Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pine Seed

Don't forget
it's clay
that learned how to
soak itself and wrap
in gelatine.
It opened
secret compartments
in it's glue
to do its
quiet, private

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I sit in front
hourly of all the
blank and empty
power while the
steamy streets
drip ice.
I have to look
for things to do
with optics, audio,
word, and eyes
past the white curtain.
Aging way beyond
uselfulness, the jokes
I play on myself
keep me alive
instead of money.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 7am Alarm

I dream of sunrise
with easy breath
and natural sigh.

I even dream
of laughing
without fear of shadows.

But knowlege
of the world
is soul inhibiting.

I know it may go on
busting my joy
or it may grow.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Four More Stories: click on the link

Protected Identity

He travelled.
He walked down
a new street
with new people lining it.

Songs of romance
re-entered his mind.
He even forgot his age,
imagining himself much younger.

With identity changed
the past and the
counts of years
were muddled in his mind.

All the things he
couldn't have before
now seemed within reach.
He gave himself

permission to reach for new joys.
When the past is lost and
identity changes and
life continues innocently day by day

with the sun rising and setting
and things not painful,
it was more than tolerable, it was fun.
Never mind the occassional frights

that happened
just to keep interest up.
He looked forward to
the meals of fish and spices

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Memoir of Goliath

In the habit of teasing,
she sometimes told him
that she wished he didn't come.
But she always invited him.
Goliath took solace in that,
accepted her invitation
knowing how it was issued.
In spite of everything,
the years in one place,
Golliath always wondered
where he lived.

The child of badness,
the bully in his heart,
swallower of pride,
he had stood in front of minions
who adored him, then failed them
and didn't die or vanish.

He walked from the
site of his misdeeds head cast down,
not wanting to be seen.
He didn't hide.
just slipped away
not un-noticed but shunned.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


This is
not a world for me.
I am no
good for it.
First of all,
I can't be young again

and can't
hope. I miss
Stand around
in the market
useless in my space

reacting to the
pardon me
of those who seek
what they need.
They are the pleasant ones
who smile in their waiting.

Friday, February 01, 2013

David Fraser's Review of my Book

Four Stories and Their Poems by Don Schaeffer: Reviewed by David Fraser

In Four Stories and Their Poems, Don Schaeffer depicts three characters, Jacob, Morely and Moshe, who are searching through the remnants of their lives and their ideas. Jacob in the story, "When Marcie Died", is attempting to define death. He knows of death, since in a lifetime it has been all around him, but he doesn’t know it in terms of his perception and his identity. Like all of us, once we know death, it’s too late to communicate it to anyone.

There is a sense of loneliness in his characters in each story. Jacob feels the need for people to join together, to be voices together, to have eyes to witness and share together. We see Jacob’s trapped existence, living with cats who are oblivious, who live their own lives in and around him as he goes about the routine of rising, brushing his aging teeth, and taking a daily shower. He is "a strange non-participating man, speaking an odd idiosyncratic language" and as an aged man, he becomes a person without a voice where "the routes to sunshine are cut off because he speaks."

The poems between the stories thematically enhance the mood and message of each preceding story.

"small and selfish/. . ./I sit and wait/not knowing what to do."
– "The Creaking"

"When you refuse and disagree,/the light of the world/diminishes . . ."
– "Social Media"

In the story, "Two Dreams" we find a sense of alienation with the character, Moshe. He is "half visible" shuffling "among creatures with raised eyes and straight determined looks." He is a ghost "not speaking up, not saying hello," and "not knowing how to make his voice call up his visibility." Moshe "never felt a hero in his own house" because of a career "marred by personal flaws." He walks among shadows and he, himself is a shadow in a hollow world from which he has withdrawn.

The poems echo the alienation and the coldness of the world around him.

"They had dinner in the plastic cafeteria,

fitted to look like Acapulco,

which they would never see"
- "Wednesday Night Out"


"He cooperated with less than a whole heart,

half visible because

he couldn’t take it for granted.

So the world never fully paid him."
- "Moshe"

Morely, a character in "The Complete Introvert", likes to roll his eyes inside himself much to the annoyance of his wife, Jodi. The world he sees is full of tunnels; tunnels connecting buildings, connecting the natural world through its root system, tunnels inside his body, tunnels through his mother’s house, and through the air which are the passageways of escape.

In the poem "Quantum Foam" passageways or tunnels are the archetypal entrance ways and exits for birth and death.

In a sense the musings of Morely, the introvert, touch on metaphoric imagery. With tunnels we can’t help thinking of worm holes through space and time, liminal spaces and thresholds that go beyond the mundane existence of eating supper and doing dishes.

In the final story, "The Inverse Performer", Moshe Goldberg rents an old theatre for three nights and pays each audience member a hundred dollars to listen, or if not listen, be present so he can affirm his existence with the dramatic presentation of his ideas. There is a fourth wall, that wall that separates the audience from the actor and the play that is not broken in this contrived scenario. The audience is a vague presence in the dark, separated from a mostly darkened stage and separated from the artist who is on the stage philosophizing metaphysically about existence and the great questions of life. The set-up for the three nights is as if quantum theory gets discussed by the right brain and the results are surreal as in a Samuel Beckett play.

Each story stands on its own, but each also layers on the others ii its tone of sadness and alienation, and the poems structurally bind the prose together in their concise glue.





David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine, since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Rocksalt, An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. He has published four collections of poetry; Going to the Well, 2004, Running Down the Wind, 2007, No Way Easy, 2010, Caught in My Throat, 2011 and, Paper Boats, 2012 and a collection of short fiction, Dark Side of the Billboard, 2006. In addition David has co-authored with Naomi Beth Wakan, On Poetry an inspirational book on poetics and poetry. To keep out of trouble he helps develop Nanaimo's spoken-word series, WordStorm. In October 2009 and 2010 he participated in Random Acts of Poetry, a national poetry program that brings poetry to the streets of Canada. David is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets and is available for performances and readings via funding with LCP.