Poem: Descent

February 7, 2022

 

The rustic lane unwinds

its way from the mountain

like a lover leaving her man

after a lingering entwining kiss;

 

a solitary clump of bluebells

reflects aquamarine raindrops

on the hood of the passing car

like mirrors round as hazelnuts in the mist;

 

and as I ignore the windowed beauty

the weekend ending burns into my soul

leaving me wondering if, once I’m gone,

she’ll remember me with a cheer or a hiss.

 


Poem: Mayor’s Siesta

January 31, 2022

  

He snored.

And threads of thoughts of windy days

Rushed by like the rivers of Sierra de Ronda.

 

He turned.

And the heft and touch of the silken duvet

Slipped across his body like the soft waves of Estepona.

 

He slept.

And into his reverie the ringing telephone

Floated like a minor chord from a flamenco guitar.

 

He yawned.

And the dreamy grin of the old pepper merchant

Dissolved like tapas in the mouth of a hungry eater.

 

He answered.

And the sound of his hoarsely whispered “Ola?”

Crept across his chin like a shovel scraping tar.

 

He awoke.

And the everyday cares of the little village

Wrapped up his dreams like garbage and threw them afar.

 

 


Poem: As The World Turns

January 24, 2022

 

As our world winds

through the stars,

do we leave sparks

in our wake?

Do we leave others guessing

what voices we use,

and what good

friends we’d make?

Are we more than

a falling garnet or

just a crashing bore

for heaven’s sake?


Poem: Fog

January 17, 2022

 

The smog-laden tangerine fog

tinted by a million lamplights

lays heavy tonight;

the busy rustle of the city’s moves

lost in its depths

like the delicate harmonies of a dulcimer

played in the attic as heard in the basement.

Closer, much closer, I hear

the lazy rustle of the scorpion

picking carelessly at a pecan shell.

I blink in the orange darkness.

 

 


Poem: Mayfly

January 10, 2022

 

the autobiography of a mayfly

would be as short as a page

and as dense as perfect memory

 

the madness of dashing hither and yon

across the summer’s blue distance

to seek the one mate of perfect desire

 

the need to avoid the bloodletting wars

of birds and trout at cool water’s edge

to arrive in one piece at the perfect location

 

the keenness of invention, of new hieroglyphics,

to tempt her away from the maddening crowds

to sing her, to win her with this perfect dance

 

the sense of fulfillment, slowly drifting to earth

with all power spent, all duty completed

to remember, to listen to the end of this perfect life

 

 


Poem: Canada

January 3, 2022

 

Big in size

but with a squeaky little voice,

Canada is like

an effeminate linebacker

facing the south-of-49ers

across the goal line of an undefended border.

 

We have steroids without strength

mass without muscle.

We are

a huge collapsable shell of a country.

We survive

because the Americans cannot be bothered

to deal with the

PR flak

that would inevitably follow

the easy pushover.

 

Could Celine Dion save us?

Or Bryan Adams or Margaret Atwood?

Or even Douglas Coupland, Tony Onley and the Bare Naked Ladies linking arms?

No.

Not even the whole mess

of Canadian culture

— bilingual and multicultural —

could save us

if the Americans put their minds to it.

 

The manifest destiny

of globalization

ensures that it will happen

one day, some day.

And then many of us will become

marginalized Americans

like Idahoans or Puerto Ricans.

Maybe we’ll qualify for grants

and affirmative action

as the third largest minority

after

blacks and hispanics.

Maybe we’d alter American politics

for ever

with our semi-socialists

and our semi-fascists

and our quaint idea that government can occasionally

be a good thing.

 

More likely, we’ll become

a minor market for Wal Mart

an inconvenience for weather forecasters

and a fiscal drain

on southwestern startups

and other entrepreneurs.

If there’s a futures market for snow, native land

claims and Gallic intransigence,

Maybe they could sell us

to Norway

where benefits are better.


Poem: Driven

December 27, 2021

He
drove

her home after dinner.
They dawdled for a moment on the porch until the wind

drove

them inside where, after drinks,
their mutual passion

drove

them to seek the comforts of the bedroom, and where
her exuberant energy

drove

him mad with desire, and where
he

drove

his knifeblade deep into
her heart

 

 

He was

driven

they said, seeking to excuse
his excess,
his access to those parts of
her body which even this exhorbitantly open society doesn’t allow.

Driven

he was
they said by television violence and devil music and commercial
radio and the

drive-throughs

he was forced to eat at as a child by
his working mother.
His vanished other parent

driven

he learned to drink by
his inabilty to access the excess promised to all by the features
he sat through at the

drive-in.

His mother and father coincidentally killed in

drive-bys

he read about two continents and two decades apart.

 

 

Driven

they said by these circumstances to commit
his act
her death
they killed
him by

driving

his last of a long line of needles deep into
his arm. And then, in an unmarked car,
they

drove

his body to
his last home, just as
he had

driven

her to the first and last home
they would ever share.


Poem: Creating Collage

December 20, 2021

 

we sleep together,

for sure,

but mostly we share together,

cutting out our memories

from the bark of life’s tree

 

— like pieces of collage

laid out on the floor

before an exhibition

celebrating our anniversaries –

 

unhurriedly pasting them together

 

— refocusing colors and shapes

and forms –

 

until it is late again

and again

for sure

we sleep together

 

 


Poem: Complaints Desk

December 13, 2021

 

She fumed

and fumed loud.

 

And as she

disabused me

of my place

in the human

race — given

my lineage

must be replete

with morons and

monkeys —

her otherwise neat

and clipped

peroration

was interlarded

with sailors’ slang

and potty talk,

and ended with

a red-faced

squalk.

 

“Fair dinkum, gal,”

I replied,

smiling the smile

that’ll usually

sink ’em.

Stonefaced,

nothing.  I sighed

and completed

the refund

that would send

her away.

 

Thank God,

I’m stoned

all day.

 


Poem: Beach At The End of the World

December 6, 2021

 

The bus ride finished a mile from the shore

leaving a trek through the muddy clay

of rain-spattered early spring,

the swarming midges of late July,

or the leafy carpet of middle fall,

to the beach at the end of the world.

 

Sitting on a sea-driven log,

a carcass of the far northern woods,

my lover and I cleared our throats with lemonade,

quietly removed the stings of another week,

and populated our thoughts with waves of dreams

far removed from the drab of every day.


Poem: Five Definitive Movements

November 29, 2021

 

Childhood is

a flat green blade growing from the stem of a plant,

the absorbing and digesting of

a body of myths

 

Adolescence is

the property of becoming self-luminous

in the recognition of

fire and hunger and strong desire

 

Adulthood is

the acceptance of the heat and light caused by burning;

a steady flow that rises

as the tide, and ebbs

 

Wisdom is

known only to those of special comprehension,

something very white,

a leaf blown across the firmament

 

Death is

the beginning of all things, the nape

that links the body of one life to

the head of the next

 


Poem: Martyr

November 22, 2021

 

He had long ago accepted the loss as permanent,

but that acceptation was merely a gloss, as yet skin deep,

 

not yet having bled into the very marrow of his being,

nor led him to that place of serenity.

 

His bitterness lay as deep as the roots of cedar in shale,

following tracks as distant and serpentine as the staged attacks

 

of true hackers working their miraculous juju through the internet

ether, and forever ending in a sad soiled grace.

 

And, though he could choose to confuse his loneliness with tragedy –

as if he were the sainted prophet of his own persecuted

 

exarchate in exile — it was but loneliness nonetheless,

and it hurt as bad as the arrows of martyrdom.

 


Poem: Having

November 15, 2021

 

I have seen the best minds of my generation squander their extraordinary talents on the marketing of consumer goods and the maintenance of shareholder value.

I have seen them abandon all pretence of worker’s rights at the behest of foreign and domestic bankers, Friedmanites from Chicago and MIT.

I have seen them relegate the environment to the dustbin, a victim in the race for quarterly profits and analysts expectations.

I have seen them treat safety issues as public relations issues, and seen them lobby to lessen their liability.

They have shamed seniors into wearing diapers, taught children how to smoke, and taunted teens into starving themselves to death.

They have sold goods that have killed millions, children, pregnant women, families, clans, tribes and nations, here and around the world.

They have spiked the waters of the masses with a poison called greed.

They have swallowed our ethics and morals and spat them back in our faces as branded goods for which it is right and necessary that we pay to display their logos.

You have contributed to their victory with every discretionary purchase, every dollar saved or spent.

You have accepted their world view with every envious glance, every lottery ticket purchase, every time you have watched a TV program starring “celebrities” or giving away a million dollars.

You have bowed to the inevitable with each ring of the alarm clock, each punch of the work clock, each end-of-week celebration.

You have become your parents, your older sister, your Uncle Frank with his shiny pants, your parents once again.

I have purchased things I could have made myself.

I have allowed my city to become plastered with advertising slogans, from store signs to billboards to the names of buildings and arenas.

I have dressed my children in designer labels, given then Elmo dolls and Flintstone vitamins, and let them choose CocoPops and TV cartoons over papaya and reading for breakfast.

I have enough of everything I need, and yet forever I need more; and

We have accepted all this bullshit, washed it down with the liquid lies of the liberal’s election hoax.

We have time and again made the wrong choice; time and again we have meekly accepted that the choices we are offered are the only choices possible.

We have been active participants in our own kidnapping, paying the ransom over and over again.

We have failed ourselves — and the bastards have won.  At least for now.

 


Poem: On Seeing A Photograph, For Remembrance

November 8, 2021

 

You were young men in the Guards

treading water in wretched trenches

swinging kitbags and rifles and broad silly grins

 

so young

that two billion volumes single-spaced wouldn’t be enough

to list all of life’s treasures

you haven’t experienced yet

and still you would die

right then

right there

doing right

or so you thought

as you lay where

no-one could tell where

mud ended and blood began

 

three and four generations removed,

we lay wreathes for your wraiths

on a hollow day in November

while the parades and the poppies

hallucinate

an annual landscape of memory

 

profound today, gone tomorrow

 

and for three or four days the flowers fade

and the greenery browns at your memorials

and then the work crews come

 

young men and women with guarded futures

treading water at minimum wage

swinging brooms and shovels and black plastic bags

 

and when the work trucks leave

your memory has turned once again

to cold undecorated stone

and nothing can ever change

the fact

that you died before you started living.

 

 

 


Poem: Instead Of Working

November 1, 2021

 

Staying quiet,

   —   stealing silence like a prayer —

The tented flag throws shadows

across my pen and arm.

 

Blowing bubbles,

   —  Stealing time like a burglar —

Watching kaleidescopes of sunbeams

instead of working.

 

 


Poem: Rolled

October 25, 2021

 

The woman with crow’s feet wrinkles

and smeared makeup

unfolded the billfold

removing the twenties and leaving the fives

— she had doubled her money and was willing

to leave him

cab fare home.

She waited a minute,

sharp ears listening to the spattering rain

and the flight of an early flock

flying north for the summer.

Slipping on the plastic green raincoat

she slipped out of the room,

leaving him undisturbed

in the empty barn

of his sex-sodden dreams.

 

 


Poem: Last Playboy of the West End

October 18, 2021

 

He stands erect

his jacket checked at the door.

Surveys the floor

where dancers more or less perform

to an MTV norm

writhing and circling by.

With his casual clothes

and his casual attitude

to casual sex

he is already a casualty

rushing headlong for an accident

and it meets him tonight in the form of

Barbara

a Barbie-doll beauty with C-cup breasts

and a heart full of

barbarous revenge.

She picks him

she tricks him

she licks

his ego

until he stands tall and hopeful.

He buys her a drink and engages in chat

while he makes sure that

he doesn’t smell too bad.

“Come back to my pad

and fuck me,” she croons

He swoons and tries to play it cool

but his head bobs up and down

like a fat man on a trampoline.

She drives

he strives to keep it in his pants

tries to make small talk

but just kind of rants

about nothing in particular,

his cock bent reticular in anticipation.

She parks and barks,

“We’re here.”

In the condo

he tries to fondle her charms,

but she wriggles from his arms.

“Show me what you got to arouse us.”

So he drops his trousers.

 

His flagpole slowly wanes in the breeze of her

obvious indifference.

Less than impressed

she refuses to divest

the clothes from her blessed

body.

Instead, like a cat, she screeches,

“Whaddya call that?

Some kind of bonsai?

I’ve had 12 year olds bigger than you, boy,

and 70 year old royals making me come.

So I’m not gonna sleep

with some self-absorbed creep

with a prick the size of my thumb.”

 

He went home by bus

didn’t make a fuss

just pulled the trigger

gave a small shiver

like the third orgasm of the night

It was the first thing he’d done right

all day.

 

 


Poem: Salamander

October 11, 2021

 

A bright orange salamander silently slithers

the length of the soft-pink stone-chip wall,

making faster speed than I could in this heat.

 

I sit, staring, mesmerized by this costumed athlete,

this splendid natural explosion of colour,

this distraction from the dull monochrome of my life.

 

With a desperate reluctance, I crack open the velcro

ties that bind me to the lizard, drawing back my focus

to include my companion and the unfinished wine.

 

“Let’s review where we are,” she says. “Yes,

let’s do that,” I reply from a distance, forgetting

where we’ve been in this conversation and why.

 

She clears her throat and continues:  “You and I

seem to be headed nowhere, neh?”    She pauses,

examining me for confirmation.  Perhaps I nod.

 

“As a couple, I mean.  We have to come to terms

with that.  We have to face the true nature of our failure

you and I.  We are not meant to be, that’s the point.”

 

I say: “I see.”   I feel her eyes burning me, expecting more.

Across the street, the afternoon shoppers flow in and out

of department stores and groceries and fish merchants.

 

“Well?” she presses.  “Am I right?  What do you think?”

I sip the wine, close both my eyes, and imagine

the cool cave where the salamander rests.

 

 


Poem: Magnetic North

October 4, 2021

 

 

You are magnetic north;

All my paths converge on you.

 

You are the tropics;

my Cancer and my Capricorn.

 

You are the forests;

the leafy groves where my dreams dwell.

 

You are the mountains,

with heights I could not imagine.

 

You are the seven seas;

I bob on your waves and tides.

 

You are the equator;

the widest part of my existence.

You are my world.

 


Poem: Fanatic

September 27, 2021

 

 

Sitting bolt

upright

in the chair

the psycho

analyst

questioned me

in a game of

snappy

word association

 

            frost:tossed

            gold:bold

 

why did you

say that?

why not?

 

            tend:er is the night

            sleep:sleep

            shoes:Michael Jordan

 

did you watch

the game?

no, I was crazy

to have missed it

 

            air:Michael Jordan

            web:net

            net:basket

 

they make me

make

baskets.

Like I’m

Michael Jordan

or something