Saturday, September 30, 2006

Nod

I sail the night-
sea empty as death.

I think-not-am-not,
except for rare

bright cities
to which memories cling.

When I reach the shore
I rise to kiss the harbor.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rainbow Peacock Man

The rainbow peacock man
supposes he is doing fine,
strutting in his cast-off
coat, plastic bangles.
Nobody knows
his name is Jesse.

Witnesses laugh
not at his feather colors,
his self-esteem strut,
but at the idea
that he has made
a wrong assumption.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Malti's Poem

When I read her
poem of youth
waiting to
emerge from lonliness,
full of hope since
the future is where
all the living is,

I wanted to tell the poet,
who was unable to hear,
that the questions and hopes
will all be answered.
One day, she will awaken
and they will all be gone.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Busy Poet

Sorry I can't hear you.
I am the speaker; all
goes out. I let little in.

Hearing my own name is
a hollow substitute for love,
a dilute, fluffy bread

that fills my belly
while my blood
screams.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Coming Compulsion

We check every detail,
the depth of the kerb,
the unevenness of the grass.
We map the end of the sidewalk,
the rocks on the path,
plot the sugar content
of our blood, the presence
or absence of insects,
the degree of level
in our shoulder-blades.
We inhibit our fat,
the way we climb out of bed,
protect our arms,
keep our legs from crossing
guard the position of our heads
as we lay down to sleep.
We wear simple clothing
worrying about how easy
our shirts are to remove,
we shield our pants from
body fluid.
The next ten years
stays in our minds,
and beyond that,
the next ten.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Unpredicted Joy

The laws of civility
seem to be working
among the children,
windmill legs flash.
Lilly laughter diffuses
into the school time air.

There are glints of sunlight
on the steel, but never
the edges of the knives.

The animals
are like that too.
Death may lurk but they
go on in peace with
burbling voices, all day long
toying in the wind and sun.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Globe & Mail Fashion Supplement Page 94

It's like owning a laser gun.
She could use it
however she wishes,
just aim and shoot
those eyes and everything melts.

They pay her
big bucks for that.

The smile works like that too.
She owns it, not for when she's happy
but for when she wants
to fuse steel plates.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What to Watch Out For

Beware
frozen smiles
of the paralyzed,
chronic smiles
of the old
retired from a happy life,
smiles of those
who have learned good manners,
smiles pasted on
by coincidence of gene, and
smiles caused by loose lips.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

An Overheard Conversation

The girl marches into the cafe,
staccato as adolescents sometimes march.
Hamburgers are not enough
to draw her to her mother's table.
She resists a push
as she stamps and plops into her place.
Briefly, I see her plump young countenance
when she turns.

The older woman follows,
an egg woman with short, stout legs.
The origin of charm in the girl's face has darkened
to a surprising variation of what it must have been.

The girl knows what
her mother intends to say,
necessary but ugly:
a long accounting of monies spent
and monies yet to be spent,
details of bus schedules,
estimated bus stop arrival times.
Numbers just fly out of her,
limited conversation
but spoken with love.