Monday, July 22, 2013

Watching Bees

come down to the clover
with your bumblebee memory
and sip the purple blooms

come down to the clover
with your bristles and buzz
and heal a world that cannot be won

Friday, May 10, 2013


my father paid us boys
twenty-five cents a bucket
to pull them plenty
and now the neighbours are out
with their stomping tools
sucking them out by the roots

and of course you cannot forget
the careless old fools with their bottles
of dreadful herbicide, on their knees
along the sidewalks

to call them weeds is an error,
outrageously human - much maligned
and I'll never know why

to see them out on my lawn
like yellow stars against
the green firmament,
and later the tall puffs of them
light as air

Monday, April 15, 2013

Saskatoon Berry

All bloom now, arriving like new snow
and a surprising sweetness
carried on the valley wind

I feel all right when the flowers come,
a certain spring in the green hills
They know that I count on them,
their radiant light after a long sleep

They never fail, so patient
for the sun and eager for the bees
to plant the summer fruit

The blossoms will fall in a few days,
absorbed into memory, these passing things
that hold up my world

Saturday, April 6, 2013


what is my music - but a driving rhythm,
the timeless imprint of a singular moment when a song,
a band spoke my name, called me out to hear
Dazed and Confused, and a man possessed
with an incurable guitar, the thunder of drums
and that wailing on centre stage
that led me away from everything else, saved me
from the ordinary, made me want to be more,
kept me stretching, longing, moving,
always the music with me, never deviating
as they grew older, grey and wrinkled,
beautiful men who understand the full glory
of their history etched in the hearts of boys
now aging with them

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Deep

a wilderness vision shouts
from the marrow of a man,
carries a message of himself

into the mountains
and into the deep

listen to the life
murmuring at your feet,
there are no possessions

into the mountains
and into the deep

not a thing to own
but a purpose, a will
and a song

into the mountains

and into the deep

Sunday, January 27, 2013


The hard colour,
ribs of slow shivering
and glacial stone
It does not  move,
such a still and unshakable presence
as if time rested a while,
a breath to take in winter

It is unmoving for the eyes,
for the senses that become ice-bound
and arctic
I could not move my boreal limbs,
no will to look away
It wanted me to know its presence,
its moment

But how could that be?

And then the ice broke away above me,
fell, tumbling shards – a sound of beads
on a tile floor
Then I knew what is existence,
what is a moment

Nothing lasts - snowflakes die in the wet streets
and the sun bursts above the horizon
 in a singular instant for Chris Hadfield
above the Earth

Nothing lasts
Nothing lasts but the awareness
of ice and the thawing days

Sunday, January 20, 2013


for Mark

All is raw and cold slices,
uphill against a distant sun
There is no respite from the pagan dark
but the seeker will not be idle

I have found the secrets
in the coastal gardens, snowdrops
shivering in their daring blooms
and flowering cherries undaunted
and reckless pink

I know where they are, old friends,
 hazel with its yellow tassles
 and nearby the wooly grey heads
of willow inform the waxing days

You see, there is life, ever present
pushing a common will
We are the steady ones born under
a heralding spring, early perhaps,
but someone  has to break the good news