending.
The smell of diesel,
the lights on the highway
at 4 a.m.
the snow covered road,
the creek cutting holes in the ice.
The German Shepherd's bold stance.
The Canary's loud song.
My cat appearing with
 a squirrel in her mouth.
My friends slight smile,
the way she touches my cheek.
The heat of summer
unfolding my body.
The cold of winter crunching
my face.
My old wood stove.
Sawing and splitting logs,
stacking neat cords.
Sandwiches and beer.
Kelly Myers, Brock Real
and Dustie.
Sue Ball, Uncle Greg
and George who slept
at the office.

Why Write a Poem.

Because next week I won't
even remember this moment.
Because next year this will
come as a surprise.
Because to notice something
for it's own sake is to be aware.
Because to be aware is to
know yourself.
Because to know yourself
is to be divine.
Because to be divine
is to be other than this.
Because to be other than this
allows you to be this.
Because being this is pure bliss.
Because pure bliss is who you are.

Thirty Years

That's what that ring represents.
Three decades of working the margins
because that's what it is.
This ain't text book stuff
but invention, created, cooked up.

Out of lives and stories factual enough
but with the slant eyed version
that sounds like Chinese.
A name that means John but
gets lost in translation.

So do the lives that join into one
become monstrous and angelic.
You say that cannot be. You
cannot combine them.
Yes you can I say. Just look at me.


All are from a single point to be treated.
Be decently modest and then with ease.
You may get the blind side of them when you please.
A title first, their confidence must waken.
Then your art many other arts transcends.
Then may you, lucky man on all those trifles reckon.
For which another years of groping spends.
Know how to press the little pulse that dances.


I see that electric
fire squirrel.
The pine
that survived a toppled maple
has grown, has shown
a might, a grace,


How many poems can I write
of black wires and branches
cutting into the grey sky,
pink and green roofs,
some trunks as straight
as the telephone poles.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Things My Father Tells Me.

Anger is never worth it. This is why wrath is reserved for God.
If it gets a hold on you, well, you will have to run the gauntlet
of spirits that inhabit anger. They are as old as the planet and
they are powerful. That is why you had so much power in your
anger and tantrums. So did I. We felt invincible but as you know,
you end up wrecking and being wrecked.

Spirits inhabit everything. Obviously the best spirits to encounter
are the spirits of love. They accept everything which is a tall order
for us. But if you live in either love or acceptance these spirits
come to aid you. And with them by your side life becomes easy and fun.

That is what most of us on this side are experiencing. A few go
into the wrath and the denouncing but not many. After they go
we cannot reach them; they are in a different place. They are
even hard to remember once they choose.

Choice is your one big option, the gift as it were. What you get to
choose is to judge or not judge, to love or hate, to denounce
or lift up.  You face challenges as we still do. And it is hard to explain
but a part of all of us is watching and inserts these things into our lives so we
must choose. Eventually we all choose correctly and that is what takes
the time and many lifetimes to achieve.

You see nothing really matters because we all make it in the end. 
But it does matter at the same time because knowing what matters
is the nature of the game. 

I would say relax and have fun and this watcher who is all of us
will guide you through the challenges and journeys you need to address.
Learn freedom. I mean internal and not external. You see, what you feel
inside becomes the outside, what you are living. This is what we do here,
practice feelings, and we are able to help you as well.

I know you know that. I hear you say it now and then. I am always
pointing out to you the beauty of the earth and people, animals, insects
and birds and especially children. I know you see me in their eyes. 

It's great here. In many ways better than before. But the fondness for
life as you are living it always grows within us here. There will be
a culmination where we all meet again. We just never know when.

Love, Dad.

Friday, 22 November 2013


Godspeed my friend, where did 
I get the idea that
we are more than you
are now. I'm sure that's wrong.

It's the other way round.
You are solid, we
are shadow, we diffuse,
we lack knowing. Shadows

inhabit where we are
now. But you live in light.
In fact, it is where you
move that causes reflections

that make us move and have 
our lives here. For from you
we come and to you we
return, like you we are.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dear Friend.

This is a poem
that confirms that
even if a person
is the biggest asshole
in the world
someone loves them.

I know this because
I have been the
biggest asshole
in the world and
still somebody
loved me.

And you
have also been
the biggest asshole
in the world
and somebody loved you.

You do not need
to do much
to be an asshole.
Just dip below
the line of your
best behavior
let your guard down
become your unrestrained
egoistic self
Don't worry
You are still loved.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Better End

Shadows cast dispersion.
Your actions cause despair.
We all are schizophrenic
with voices in our minds.

That tear us thought from thought;
the mental limb by limb;
dismantled self we are and so
feed neurosis that is blind.

To the purpose then to gather
all in one, to pull the fracas
into a whole, all the chanting
becoming one eternal gong.

Calls from where we started. From
where it all began, the ancient
God who's sought by all and one.
I'm listening, nothing is resolved.

It just carries on, life after life,
creating stories, same old themes,
betrayal, revenge and the lovelies.
We die in our despair or pretend

a better end, the triumph of story
to lift a soul from Hades to send
it onto glory, where tears are never
listed. I instead choose that now and here.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

worth it

Worth it!

Love has me stretched on the rack
of your mercy.
It is like a shot of tequila,
has me wincing at the taste.
I am an addict for the cringing feelings;
forcing my shoulders together,
and it is so good,
even if you reject me
and cut me off from him,
that smile and the energy
of his small body,
dancing and skipping,
throwing his joy around with every movement.
Just the memory and the knowledge of risk
lifts me off this chair
and I will not succumb to despair.



I certainly have volunteered
to these tyrannies
That force me outside my self control
Into obscenity

I threw the handle at the tin shed
It went right through
If I were coarser it would hit you
And you be fallen

If I were true I would confess
To over duress
The voices pressing on a nerve
Ever sensitive

And now the more with what I store
Anger slushing
Like the shit that's been stewing
Until it becomes

An overwhelming gaseous storm
Bursting forth rage
The venerable sage becomes
A loathsome ape

But at least he is free.



My boss has an anxiety disorder.
And he's a carrier,
passing it on to unsuspecting victims.
When he's in the room people puff up
with frantic thoughts
like purple blowfish
warning off enemies.

My other boss left.
He was infected.
Was paid 200 G's to scram.
Now he day trades:
up goes one-sell;
down goes one-buy.
Anxiety breeding in him
like termites in Georgia;
too late for exterminators.

And now I have shingles;
a snake welt
up the back of my skull
and down over my left eye.
Angry and ugly.
It seems we're a trinity of suffering.
And we have blamed each other,
and like countries at war we will
end up together in the dirt.


Traffic Jam

It is nice to sit in a forest
watching a fox.
But I am on this highway
watching Joe asshole
cutting me off.
An hour not moving
Producing a trance and
The car becomes me,
I become it.
The tires become asphalt
below where I sit.
All becomes one if
you can see it that way.
Like fluid in a jar,
and if you did not know it,
you would not look for a car.
You would see flashes of movement
in a mixed jello mold,
which would explain something
like how thoughts create fusion.
Add colour to the mix,
See yourself as intrusion,
Creating the illusion,
Casting the roles,
Making curtain calls,
it's only a made up world
after all.


Things I Notice

One small bird stretches a vocal chord,
mixing with the smooth carriage
of wind and leaf.
Purple crab apple blossoms slouch
over a grey panel fence.
Streets reach between tall narrow houses,
siding, grey brick, red brick,
bright signs advertising error-
not this way.
Concrete telephone poles holding
street lamps over us.

Did you see the leaves poke through the fence,
the stop sign concealed by a shrub?
The bearded man walking a hairy dog?

The years have thickened my skins,
though I look weather-beaten and mangey,
my eye is keen as a hawks
and my hearing discerns like a razor.
My gait is swift and silent.
Few notice me anymore.


The Poet

Awaken the poet in me
so I can see through the veil
into the Holy of Holies.

Awaken the prophet in me
so I can be the fountain
spewing eternal waters.

Awaken the priest in me
so I can stand at the altar
offering the blood sacrifice

Awaken the warrior in me
with the shield of faith
and the sword of truth
cleaving marrow from bone

Awaken the worship in me
to break alabaster
and squander perfume
on the head of the wandering Jew.


The Past

For me, the past is too big.
I have to return to it
to inch into it,
bit by bit.

They say those
events that occurred
hold the key
to the forming of me

And every single one
contains the whole
that will open
unfathomed dimensions

For I once heard that
the Baal Shem Tov
Considered himself a
Fragment ofGod
whom he loved
a chip off the
old block of
everlasting divinity.


The Crow

When I on my deathbed look back
on my days full of doubt and debt,
I do not think remembrance of lack
Will gnaw at my mind to forget.

Will rather seek for the moments
in meadows the butterflys grace,
The sizzling days a sacrament,
The hoarfrost I shall embrace.

The brook it calls me to release
burdens and worries, old and dear.
Wind carried fragrance of my decease
Skin, bones and cartilage sunk into bier.

Am I conscious? I cannot know.
People in fine dress below I see.
I laugh and croak from raspy crow.
Sit content in an old pine tree.



I heard you knicker as I slammed the truck door.
I smelled the sweet shit steaming.
I felt the cool gate as it swung on it's hinges.
I tasted the tart apple as I bit it in two.
I saw your ears push forward with your neck erect.
And I knew something existed between us,

I heard heavy clunking of steel shoes on cement.
I smelled the stringent mass picked from hooves.
I felt the curry and tasted the dust.
I saw your coat shine as I brushed with the grain.
And I knew you held peace in your mind.

I heard leather slap as I lifted the saddle.
I smelled the deep oil rubbed in.
I felt your soft mouth as I set in the bit.
I tasted my own dull sweat.
I saw you so majestic in tack and well groomed.
And I knew I was blessed to have such a partner in you.

raw materials

Raw Materials

God is not waiting for a new you,
as if you were a mistake waiting
for correction.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made
and you are still a work in progress,
every moment, every second every breath
is a divine
miracle in process.

You are right now the essence of life,
that was intended to dig roots,
grow stem and leaf,
and bloom flower to
attract and reproduce
before dying to seed
and returning to soil once more.

It takes raw materials to build a house,
a painter needs paints and a canvas,
the sculptor needs clay dug out
of it's settled place to be moulded.
And God needs a life like yours
to be God.



Her voice settles about my head
Like an offering of pearls
How could the feminine hold such
Power to entrance a thug
The Lapis lazuli eyes that seem to phosphor
Like the lights in the northern sky
Lips of ebullience
Lashes that hold butterfly grace
Long black ringletted hair like
The mane of a proud Friesan mare
Your flesh a soft instrument of torture
My senses flagellation as retribution
To my common sense

I need to bolt me in my room
And recite psalms
To save myself
From your terrible allure

mid life

Mid-life Crisis

Sometimes, its quite boring this life
But only for five minutes
Until the strife begins again
Then it's quite engrossing
The good and the bad and
What you should have had
It all comes back full circle
To this place TGIF and
Wind it up again
Tell some stories
Quaff some beers
Saturday morning headache
Take the kids to hockey
Will Tommy turn out Gretzky
The job stretching long ahead
And the marriage
Like a road on a map
Etched in folds that wear
And tear and dissolve into
Fragments with use
So do I change with years
Of care and become discarded
But then free and
That is where I begin
Again to venture
Where no one expected
Not even me.



Is love anything but attatchments and habits
and remedy for alone?
Am I so drawn out of myself that I can never
find my way back in?
God help me that pathetic.
I should infuriate at waste.
I am!

Jehovah called David his beloved while David took Bathsheba.
Solomon was the greatest king but had more concubines
than chariots and horses.
I take pride in monogamy.
Shoulders like granite bearing.
I was.

I am confusion left on it's own to bury deep
in a hill of stale dry crumbs,
trails of ants leading down into busy mines.
I lunged ahead for the best.
I fell, alone for the empty.
I sing.

Many come and go but I am one who is fearless.
Not for courage but for weariness and discovery.
You cannot hold me anyway.
You spoke too often to hear.
I end.



Is love anything but attatchments and habits
and remedy for alone?
Am I so drawn out of myself that I can never
find my way back in?
God help me that pathetic.
I should infuriate at waste.
I am!

Jehovah called David his beloved while David took Bathsheba.
Solomon was the greatest king but had more concubines
than chariots and horses.
I take pride in monogamy.
Shoulders like granite bearing.
I was.

I am confusion left on it's own to bury deep
in a hill of stale dry crumbs,
trails of ants leading down into busy mines.
I lunged ahead for the best.
I fell, alone for the empty.
I sing.

Many come and go but I am one who is fearless.
Not for courage but for weariness and discovery.
You cannot hold me anyway.
You spoke too often to hear.
I end.



Cool breeze on my neck
quiets the whole blood.
Children squeal in joy,
or terror,
or anger.
Adults laughing, people quiet,
while cicadas moan in piercing cry.
Slow ripples of lifetimes carry the moments.
My wishes fizzle within the insects sizzle,
from the great giant willow.
"Don't fear the bee,"
I say to the child.
She looks at me with brown eyes and a smirk
as if to say,
how could I surrender this power
to draw my parents attention.
By a raised eyebrow I suggest,
you may be better off without that.
But the signal is too subtle
and her dad swats the bee.
Off to the hardware store to purchase
zappers of brilliant green
with wires that melt the yellow jacket
while legs flail
in furious helplessness.

Unfold yourself,
so we can read
what is written
in the private places.
"What, and lose my self importance?
Who would I be without it?"
A Bee!



Your soft ambition has
Trodden the acquiescent spirit
Did it matter
Was there consequence born of this
Or were we both
In our opening to each other

No one knew it was happening
But it did
Right under the noses
Of those spitefully aware
But they did nothing
Because it did not register
On the pattern
Of their minds

It is to you I return
When I've lost myself
In this tearless place
Of cells that weep
I have been here for
A thousand years
I just keep finding you
And you draw me out
Into this hazard

Is this a song of love
and innocence
Where the night sky stands
For itself
Because it holds every story
Ever told
And our story is there
Ineffable mention of two
So small and illiterate
But I don't need more
Do you

i love you

I Love You

My thoughts have slowed
To a murky state
Where the scum
(some of it natural)
And the leaves
Branches and sticks collect
In a rhythm moving circular
Around the events we shared

I can see how our
Different perspectives
Gave us each
Something simple
That we took with us
And as I see you there
Your mind no longer with you
But mine I still have
Evoking images
That surround emotions
Informing me
How much I love you


A Street in Toronto

The tall Jack Pine with two trunks
One curving away, one straight standing
With bushes of needles
Forming it's own blurred visage
To try to focus is to adjust your reason

The fir droops its strings of
Coniferous softness

The massive walnut
Black and reaching
With strong arms disproportionate
To their circumference
Wide births of leaves
Crossing the road and
Filling the yard

This old neighborhood is
Quiet of action
But Kingston Road drones
In the distance
Trucks and traffic at
All times consistent
These days are full
They can't hold much more
But this street is empty
Except for the trees

hungry ghost

Hungry Ghost

I left my life today.
Walked out and left it standing there,
with it's attendant worries, griefs, despairs.
Said, "don't call me and I won't call you."
I sailed off into a void,
where I was no longer.
Where the emptiness was suffocating,
and I questioned nothing because I was nothing,
but the want of something.
So I went back to my life,
to where I'd left it and it was gone:
I could not find it!
"I am a ghost" I said,
"wandering in empty space
seeking now those things
I had declared loathsome,
and repugnant."

Oh... but you know me:
Because I was you.



A lake serene, soft and thick,
dark mirrored images deciduous.
Silence beckons the quiet mind.

My heart racing slows it's pace.
Pulse meets air, muted sigh,
at a lake serene, soft and thick.

Smell of decay, compost dreams
of who I was supposed to be.
Silence beckons the quiet mind.

This dense being, inside skin.
Earth's epidermis, ozone blue sky,
over a lake serene, soft and thick.

Here I feel you, sense your form,
The gun, the cap, scan for birds.
Silence beckons the quiet mind.

Smelling the Rothmans tinged air.
Hearing the ducks, stand ready.
On a lake serene, soft and thick,
where silence beckons the quiet mind.

Sunday, 10 November 2013


30th Anniversary

It has taken me this future of time
To learn how to love you.
I grabbed the scalp of your fierce grip on mine
To shake us into the truth.
We circled in a madness of crazy ideals
(I don't indulge you I accept you)
Because we believed we could pull off a miracle;
Daring god to send us a job so insignificant
That it could change the world
And we did not notice because it had braided our minds into each others
Each attempting to throw a quick fist that would unlock the
But neither of us would risk the eternal
And the answer was left in a child a woman a teenager adoption cancer;
The radical faith that dares them all to face us to shout us to wrestle us
While we remain locked now fused into each other into one the division worn
If one goes down the second is done but we stood and they watched and
then the
Bonds broke but the spirits were merged and our thoughts meandered
as gods mind did when the prayers were answered.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Lets Build It

An ark
An idol
A temple
A brothel
An image sculpted
An effigy burned
A gallows with shadow
A steeple reflecting
Erecting an archetype 
The phallic, the womb
Create a dark planet
And the bright morning star
The desert, the mountain
The heat and the frost
Feel what it is
To mourn and rejoice
To fall and arise
To sleep and awaken
To awaken then die.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Pack

We prey on the weak.
Forsake mercy for food.
Males watch the young so the bitches can hunt
An adult is a mentor,
be it parent or uncle or aunt.

No one lives too long, you can't.
Nor would you want to.
Being has purpose,
there's nothing we want
and it's magnificent out here.

We breathe the sky,
herald the night.
The colder it gets
the harder we play and fight.
You can join us by becoming a wolf.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Rob Ford

I was brought here.
I never came.
And I never thought this could happen.
I am opened,
my spirit keeps leaving
and returning and leaving.
It wants me to go,
to abandon this mess.
And if it were not for love,
her love, their love,
I would.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Goodbye Night

Goodbye night
night adieu
adieu darkness
light is new

So long care
care dissolve
dissolve worry
emerge resolve

To walk away
away from the past
past leaving chains
chains never last

Journey alone
alone I travel
travel so far
far from the gavel

That passed sentence
sentence on me
me, I will go
go where I'm free

Light on my face
face to the wind
wind from the east
east to the friend

Friend, myself
myself, eternal
eternal the dawn
dawn not external

But internal
ever eternal

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


I am hatred
i burn like
acid corrosive
i am not a giant
but a worm
that eats through you
i hide inside booze
so lovely so banal
so loose you can channel
thoughts of yourself 
into me

You'e done
your finished
no out
i clout with
words said
they took years
to grow 
you can't pull free
you must uproot me
and that so carefully

Don't fear
i've got you
i will carry you
to your grave

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Ceato (my dog)

I buried you here
under these trees
now drooping low
that I must bow
and so it should be
beccause to me
you were a dear friend
brought to an end
under the wheels
of a truck

You knew my soul
every thought told
on our long walks
when I would talk
you would run and
return again and
listen to a master
his life a disaster
but he was not
about to give up

I got the call
it was the fall
dark rainy night
just not right
your body so dead
blood from your head
i dug a hole here
blood sweat and tears
still I kept talking
how i'd miss walking
but the body was cold
there was no soul
and I ask
are you now here
with me

Monday, 28 October 2013

Byron Katie

Hey Katie!
Did you know
after listening to you
I have no teacher
I have no guru
Only four questions
I keep asking myself
The thing that I'm saying
What I'm telling myself

Is it true?
Are you certain?
How do you feel
when you believe this thought?
How would you feel if this thought were not true?

A liberated self
A spirit who flies
A voice from the heavens
A joy that inspires
A person unhinged
In love every moment

That's who I'd be
A person so free.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


I shouldn't have kissed you.
By the shock in your face,
by the smile in your glow.
I shouldn't have
but he drove down
the flooded road
in the violent dark night
and we pushed ourselves,
up to our waists in lake
that had risen and spread
and we were elated.
I was Goliath and you my David.
But I shouldn't have done it,
because after that, we could not admit it,
we could not forget,
we could not be friends.

Dear Friend

It appears that I have arrived
at the place where I do not judge
anyone, anymore.

I have been blessed with a stable
mind and temperament,
at least enough to see
that everyone has a reason
for what they do.

And so do I:
I do not want to be unhappy
with anyone or anything

You might respond,
"that is impossible
that any person could accomplish
such a thing."

I would agree and
that is my point.
I am no longer the person
you once knew.

Not to say that person is gone.
I still meet him occasionally.
I treat him with the same respect
and humility as anyone.

But unfortunately, my time
is limited and to indulge
his crazy notions is not
something I wish to do.

My Muse

You came after my heart was rent.
You found me once I am content.

As a seeker must find his match,
and maudlin humor needs a catch,.
A general will need a sash,
and a druggy needs a stash.
A door will need a latch
and a cow will need a patch.

You found my message sent,
My muse, you , my ascent.

Saturday, 26 October 2013


You are the fall,
the season of transitioning.
When Dad passed
you called up snow
and waited for spring
to awaken desire.

You serve the poor.
You comfort the widows
who like yourself
are survivors and champions,
toughest on earth
but still you walk softly.

You learned to allow
what life must take
for it all to have meaning.
You learned to trust God
and certainly, most of all
you know to accept mercy.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Special Day

Your Mommy came and her friend,
and between them two Great Danes,
that jumped and played in water sprayed
from the hose on that hot summer day.

And the ladies came from the barn
who knew the story, they came for you,
bringing bags of cars and games.
Watching quietly your joy so fragile.

And the neighbor came who you knew
from asking candy at the store.
She brought water balloons we threw
but they wouldn't break, try as we might.

And the mess was great and it was late
when everyone left, I fell in your pool,
and you settled on me, your back relaxed
released the tension of your fourth birthday.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

An Eight Year Old Fishing

out of the water
with spray in the light
quick muscled fight

rainbow hue fresh
from the deep cool
caught before school

smell of the creek flow
earthy and greening
pooling then freeing

into the rapids
joyfully flowing
as if knowing

I become naked
put the fish back
become what I lack

and dive in to join him

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Everything's An Equation

The water that fills the marsh
equates to the sun's angle relative
to the tilt of the earth's axis
and the thickness of my blood in fall.

The anger that fills my blood
equates to the perceptions
resulting from the pain inflicted
now buried in folds of love.

The yogi meditates and
sees all things as vibration,
components that match, this and that,
random yes, but it all adds up.

Forgiveness is an equation
on a divine blackboard chalked
with how this and that equals nil.
So get over it now, will ya!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Let Your Heart

Let your heart
melt within you
Have it pool
molten yellow
Drawn up arteries
that flow no more
filled with tree roots
branching veins
You become
but a bough
the great tree
Hey now Look now
You're me

A Mere Boy

If it were not for reflections,
I would never know my looks,
for looking out my eyes
I never see my face.
Even looking down I only
know my arms, chest and shoes
and the front of my legs.
I am very fast and can run,
like a ghost, even my mom
cannot catch me if I choose
to run.

I can climb this wire fence
and I will when they
are not looking. I will
climb and I will run
very fast like a ghost.
They will not catch me

Monday, 21 October 2013

Seventeen Sylables

I guess, you would have been born into this mess anyway. I am here.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Sweep For Me

I need you to sweep, darling
under the edges and
behind the fridge,
at the top of the stairs,
seeking out bevels
and crannies and nooks.
Find the dust hidden
only you can remove.
Gather it into a pile.
Then the boot droppings
and around the cat litter
(that damned dirty cat).
Under the counter,
just by the sink
where she chops veggies
they like to eat.
broccoli, lettuce cucumber.
Sweep it up and
use me baby, use me
like you want me
for I live to be
held on the floor,
for your bristles to 
touch me there, right there.

Saturday, 19 October 2013


What makes a human?
Have you considered
how complex a question
I have delivered?

It is a dilemma,
all your happenings,
choices and dramas,
ambiguous endings.

From decades ago,
unfolding now,.
like an embargo
against what you know.

Don't deny marvel,
when you observe
how a blind will
 has tested your nerve.

To stay true,
not give in,
become you
all over again.

Friday, 18 October 2013

You Know

You know how it feels,
that space below your neck
and between your shoulder blades,
the creeps and shivers,
when you're being yourself,
when you get excited
and show it out loud.
How it was received
before you could stop it,
before you could stuff
it back in,
so it wouldn't show
like it does now.

Thursday, 17 October 2013


She played a game with Quija board
thought some sad spirit might

Reach through and talk.
Reach through and talk.

Her hand was guided silently
to spell out letters of the name

Ellen in March
Ellen in March

A message too mysterious
she asked a little more

The month of my death.
The month of my death.

Her mommy stormed into the room
snatched the board away.

Where'd you get this?
Where'd you get this?

From my cousin Katie mom.
She said you not to tell.

She said you  would get mad.
She said you would get mad.

There's devilry in these here boards,
there's devilry in these.

Leave it alone.
Leave it alone.

But Ellen came into her dreams,
yes Ellen came to say,

I want to be you.
I want to be you.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Out of the Stone

The stone, with sharp crust
biting my hands.
Lifting it made me
think of you.

for taking me canoeing
on the Black River,
the day after dad's funeral.

I cut my knee
and blood spilled freely.
We kept paddling downstream,
had to walk back to the truck
(or you did).

I stayed and swam
under the bridge.
October warm days,
water out of the rock.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

I Could Cry

An eighty two year old stabbed
his wife who was ten years younger.
It could have been funny
except that he killed her.

They had Spanish names and lived
in a neighborhood that used to be
cornfields and barns but now is
jam-packed with houses that
all look the same.

And I think the whole family lives there,
their kids and their kids
which makes it more tragic
than we can bear to think.

It's obvious grandpa was nuts,
losing his mind and he always yelled
at grandma but no one thought
anything like this could ever happen.

Oh my God, I could cry.

Monday, 14 October 2013

In The Silence.

In the silence I behold
my thoughts
coming and going
kaleidoscope of colours
dancing and spinning
They are just existing
on their own and I perceive
that they make me
and not I them
They are like currents in a river
that I chose to swim
and seeing it that way
I still like to swim.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Options on becoming a being (or a whole lotta J's)

Be a Jerboa
have strong muscled legs
and jump really quick

Be a Jackal
snickering terror
sly fevered teeth

Be Jehovistic
conjuring plaques
portents of wrath

Create jaundiced justice
like Janus who japed
while Sandy swamped
New Jersey shores.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Shadow

How you treat others
is how you love yourself.

But your shadow,
he knows the truth.

Standing dimly to the right
or left or behind,
sometimes covering where you walk.

You tend to meet him in your dreams,
where you run about in hiding.

But his desire is never to catch you,
because he is you he knows

you never meant to hurt anyone;
you just hated yourself.

Friday, 11 October 2013

For Aranka

Schwish Schwish
Mmwhine Mmwhine
the sound of the wipers
me and my baby
driving in rain
soaking the roads
splashing up hard

We drive this road
each week every year
in the heat and the snow
in the rain and the fog
steering our lives
through dangerous corners
risking for love.

And we talk and we laugh
we shout and we cry
but we never regret
having got in this car
to drive on forever
mapping our route
to the bright morning star

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Journey/The Awakening

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

by Me

Have you ever stopped
when the moon is brilliant
either full or half
quarter or crescent
and the sky is clear
and never ending.
Did you realize then
that this same moon
and this same sky
have always been with you?
And you have returned
subconsciously to them
again and again and again?
But today is an awakening
that you have always been here
in one way or another
year after year
millennium after millennium
and that your awakening
has always come
and it always will.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The New Beginning

I want to touch you
Reach into your night
Drink of the stillness
You harbour inside

I want to bewitch you
With deep tender voice
Make you forgetful 
Of everything else

No more of the lies 
We once believed
Held us together
Gave us our ease

We crossed the bridge
And then we burned
We are transparent 
Now that we're here 

Gladness abounds
Just look around
But for us dear
It must be a choice

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Love is Like

Love is like
open heart surgery;
learning to trust your doctor.
Let him cut your breastbone
and open you down the center,
exposing the innermost sanctum:
The holy of holy's,
where only a high priest can enter,
once a year with a rope round his leg
to pull him out fast
in case your wrath is aroused.

Love is like walking on coals
in soft tender soles
more used to loafers or slippers.
And after that glass
with shards turned up to hurt you.

Love is like finding out
that none of those tests were worthy
of who you are or who you've become.

Love is like walking out
and finding that doubt
is actually a very nice feeling,
and you can learn to live there
with less and less care.
Love is when
you lay down your burden.

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Old Place

I park the car, walk back,
the house gone, torn down.
Trees are bare but
for a few flitting leaves.
The yard a carpet
of coloured fall compost
I can picture us there,
you, me and her
and the dogs always barking
out on the road.

Your mom's house still stands.
Tom and Ali's is gone.
The pastures grown in
with cedars and brambles.
Spook out a buck and two doe's
on my way to the pond
which is black and reflecting
the bare trees reaching
into the sky.

Down where the creek runs
cold in the shadows
I pick up a puffball,
feel the soft mellow texture,
smell the decay as
the earth claims itself.
Cedars are bare, more trees
than there's room for;
old twisted trunks,
cross my eyes to see through.
A coyote is watching like
he's wondering who
the hell I am.

I find the old pine,
three feet across.
No worse than it was
with large branch limbs broken,
rotted sockets like shoulders
that have bore too much weight
for too long.

Sunday, 6 October 2013


Warnings of danger
stir in me, my gut,
where joy often tickles,
where fear also flutters.

My horse hears a noise,
tense shoulders, neck bulging,
head lifts and ears perk.
Intently looking for something
to flee, I prepare.

Half Clyde, slow blooded.
Half racehorse, small brained,
big hearted pumping,
muscles lubed with quick blood.

She loves to be scared, 
fear and flight is her nature,
to run like an asshole,
huge clomping gallops,
turf and mud flinging.

And when I feel that blood rising
 I get some

Saturday, 5 October 2013

I Am

I Am                                   I am                              I am
Tell them                             waiting                          sitting
I Am                                   for your                         breathing
sent you                              return,                           stilling
into                                     so long                          my mind
this life.                               have I
                                          missed you.                  I am
I am                                                                       so tired
in love                                I am                             let me
with you                            sleeping                        sleep on
she said                             dreaming                      into                  
driving                               and there                      the dawn.
her van.                             you are.

I am                                  I am
like you                             letting
Grumpa                            the rain
he said                              fall on
taking                               my face
my hand.
                                        I am
I am                                 wading
grateful                             water
today                               and mud
for all                               up  to
you say.                           my knees.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Miley vs Sinead


I am pumped
Strut the stuff
Hands are stretching
to touch
Hot and stooked
Youth is fast
Cranked to the limit
My hot blood
My hot blood
Out of my way you old bitch


I took back myself
to answer
Spoke with the girl
who was me long ago
Held her inside
Honoured the sacred
Saw it in me
Saw it in her
Allowed our pain
Allowed our shame
And offered the gentlest warnings

Miley:  I ride this train of my success
Sinead: To destruction
Miley: I am on top of my game, loving this fame.
Sinead: Pimping your doom.
Miley: My life to live
Sinead: I've lived some of that also and
            what you live comes back to live you.
            And that won't be so gentle
            as this sincere warning.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

So you think you can tell (loaned Wish You Were Here from Gilmour and Waters)

So, you think you can tell
                                                             A dark hole had opened in the center of myself
heaven from hell
                                                             Drugs only gave it expanse
blue skies from pain
                                                            Taking all the decency out of my life
can you tell a green field
                                                            I eventually gave in
from a cold steel rail
                                                            Spores of decay settled in
a smile from a veil
                                                            My hair grew long and I stayed out all nights
do you think you can tell
                                                            My friends were like me no aim no purpose
did they get you to trade
                                                            My parents who loved drifted onto dark paths
your heroes for ghosts
                                                            Lost in arguments and blame
hot ashes for trees
                                                            I fell to sleeping 12 hours a day
hot air for a cool breeze
                                                            waking to seek oblivion
cold comfort for change
                                                            lsd vodka blackouts and fear

did you exchange a walk on part in the war

                                                            once a good hockey player getting good grades
for a lead role in a cage
                                                            I broke down and fell off the plank
how I wish
                                                            but then one night a mescaline voice said   go home
                                                            i did   and sat with dad
                                                            told him this story he listened
how I wish you were here
                                                            a new thing began to grow a hope

we're just two large souls swimming in a fish bowl

                                                            it wasn't long after   I met her
year after year

                                                           and I wrote her a poem about lily pad flowers and love                                                      
running over the same old ground
                                                          my dad who had sat and listened through his own
have we found the same old fears

                                                          has been gone for ten long years
wish you were here

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


In her eyes
In her hair falling
about the bare shoulders

In his hands on the keys
In the scotch on the rocks

In their arms long and elegant
releasing doves to the sky

In the fat man's face
where joy builds
into a sweat

Don Juan on his horseback
In the copper skied dusk

In each artist's mind
As each image is born

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Fall in my backyard.

I was out with the Autumn.
The pear trees were breaking
their long flexing limbs
with the weight of their fruit.
I was raking the grounders
to cut the lawn one last time.
This year was so wet
each cut took a raking.
Now it's the pears sweet stink
with the air moisture laden.

I hear sounds like small bombs,
like fireworks muffled in fog
and the geese circling and honking
against the grey cloud, disturbed
that landings at dusk are delayed
until darkness has settled
and shotguns have ceased.

I rake into night,
get a beer from the fridge,
pull up a lawn chair to celebrate
the mosquito's demise.
The geese find their place
at home in the marsh.
I am alone and content
with the season's advent.,

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

the real

sitting on this porch
feel the breeze and shade
horses swatting flies
with their long full tails
windy singing trees
the odd happy bee
flowers in the pots
the cedars and the sky
looking down the lane
breathing in the air
hearing joyful voices
crickets everywhere
vultures circling high
this moment never dies
it waits for me always.
Always it waits.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Moment

The Moment

The kid screams and throws a fit.
The wife chews me out.
The boss calls me up on that
And I exit so pissed off.

And then the wife takes kid to bed.
I turn the cell phone off.
The humid day fades and fades
And it begins to rain.

Sound of trilling in the dark,
Crickets stop and start,
A cool damp breeze through the screen
As I sit alone.

I let it all go, open mind
Allowing me to be
One with nothing, empty free
Being, just being, being.

Friday, 16 August 2013

The right place, at the right time

Dr. John had it right,
because they never line up,
the time and the place
until destiny forges a moment,
like a spike driven through
the veil of your chaos.

Such force to produce
the still small voice.
This is the time.
This is the place,
to hazard it all
on a chance so slim,
it will determine your life.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Yellow Submarine

I once had it
Staying out all night
Wandering star webs
Humidity like dew
Condensing like sweat
On young tense skin

We were heroes in space
Sitting in sand
On a hill in the Ganny
Listening to Ringo ask

Where is he
the nowhere man
Did he fall into a black hole
Did a blue meanie find him

Call out for Jeremy
who disappeared
I hope he returns
in  magical mystery
with a bright coloured jacket
and long sparkling hair
and white dazzling eyes
Something to free us

Monday, 5 August 2013


Friends are a place of cool sweet air,
the lake beaching in soft loose curls,
seagulls riding waves of the breeze
with the fierce independence of eagles.

Enemies are thunderstorms that rise
expanding in clouds like smoke,
building mischief into the ground,
releasing charges of light frenetic.

One follows the other.
The other follows the one.
Both are freedom wanted.
Both are freedom gained.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


A friend once told me she liked to paint herself each morning,
a colour for a mood.
Red was porous and bleeding out.
Purple was energizing; good for what she knew would be a hell of a day.
Yellow was for cheerful and happy, like dandelions or buttercups.
Green was for sex, feeling fecund, wanting to grow something inside.
Orange was for formal, evoking good taste.
Brown was for earth, getting soiled inside, letting the hubris compost,
a time for waiting, a time for caring for everything.
Black was her favorite, a time for nothing at all.

I liked to drink vodka most of the time.
She liked to paint as you know.
I took to dropping acid so I could see colours.
And then when I became too paranoid the vodka would help.

That's why I found her.
I was afraid of my colours.
I did not like threatening my world.
But when I finally gave up I found white was my best,
the colour of explosion,
the colour that breaks things apart
when the atom lets go.

When I admitted you were right.
I had done all those things,
things became white.
Over time I allowed the other colours to bleed in.
Red became the suffering I caused.
Blue became the sea that swallowed what was lost.

Black I avoided and avoid still, at all cost.

Saturday, 29 June 2013


There is no quiet
but an absence of sound.
There is no dark
but an absence of light.
There is no turmoil
but an absence of peace.
There is no hatred
but an absence of love.
There is no sickness
but the absence of health.
There is no hell
but the absence of God.
There is no me
but the absence of you.

Food Court Patrons

Waiting for my friend,
while sitting in the food court
at a round green table
with steel chairs attatched.

An old man reading a free newspaper,
Lifting colorful pages against the air
and they fold peacefully into place.

Groups of Greek elders,
Socrates and Plato
scraping caked ink 
off the lottery game cards
and blowing chaff with weak lungs.
Thick glassed eyes
telling tales of old,
of events that happened to them,
free of the editors mind,
the splendid ego
on a rampage.

A pretty Asian girl in slim slacks,
and fine ruby red sweater
and stiletto boots,
walking, texting, talking.

Old women,
complain about hospitals
and nurses while sipping
from coffee time and shaking their heads 
in disbelief.
I am 
waiting for my friend
in whom schizophrenia
has reigned  for many years.
I see
him walk in from the opposite side,
furtively glancing,
until I walk over.
His smile is an awakening
at first,
but then his countenance lowers 
onto his face like wrinkled wax paper,
red and welted with bloodshot eyes 
and half his smile knocked out.
He tells me gambling stories
and of women who are burning to have sex.
How he won two thousand dollars
then gave it all to a friend
week by week
until it was spent.
because she needed food for the kids.

"Do you have the Holy Spirit?"
he says.
"I can't tell anyone
but I can tell you
the secrets of the kingdom."
He rubs his palms,
"I know something I can't tell,
I'm going to change into a baby."

I look
At infants in strollers
with so many mothers,
and believe him.


Still shadow in the grey mist
Crystal sounds of clear springs over pebbles
Odor of cedar acrid herb
Contemplation of emptiness a cold fear
Gnawing at my mind replaying the voice
forgotten its timbre the heightened laugh

Anxious scoldings almost but still a construction
Not an authentic memory
What was the last thing she said
It felt so good to vanish with her
All of my emotions resonated with the songs
Of her arrivals and departures
I am dissolving because of the loss of her

How Can You?

How can you be so happy
after telling me those words
and laying your burden on me
while you dance away gleefully.

Could you not see it in my eyes,
the gnawing fatigue of loving,
with a fragile conscience,
those who cannot be trusted.

I decided today that I've
given up being the strong one,
the reliable stalwart pillar;
because I have deteriorated my core.

And the roof is not certain any more.
So please let me go to drift
into the river of randomness,
where lives are like flotsam carried

by any eddy and flow into
pools of events where
eventually they become water-logged and sink.
Just let me be that, once.


Is love anything but attatchments and habits
and remedy for alone?
Am I so drawn out of myself that I can never
find my way back in?
God help me that pathetic.
I should infuriate at waste.
I am!

Jehovah called David his beloved while David took Bathsheba.
Solomon was the greatest king but had more concubines 
than chariots and horses.
I take pride in monogamy.
Shoulders like granite bearing.
I was.

I am confusion left on it's own to bury deep
in a hill of stale dry crumbs,
trails of ants leading down into busy mines.
I lunged ahead for the best.
I fell, alone for the empty.
I sing.

Many come and go but I am one who is fearless.
Not for courage but for weariness and discovery.
You cannot hold me anyway.
You spoke too often to hear.
I end. 

Love Fear

I was afraid to love
for so many years,
as I was afraid to hate.
But one comes 
with it's mate;
another poison
for they both will kill you.
The Buddhas and the Christs,
the Gurus and the Sufi s,
they do not love,
not like that.
They detach and
float off
and then holler back
for you to come along. 

Love Kills

It was between my breast bones where
The crest was hard and 
Inpenetrable like the shield
Of granite that held our footings 
But your love turned that
Into a smear of jelly
And when I saw the spear
In your aim
I knew I was free 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Marsden Theatre Saturday Night

A jet sparks the sky 
with movement and noise that
strives to catch up.
My wife, drunk, is humming
In her snoring.
And a grandson is in bed,
with mommy far away
In mind and intention.
The sky is still light grey
as the day slowly retreats.
Listening to Marsden
as I do so often
sitting on this deck.
As Mosquitos come to greet me,
to eat me,
this silent supplicant:
this seeker of what
can never be answered;
for the answer
is being