Sunday, September 16, 2007


motorboat roar
radio chatter

stillness we have always sought

septic tank quoosh
fridge motor klick

cleek clak wrrrr

slow thrum of heart
in waters of origin

speed-smeared highway a streaked grey funnel
veering, swerving, squreeling tire rubber

oooooooweeeoooooweeeoooo loon across water
layered veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

listen! engines now chainsaw bizzzzing
engines now bizzzzzzzzzzzz on the waters

but warblers are beyond the name of warbler
they are tswee tswee tswee soo soo-soo tswee tswee
aural whisps of breeze...

"among blaring newspapers
& thundering combustion
contemplatives are lost!"

rocks impervious
waters lap round
rocks impervious
waters lap round

-- Prairie Fire, Vol. 27, #1 Spring, 2006

my commentary in Out of The Woodwork

Monday, September 10, 2007


I was going to mix colours, render an eddy
of curving bright green, speckles of red
(touches of inevitable black in the gouache)
inscribed within
“May this year be green,
may it roll through you
a meadow, a wave
raised by the wind of your days.”
Something like that.

But other winds pushed that wave into space.

When I showed you my list of priorities,
the wave was gone.

“Weren’t you going to make me one of your undulations
for my birthday?”
you asked.

Annoyed, I threw the list down.

Now the day is past. “Don’t bother,” you said.
“Your birthday’s coming up: leave it to me,
I’ll make you the warm glow.”

The wave glistens. Distant mirage.
The paints are in the cupboard. Inner retort:
Still no time.

But I can write you this: this lost satellite
wheels in my head, a shimmer, I made it
especially for you:
this green satellite shimmer report.

-- Saranac Review, Issue 3, 2008

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I am a man of few words.

My name
a monosyllabic

Bruce, say,
or Matt or Joe
or Jeff.

You: immense,
surrounded by crockery pots
and children,
cookery books
and washing on the line.

Though I pay the bills,
bring home the proverbial bacon
I’m a whirling asteroid to your Jupiter,
an errant electron spinning round
your gravid nucleus.

Even yet, you wonder why
I need it so much:

why I slip my hand up your nightdress
(that you’ve gathered round yourself, for protection)
with, “If you’re willing, Mother.”

Is it five thousand times now? Ten thousand?

Why that constant urge to thunder and let loose?

When I proposed
it was in Greason’s Hardware,
automotive parts:

“Say we get married, eh?
I make a good wage.”

Today you make a new recipe for me
-- Magpie Pudding --
and when I come home from the gravel pit
my tender, male mouth drops,
my eyes express confusion and surprise,
I eat in silence, then read the paper.

For I am a man of few words.

A monosyllable.

A John, you could say.


-- First published in The Antigonish Review, #148, November 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007


From everywhere they come
from chasms in the galaxies
vents of distant dimensions

to this mountain in the sky
to bend, blend to the thrum
to the thrash & thrap of drums
limbs flaring, flying
a blur of tan & green
swaying in motley unison
to the crack & clap of drums
while around them sellers gather
to spread their coppery wares
menorahs, nose rings, phials,
anklets, opals, viols
while onlookers on the grass
suckling flutes of glass
strum their wooden women
dream wings into skies
rise, weave, whirl
to the tam tam tom of drums
rise, weave, whirl

vents of distant dimensions
chasms in the sky

-- first published in Carve
, Spring 2006