Monday, April 28, 2008

Once upon a goodly Summertime

nce upon a goodly Summertime
there fell a Winter wind
and i fell ill
sick at heart
wilfully whimpering
whimsically caught
like a parachuted seed
on a splintered limb
that might otherwise
gladly land anywhere
to coax the cold earth
through the pale year
to burst into Spring


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mere Meme-plexity

see what you meme
    he sed
a meme isn't a mime
    though it's similar
    not inimical
    but amicable
as if memory were mammary
    seeking same teat
and every meme rehearses
    tedious old rhyme:
memeplex in time-tether
all sucks together


Saturday, April 26, 2008


ummer's around the corner
with yellow roses and canterbury bells
Summer's an honour
like holding your hand
while I'm murmuring 'Very wells'
that weren't planned
we agree simply and spontaneously
That's Summer to me:
your smile
and how you have a look that tells


Friday, April 25, 2008

A thousand words

thousand words
or a thousand days
nearer to expressing    his heart's devoir
the unbidden lover
languishes behind a shut door


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Busier than the busiest

usier than the busiest, busy thee
none more busy, not even foraging bee
strange that the honey a toiler should prove
though from sweetness comes strength -
or so they declare!
Thine industry is worthier far
than seven-score housewives, each to a chore
for by comparison, their deed is done, that and no more
whereas for thee, my hasty dear
doors bend upon a spacious landscape
bravely unfurled
workings of the heart

As for myself, i fly at what intrigues
the need to know how come how go
tis not my choice, nor vice, nor inkling's homily
that i should, inadvertent me, the bonds of study
take on
i loathe travail
assigned to impulse, driven or drawn
by sensible logic's keen severity

And so in this, being complementary
not contrary-wise to you
tis why, both being suited, thou and i
merrier are we and more loving thereby


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Busy the moon is

usy the moon is
fair to see
busy to play
hide-and-go-seek with
at night among the clouds

even in my dreams
my fairest dreams
replete with felicity
i have not seen fairer

ah, that i could capture
capture and kiss
those maiden-proud lips

but lo! presently
she shape-shifts
into a haggard old man, listless:
why, oh why?


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


ne empty word
fills the void

the curse
a skull whose hollow
conceals a few drops
of last night's rain

funny how being thirsty
i drank from your stagnant pool
and in my delirium
took the fever for love


Monday, April 21, 2008

Walking with Willie

uv, at the time i was walking with Willie
we weren't mashing, nothing of the sort
he held my hand, turned and said
    "Doris, i want to court you"

what'll Dad do, i thought
get mad, tell him to get lost?
    "there's better than you in store for her"
he might smartly rhetorical
and Willie, what'll Willie retort
    bein' a cobbler's lad?

no, Willie's a billet do, a ticket of goods
    he's smashing!
he held my hand like a proper pal
    turned and proposed, just sesame beaucoup

luv, whatever Dad and Mam may purpose
i stood and gave him my heart, savoy fair
when you get a brave dare like that, take it
luv, i'm walking through life with Willie

mcmlxxxvi, rev. '99

Saturday, April 19, 2008

To M, from the North Shore

cross the harbour
lights of downtown city
into tardy sleep

i, at my window
seat for contemplation
by fantasy of beckoning pen
reach out to you

a restless mood
in fellow-feeling
with those transient rays
bright wands
that play in squiggles on the water

so you, my dear, are present in my head
held luminous or else
by turns extinguished

go to bed…? no, i linger
chastened and sombre
whilst wavery beams
leap from the darkened waterfront
to show
how naked under this evening sky
my hopes can fly
or fall
both high and low

mcmlxiv, rev. mmi

Friday, April 18, 2008

When i go to the Wars

hen i go to the Wars
i shall go hence
as if subject to Mars
yet Venus or Aphrodite
she, your resemblance
will be


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dead grass

ead grass    the farmer said
   they eat dead grass
as i wondered what the cows did
out there in the spare sunlight
of the frosty meadow
   the wiser i watched them ambling across the turf
and i felt sorry for the cows
with nothing to do a hurdle on their necks
as if i too were a cropper of dead grass
in a bare pasture waiting to be led back to a warm barn
and fed


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Same ol' story

ame ol' story
candle sure don't shine
wax iz burnin' low
waitin' fr that man
scared since he iz mine
'fraid to let him go


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Trains make me sad

rains make me sad i cried
unaware of the lie
for the tracks run straight to your door
and i am there before the train
can leave the station


Monday, April 14, 2008

We pay a price

e pay a price for living
is the price too dear?
oh no! fear
is too near the bone
to place a value upon
“turn again Whittington!”

    time marches
in quick step
or slow
just so
the paean and the pang

    one arrow to the bow
many to the quiver
armed by providence
against what accident
may deliver


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To be a child again

o be a child again!
    whittling a ship shaped from a stick
    walking homeward with a skip
being holiday-wise
    or seeing life from the teeter-
    totter tipsy view
    askew or upside-down for fun
and summer’s done through a hoop
    with a holler
wheedling a dollar for the theatre
    or grubbing in dear dirty earth
shelling peas to thieve the culls
these carrots onions turnips
    eaten raw or else disdained
health maintained precariously
    on a diet of
    crust     mouth full sticky with honey
    busting to be gone
    call on favourite pal
britches torn reaching for thrush’s nest
    in hedgerow
feet wet from leaping ditches—
    not quite
    socks soaking in sun to dry
provoking fights with kid brother
concluding nights
    out like a light

oh if i had my druthers
    to live life again…
what a chance to change
    nothing! but zip! happily
    range the gamut of joys and losses
owing no debt to fate
    except a taste i cannot sate
    and a lively heart like a ship that tosses


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

To fly a kite

o fly a kite light in the sky
    a streamer-cloud balloons blowing children hallo-ing
looking up wide-eyed

i’d rather be born again
than died in the wool at school     head bent over
    perusing paper with inkblots scrawls marks
        for a hundred per cent the ultimate

    flip your lid! fly that kite! watch it duck as we tug
leaping eager to clamber out of sight
    kids must be wrong as well as right
trust as strong as a heart-string can pull us down to earth
    for a rebirth

    those desks they sit in
with lids like kettles over ids
        scrawled on blackboards like toilet-walls
‘two and two make four’     (raise your hand when you know the score)

    jericho blow! fanfare of hope! eye’s opening wider
greeting the spider’s web of kite trails in cloud-streamers
    of windwards blowing children ho-hoing like Buddha

    lap it up! whoop it up!
kittycat can look at the queen
    where have you been lately     growing up?

mcmlxx, rev. mmi

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Prison gate, agassiz, bc, dec '63

hese children!     doukhobors!
    pretty girls in comely dress
to make us proudly canadians!

    mad anarchists?    to make believe!
who these?
    their shelters rude as beggars' lairs in city niches
yet the dignity of pride is here
    ingeniously-fitted frames of lath and pole
with walls of transparent plastic
    visible to public gaze
to hide no bad intentions

    their site a disused gravel pit
a people shunned
    is that the best officialdom can do?
a misled vision and a futile trek to the promised land

    never mind the place    the view
my heart is glad to own a heart of native timbre
    steeple-bells speak to all attentive ears

    welcome is the human touch
in meanest dwellings
    whether clay or wood abode
wherever feeling dwells
    the pealing bells
renew their loud appealing

dec, mcmlxiii (rev. mmvii)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Where were we now?

here were we now?
the thing just happened
it was neither short nor long
nor sweet nor sour    nor blue nor gay
it was -    as I said

this alone is news    between the headlines
and the classified we find
a piece of mind stamped with the idiom of laconics
simplified and qualified to suit
the tastes of no-one in particular
it is vehicular

as I said:    no-one spoke
or wrote    or thought
it just fell out    -spontaneously?
come    let's agree
the point is missed
if you insist on knowing
tactful as a 'coon at feeding-time
I wash my hands
I'm going