Archive

poems

BYE-YA

Sometimes small animals and birds go scattering

in front of my car as though they fall

under the protection of the god Mo Shun,

deity of speed, The chipmunk’s calculated

 

Burst, the skimming of sparrows, while

the real Monk and the real Charlie Rouse

go caromming around the car’s interior,

through the most improbable of changes.

 

We learn to travel faster than the speed of self,

The scenery glancing off the windshield-

Fields four-wheelers, farmhouses-

most alive when we’re running for our lives,

 

As chords (Trinkle, Tinkle now) scatter behind

As though the world for once really belongs

As much to the quick as to the dead.

This land

has laws:

break them

and you

will pay.

 

 

Asking the purpose

of history is like

asking the purpose

of a bayonet.

 

 

My grandmother’s

five-year-old hands

blue  from picking

wild blueberries

on this hillside

(1894)

 

 

For me the smell

of camomille

tea meant healthy;

for her it meant

a memory of

the war, cold trains

and labour camps,

she muttered as

she left the room.

 

 

Blomidon’s

borrowed light

Sit in a garden filled with the sound of songbirds and doves, and whisper a favourite poem or psalm.

Take a small wind instrument- flute, pennywhistle, harmonica- to a busy construction site and play along.

Go to a place where great suffering has been experienced- battle, expulsion, massacre- and make up a song.

Stand beside a lighthouse on a foggy day, and use the foghorn as a drone for a suite of short vocal pieces.

Lay your lead on your lover’s breast, listen to the heartbeat, and hum  ‘Amazing Grace’

Hold the skeleton of a fish against your skull just behind your ear and pluck the ribs, like a harp, while humming the first melody you can remember hearing.

Sing a duet with a baby.

Traffic stops for

road construction

and all at once

the air fills up

with willow down

to indicate

a change of speed.

*

Saturday night!

Two ponytails

in a Chev truck.

*

A drop of rain

after crawling

upwards for such

a long, long time

now finally

lays its burden

down on my hood

*

On the way there

the river was

fulltide brimming.

On the way back

it was no more

than a trickle,

empty except for

one clamdigger.

*

Driving away

from the sunset

my rear view

mirror goes gold.

*

The buck lifted

out of the fog

into his windshield,

so the last thing

that they both saw

was each other.