Friday, September 30, 2011

The Ritual

black forest dweller
long legs like poles
inflated nose and pendulous ugly head
flap pf neck skin
antlers like stiff hands

breath hot and heaving,
piss stream on October snow

holds to the margins
and calls from the frosted willows,
pounds the mud and urine
with hooves splayed and menacing,
splashes the essence on his underbelly
perfumed and eager
to slide his shivering phallus

consumed by the lineage
maddening in his blood,
heedless of the watcher
crouched in singular intention
mimicking the grunts of rivals

steps from the shadows
to affirm the brotherhood,
hears not the croak of ravens who know
nor the explosion of life's sad end

slumps on the trail that led him
out from the dome of stars
where his spirit endured the cold night

now the space of nothingness aches
for the steaming gut pile
that marks his passing

Sunday, September 25, 2011



The cruelty of boys
has always been retrievable
and regret the vehicle for reconciliation
There when the harried mind reclines
and cradles the most common things,
a traffic light, fingers tapping,
another day burdened and bored
Thoughts fall away for an instant
and in that space of nothingness,
oh, yes, you will remember


He came to practice with his bent back
and the wide gawk of his eyes,
teeth jammed in his crooked mouth,
a Chiclet explosion between dumpling lips
You assailed him with your spit and pranks
and he never said a word, not a provoking glance
He just wanted to play football,
to run and cheer and celebrate
his wild-horse heart


But you culled him
there in the full light of day,
separated him from the rest,
told him to shrink like winter
and die with the wretched spastics
Leave the trappings to the favourable ones,
blond, perfect and freckled,
those boys stopped at the red light
thrumming away the loom of him
in the rear-view mirror

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Green Light

can you see the life
that fills the space of grass
and trees - a poetic entity
your soul perceives?

it is what you imagine it is,
the settling of the sun
in the warm still sanctuary
of your deepest longing

of course, it the green light
of your dreams visiting
memories of faeries and elfin
folk dancing under falling stars

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Slips through the door everyday after nine,
late for the bell and still a gold star beside her name
Into the backroom where lunches in wax-paper
wait in tin boxes and brown paper bags

The rummage and rustle of mice
fingering peanut butter sandwiches
and my tartan thermos, a buffet of gingersnaps
and McIntosh apples but unworthy of bananas and grapes

Hushed little waif wrapped in her mother's dress,
hurried hems fraying from a night out long ago
She steals to her desk with her hands on her heart
and singular stare to the floor, far away

Then she raises a china-doll finger
to brush the crumbs from her lips
And the impudent mouths of the tough boys
gape in forgiving circles, goodly and godly
and the teacher weeps

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oh, Freedom

written the days following September 11th, 2001

Darkness flew on freedom's wings
Laid waste to untold dreams
Smothered the world with infernal dust
And basked in the pyre of hell
Withdrew its flicking tongue
To hide in the rubble of perverted truth
Faceless and known, snapping dogs
Sworn to the legions of terror

And the children gathered to see
What fear claimed their mother's eyes
Images of the apocalypse, heroes cradling
Fallen brothers crushed by
The collapse of fortune's zeal

But darkness holds no lasting song
No flags that wave from porch and sill
Void of wisdom and compassion
And blind to the light of a Nation's heart
That appeals for something new

And as that light falls upon the ashes
And fills the shadows of our collective minds
We sense our lives forever changed
Awakened by a piercing sadness
We glimpse the inequities that are somewhere else
And the Great Mystery emerging from the scrutiny of our tears

We hear John Lennon for the first time
A hymn from the souls that left us for love
For peace
Their gift

Oh, Freedom, what have we done to you?
We, the self-absorbed, insatiable consumers
Pray for the keepers of hate
Sewn by our own unacquainted hands
Let us go deep into the meaning of our lives
And respond not with detached self-interest
But from the long view where the pale blue dot
Breathes in the stillness of space

Thursday, September 15, 2011


you tilted that pea eye,
turned your ugly head
and i fell in love with you,
a wonder in the desert
dying in the wheeled ruts

you are nothing
to look at some might say,
a good Merlot over you any day

perhaps you pray for them
as they walk down the perfect rows
with an unwillingness to know
that you have a right to exist

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MS means my song

she worries about things
inside her, the shudder
of a world trying to be free,
a mystery of blood in search of itself,
sometimes lost, a deadend
and the return to the brain,
over and over until her heart
stops for but a moment,
such sweet sanctuary
to consider what is eternal,
what can be done,
what can be undone 

it is not worry after all,
she knows her limitations,
the relapsing,
the remitting,
and the secrets of flesh
and what death will bring
it is more than that,
she sees beyond herself,
to her children,
answers for them before her bones
crumble beneath her

and I have done nothing in my life
but witness what is courage,
what is depth, what is compassion
and what it means to know
that the birds still sing for her

Thursday, September 8, 2011


the hills are amber,
soft light now
just before the sun slips
into an imagined sea

apricot grasses,
the colours of September
when the heat lifts
from your sorrows

could it be the quenching
of all thirsts when the first
leaves give up their summer?

i love the absence of crowds,
overnight, and the chill before the
same light returns

soon apples will fall into
your eager hands
and the blue-dusted grapes
spin like worlds in your eyes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


From my novel Lady With Flowers:

I like September because it is a new beginning. Every year. How about that? To me it seems like the beginning of the year. Everything new and fresh – clothes and shoes – latest trends and fashions filling the hallways in every school – and behaviours changing too as if arriving on the stage of a new play – new characters and a new plot. The plot really doesn’t change, but what changes is the way the characters respond to the plot – the way roles seem to change with the years, refining, redeeming – some no more relevant than outmoded technology. And yet it arrives with the eagerness of spring. It is a time when the mind wants to begin again – when learning waits for the bell – that same bell calling children and young men and women to invest in the world.
It is a sweet time of the year. There is a quality to the light that is clear and sharp. The air hangs with a sense of optimism – something at hand that drives us forward. The demarcations seem undisputable. The direction of our lives seems certain. We are engaged with our lives. We study, we learn. We are on the edge of our futures unfolding before us. Yes, it is a time for the youth of the world to listen to the teachers and the mentors and the sacredness of life. And the truth is, we never stop learning. There will always be September. We all know when it arrives. We all remember. Be students. Everyday and in every way. Be students of life. The school is the Earth. God is your teacher. The curriculum is love.