Monday, December 31, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007


Why don't we go underground...
Jump on a train of thought...
After everyone's done rushing and buying...
Putting up the tree...

Just bustle by...
Like I wasn't here to begin with...
And as cold as that may seem that's Christmas...
Wrapped up in a nice big bow...

And the snow faintly fell past the street light...
As it fell through the universe...
Birds may bring you honey...
And to all a good night.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Inherent Flaw

This way of life is not what you make of it.
It's not as easy as you think.

Some days I see it falling faintly,
falling from this place where days are good.

For what's inherent if there must be good?
What else would a sunny day be?

As skewed as that may seem,
I'm telling you,

that's the way things are.
For you the reader.

For me the writer.
The inherent flaw in my way of life

is the life I choose to live,
what isolates everyone else from


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Europa Rising

Inspiration sometimes seems far away,
like I'd be better off
looking on a moon of Jupiter.

Of the many you can have your pick.
So it goes the grass is greener,
the atmosphere meaner, and

a rhyme that could have blossomed
is just Europa rising before Io.
But what do I know?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Listen Bird

Sometimes it seems
if I let anyone see
the secret little world
I call my own
I'd shrivel up
like a grape in the sun
until there was only seed.

Sometimes it seems like it's only me in the world,
a shade of what I could have been,
turned crooked
(on the side of the phone
that stone chat,
that fell,
what could have been a crow).

Then there's times
I know
the right call --
know I don't have to hide.

So I got in a cab
thinking thank you for the listen bird
and leaving feathers behind and
pattered small feet on the windows
while the driver laughed.

I thought of you.

My soul breathed and listened to the world around me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


How can I move across this space?

How can I make it so my soul
is not next to yours
when they resonate
like two reeds in the wind
to make one note?

How can I change that tune?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sliver of Truth

You do not have to be good --
you must only let the
warm soft soul of your body
love what it loves.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We fly our flags at half mast for dead soldiers...
Let's raise them up
to where they should be
and leave the banners in the muck.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stuck in a dory on a stormy sea...

... oh my oh me... what will I do when the stormy sea falls in on me... will it make my eyes like those of the fish thawing in the sink... will I turn pink... blue... will I see you... oh my poor little beat of a heart... boo who for me... boo who for you...

Here's water's wisdom... whether rain or sea or river or tears... water keeps moving... without pity for itself... like the world under water... as it is...

So if stuck in a dory on a stormy sea remember... nothing if forever... not even water or storms... all things move to one feather... one brush... one tide...

Friday, November 9, 2007


If you know night in Rockey Mountain House

you wonder,

is it the stars standing still

and me who sparkles?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aubade (or to try and thank someone)

I wanted things to be simple like a sunrise... but that's not the way life is... it's not simple... for if it was I wouldn't have to write what I write... and that's the biggest truth... that all the bullshi* writing and philosophising won't bring back those times of regret and those moments that matter... and that yes... yes... I regret... and all those people who say that they don't regret are full of bullshi*... everyone regrets... otherwise they never really cared for anything other than themselves to begin with... and why won't some people just write and regret... why isn't it just that simple... you're a... ah... ah... never mind... never mind... like how it never rains when you want it to... like it doesn't snow on your sizzling desert... it's only a beautiful sunrise... wishing I was home... wishing I wasn't full of regret... like us all... like sunset.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Newfoundland Fantasy -- fragment

They say that the fair folk once lived among us, but that with the coming of modern technology and a population boom of people they sought quieter realms that exist amongst ours. They say that one of those realms is here, in Ferryland.

When my mother was young there were many who encountered the folk and most all believed in them, but since my generation they've come to be a myth -- there was only myself and one other person who ever claimed to see one, and whenever I told anyone about it they said I imagined it and that those sort of things only happen in tall tales.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Elephant and Castle

Don't you know
how to play chess
or what's e4 --
about a pawn storm,
the King's Indian
or Rui Lopez?

Don't you know anything
of art and war and
why people make a board game of life
when the best game
started with elephants and castles
a thousand years ago?

your hat your
ego at the door.

I can't play around with life anymore.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

After Walt Whitman and a certain engineer

Agonies are one of my changes of garments,
I do not ask the wounded person how he feels,
I myself become the wounded person,
My hurts turn livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe.
-- Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass leaf 33 "I understand the large hearts of heroes,"
half way down


When I listened to you say that I thought again how much I dislike phones, because people can't write those kinds of things to you in plain words... they'd realise how ridiculous it all sounds. Write me about the magpie that got kicked out of the nest because it was a runt. Write me about the hardship of the world where some must die that others may thrive. Write the sound of the last chirp before the crows came and how that's just the way that it is and then I'll continue our phone conversation, even though, really, that's beneath you. You were never a runt and you were never kicked out of a nest. You're one of the strong ones... look out for the rest.



If you were a sculptor
and kept polishing
the same stone
for long enough
it would become

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Stone or Water

short story for the storytelling competition as part of "The Works" arts festival, time limit 5 mins, gong at 7... to be presented Canada Day @ city hall


This is a story of two very different characters and how they came to see that perhaps they were not so different after all. One lived in a village of stone and not water, a village of rock and not sea in the mountains where he lived alone, so maybe it’s not fair to say he lived in a village. Can there be a village of one? The other lived in a village of water and not rock, a village of sea and not stone in the oceans where she lived alone, so maybe it’s not fair to say she lived in a village. Can there be a village of just one?

Now, I wasn’t there, so I can only tell you what could have happened. I could tell you about them coming together or I could tell you about them moving apart. I could tell you about a cliff face wearing away from the waves or I could translate the chatter of beach rocks in the tide. If you wanted a seedier story I could tell you about water’s infatuation with the moon and what they get up to as he waxes and wanes. I could tell you anything. That’s what a story is. But I don’t have to. You know how all the stories end.

A man and a woman lived together in a house. They had a cat named Tawny and a ferret who loved to dig tunnels in the big potted plants. She was an artist who worked in driftwood, beach glass and twine to make a mobile or a phoenix or a whale. She combed beaches and the bottom of Niagara Falls. She found feathers atop the highest hills to decorate the cactus and painted lips on it at Christmas instead of a tree. Their home had a life of its own. It was a zoo of paint and light and the soft sounds of morning and how one time she flushed the toilet when he was in the shower to hear him yelp before being coaxed back by the water when it turned lily warm and she stepped in with him.

But I won’t tell you the rest. You know what happened. You know that she longed for change and the world and had a spirit so free it could never be asked to be still. I don’t need to say anything about the heartache of her choice or how it ground him to sand such that he swore he’d never try again. I don’t need to tell you because everybody knows, stone stays water goes.

And I needn’t mention what remains of a lady named Sylvia, living on the streets of some big city filled with concrete monkeys driving their steel buffalo -- her duffel bag satched through and stuffed to the gills with tattered rags and pictures of a better time, her trench coat seemingly on a broken-down umbrella frame, the pockets spilling marbles and crushed cheese slices as she sprang to. I won’t tell you about the rock she tried to defend herself with and how feeble a fight she put up as the bus driver took it from her and shoved her into the rain. What happened to Sylvia next? You already know. You’ve seen how water will seep beneath stone.

And I won’t tell you of a car bomb in Kandahar or the size of the crater left behind as the phosphorous settled on a wedding party instead of confetti. You don’t want to hear about the Canadian soldiers who responded to the scene or the secondary explosives that lay in wait for them. I won’t say how killing begets killing. I won’t say stoned to death when it’s closer to say bludgeoned with frigging big rocks. It’s not worth saying how tragic it all is and how like water politicians are, babbling away while beneath stone buries stone buries stone. I don’t think it’s worth telling a “rich against the poor” kind of tale. They’re not good for the soul.

Then maybe I’ll tell a reel about wanderlust. How a young man came to open his heart again when he followed a young lady to a distant place, and how he never told her he was going to be there, hoping he was in her heart. He didn’t know how to find her in the sea of people in the city, flowing among the buildings and pavements and homes. He was beginning to lose hope and was afraid he might forget her smile, her soft words of comfort. He was broken on the whim of the world as time sanded away perspective. But you know what happened next? He saw her on a train to the university and said the first words, “I love you”, as the tunnel opened up above the river to reveal a sun shower double rainbow and their lips met like never had been apart, because they knew, like knows water like knows stone, nothing can live for too long on its own.

So let me tell you truth now, because all the stories are the same one story. If you live in your own village of rock or of sea you would learn, after a time, that we are both water and stone, flowing and subtle and life-giving once, cold and hard at others once again, and that when people seem the most like stone all it takes is to strike them just right and they’ll open up like shells and show you that spark of fire in the place where we love and care for others more than we care for ourselves.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

After The Cowboy Junkies

Walking after moonlight,
searching for you.
I can see Orion
crying on his pillow,
hear the harmonica, smell
the pine the
lavender, the thrush
ing-slide-guitar and
banter and nego-
ciations, flied lice
and why the fuck
it's just me
who feels like I do.
Nothing to hold on to.


He puts a ring on her finger
as a balance between
fear and trust.


My troubles started when love found me.
It's so hard to explain...
my loss is someone else's gain.


The reason there are sad faces in the mountains
is they know water will not soon return.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What the bear in the mountain didn't say on the solstice

"If you throw a crow a peanut,
rickets as to reason in spades,
set it beneath his feet --
thwack-thwack-beaksplittingshell --
like hatching ideas.
Here, I'll throw you one.


"People are like stones.
You strike them right,
they open up like shells.


What was circumstance on solstice...
may I please your vision
that I dream softly
so I don't grind my teeth.


"I never said look in my face,
didn't say I'm worth noticing,
no more special than anything else,
this temple we're a part of,
in soft rain sun
rays slip away,
the clap of thunder
where no lightening was.
This world holds and keeps us all,
without our even asking.
If you could learn that
we could all thrive.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What remains of a circle

The twisted and fractured circle represents the life cycle being torn apart by an unnatural force; emaciated hands resist, grasp, and then beg for an end to their inhuman condition.


--inscription on monument in big city

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Five Books

The Gift of Stones
Things Fall Apart
Leaves of Grass
Judge Tenderly of Me


I don't understand beach rocks
in the desert and gulls
like once was water
flapping, maybe
a tempest
about a barachois
without a kayak. Where
there is beach rocks there once was
sea. Everybody knows, stone stays, water goes.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Two Shorts

Crows don't play at politics,
just see black,
see albino under
wing peppered sea-salt,
epsom stone-chat
babbling away,
the tide, the beach
rocks, the silence,
a murder voting.


you are as old
as the grudges
you hold
as young
as forgive as
old as regret
young as hope
another day
sun rise
sun set
young as that

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What remains of a person... ( take 2)

but a duffel bag,
satched through,
stuffed to the gills?
What seems to be
a trench coat on
an umbrella frame,
a pocket full of marbles
and soggy sliced cheese and
what was left over
when you recoiled
into your SUV.
What remains of a person?
Not much.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another rainbow

If I could only tell you how my pulse lept at your words, at only the idea, the thought, that maybe you feel like I do, like anything's possible and that words and stones are less important than water and hearts.

What remains of a person

but a muddied duffel bag,
satched through,
stuffed to the gills?

What seems to be
a trench coat,
umbrella wings etched
like done by grinding
a cornucopia of pyrite?

What silence is this
which would make cringe
that person
to their SUV?

What trust?

What vengeance?

What remains of a person?

Not much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Water or Stone

What if there were stone and no water?
What if there were water and no rock?
What silence is this
where the conversation ends,
the cliff face begins
and only the babble of the beach
rocks is heard by the seeming sea?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

This night is dark and deep
of home and away,
near and far,
an echo
of a sparrow
and a finch.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

And the big three pained window...

the cabs going by
album by Billy Bragg
but done by Natalie Merchant and Wilco.

forget that full-stop
and that error.

just give up...

the three stained glass windows.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Even in the city...

you can feel the stillness

the pine needle expanding
over concrete
like it was mice

drawing me in to investigate
and see Venus
while day broke
on Rennies Mill Road


my last few days

leaving my crows for barren pastures

looking to look in a new place

learned some new last names

leaving in wanderlust

so much stone and not water

so much silence and not trust

or a new day rises

as it must



sing a song of a feast of crows
sing a song of dust
if you must




Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How to Catch a Star

don't bother

like the song you always loved because it reminded you of somebody
the smell of citrus
the tangerine
the cross-section of a human
bound up
in bungee chord
like the rhyme
I struggle not to write

how to catch a star

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The best was yet to come.

Remember satsuma and tangerine.

Cellar door.

All the time I still think, what would I do if I didn't have you?

I have a cash register full of water and my treasure spills out the sides.

A bright light.

Something beautiful.



Way over yonder in the minor key.

Ain't nobody that can sing like me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

funeral today for Sargent Ronald Lucas
why are Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan?

After "That the Night Come"

Do you really want to know why?
All the killing and mayhem and violence,
the walking death of life made hell
as the phosporous settles on the scene--
confetti at a wedding of light and dark--
the snow faintly falling through the universe.
Because the cannon ball bundles time away
that the night come.

That the Night Come -- W.B. Yeats

She lived in storm and strife,
Her soul had such desire
For what proud death may bring
That it could not endure
The common good of life,
But lived as 'twere a king
That packed his marriage day
With banneret and pennon,
Trumpet and kettledrumb,
And the outrageous cannon,
To bundle time away
That the night come.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Untitled... again ...but meaner this time

exercise your vice.

let it out to play.

think of the worst word
someone could put in a bottle
of wiskey and shake up
the spout
into your face
while you smirked

analise your vice.

ask it a question.

are you one vice or are you many?

one and many at the same time,
made up of your who you are
and who you do not wish you were,
grown over time to pressure.

offer it a drink.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Two edits

In the end everyone's prayers are answered,
just not in the order recieved;

we all reach and then fall.
That's what it is to believe

beyond reason or chance
in the power of life to redeem,

to know that names and words
like dreams ware away.


I spoke with Van Gogh
under the cyprus --
jagged pallet punctuated pastel here,
tawny earth tone here,
subtle water to arid land,
where once was a crisp canvas.
He etched a pyre atop a paragon.
There is a phoenix in all of us, he said,
seething, mixed with our ashes

Monday, March 26, 2007


I tried not to write these words... I couldn't help it... it just happened... like the nebulous cluster that burst to give us earth... and sun... and Venus... and venus/// where do you get off... the gravity that you know... better than me... about fate... and the things set before us... and all the carpel tunnel syndrome... associated with writing/// and how you think it's an enigma... a question wrapped in a conundrum inside a riddle... when all I say is meant to be clear... like yes... no... I only came out to see you... and who has time for the truth... when you're in the middle of the meander of life... when you write these words only for yourself/// instead of alone

Monday, March 12, 2007

Things I think I know:

am i alive
is there another life
is there meaning
if there are others
if now is precious
if two is a special number
when to follow suit

why bother
when Venus rules
is the cat a beautiful creature
or not
if love is lovely
if lonely loves regret
if I behold

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

What the Sphinx said of the Secret

I want to speak but I don't want to tell the story. When I move my lips the words turn to sand, like they were made to order in a stone grinding factory in my mind.

I think you're right when you say that you can't trust people to tell their own stories, that they'll give you a necessary fiction, tailored to suit your own. All the things you'd never share with a soul with a soul ...

So I'll skip to the part where I say that you'll never understand the depths my claws now reach -- where what cloaks you behind the world's curtain and your ashes turns to ash. No earth, no morning-star or stone-chat. No souls.

Then what silence will speak the language of alone? Then what fiction? Then what trust? The veil is thrown back as time roots out the festering unbidden and all is absolved.

To you I seem untelling silent: you simply do not hear. Each day I grin an earful at Ra for all fades away ... nothing will remain ... there is no secret worth keeping.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Where there is any doubt ...

... there can be no doubt.
This is a world of half talk --
a darkening place which lives
in the corner a hanging forest
dripping ever more questions
on the ground's answer
while fear or fate laughs a foul stench
and melts into blackness.

Two rules:

Fifteen minutes of pleasure isn't worth one second of someone else's unhappiness.

Where there is any doubt there can be no doubt.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Street in Front of the House

Taking notice of bright surroundings:
houses tailored in half winter grim
over half selected shades,
poles and wires glazed,

cold cars owned, but ownerless,
no man's land where the path would be
now only trod by crows feet.
Moving across slick surfaces,

shoes softly and decisively
seeking clear patches of pavement,
lifting leg knee high,
finding perch on a cornucopia

of snow formed ice.
Someone, no one to clear it away?
Nature's formation in our place,
in our space.

As I land I find a man
with grunts and groans worn on his face
as he carries snow from one pile
to another pile some feet away.

I see great effort,
but I see no great effect,
for snow is snow
and doesn't care where it lies.

I continue with a smile on my face
that no one sees as my eyes look down.
Though I journey down streets of man
nature has smeared

a crisp canvas
in alabaster oil paint.
Being happy and travelling quick
I do my best to avoid a fall.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Catalogue of faults

They keep a catalogue of faults
that all relate to me --
greed, judgment, regret, doubt,
deception, vanity,
San Andreas Fault and

(Writing is more harder than forget,
more caloused than forgive,
more phoenix than fire,
more pillar than pyre.

Writing is watching a rhyme bloom
and not cultivating it
because it's mismatched
with the garden.)

lastly, of course, is averice is
take a breath and exercise my vice.

You do not have to be good --
you must only
let the warm soft soul of your body love what it loves
and fear not the fault lines.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Crooked line to a diagonal future

I keep counting and waiting and waiting. I keep figuring that everything's going to be alright. I keep my fingers crossed because the wind changed and they got stuck that way. I run until my lungs feel like bubble wrap -- alveolar-ripple-puddle. I want to be there, where the drip joins the rest, where the sea sprays the air...

I just want to hear. I just want to see. I want what is real.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


"Forget it. I'm Ok.", said the Kittiwake. They're remarkable creatures. Think about the place that they are born into. I mean look at it. Yet you will never hear a Kittiwake complain, or be pathetic. They just get on with things. They are held in the arms of nature, and in a way, as a group, are protected, without them ever trying or knowing about it. Their biggest threat is us. We threaten the eggs which balance on the cliffs by our breath, and still they stand fast.

"It's no big deal," said the kittiwake "Everything balances out in the end."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

In The Land of Inside Out

In the land of inside out
I felt awash in gentle rhythms
like a rinse cycle --
danced a thousand tangos with magpies.
I so wanted to understand
their laws of gravity
and traffic,
I kidnapped a cop,
made him drive in circles
while I tossed apples at taxi cabs.
The drivers cursed me in Dutch
and gave me money --
I was rich as a cat
and ate spider plants for water.
I'll never own a fur coat
so fine as my cat coat
in the land of inside out.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Battery Bedtime

I won't swallow
sea water or
the tiny bottle that says
"drink me"

won't insert a comma
or make my lines
similarly sane.

I'll watch you
moisturise your face
and carry the cat

will think we can stay
in our state of grace
for good.