Poetry of Life

Opinion

I’m reluctant to tell you what I think.
For what I think may tell you what I think of me.
So I say whatever comes to me.
So that subjectivity may not bind me to the mirror.

Time

Looking for time,
We find him nowhere
Watching clocks, nor near the sun’s way
We may subdivide his tickings
Till he’s scarcely more than air:

He who gives dimension meaning
And counting to his tether
Makes infinity his contrary.

Space of Time

Ahead the crowd steps to the sky;
Looking from side to side,
Future’s to past as left’s t’ right.
Forward, times a line with past behind.

Where the toe tips back
Time forgets t’ trace a now.
Like a diver gulping air
Perception wavers
twixt what was ‘n’ what’s t’be.

Sunday Afternoon

Spreading shadow and light on surrounding walls
Sun sprays through the twisting curtains.

In the table you’ve just polished
The window glistens.

Foot in his mouth and dreaming
Our sleeping cat curls in the corner
No sign he’s aware that you’ve left.

While clock on its pivoting pendulum clicks
A sparrow chick chirps out a chorus;

And as travelers drone above
March moans round the skylight in canon.

Behind the curtains a bare branch tickles the light.

 The Cave

I came upon a cave,
An opening in a wall
And saw men seated watching
Shadows on a wall.
Shadows of varied shape
To a soft-sounding bell,
Flowed with a dark mysterious grace
Reflecting things eternal.

 August 17, 2014

They’re nailing a roof on the house across the road
Near the tracks by the water’s edge
Under wind-winding gulls
That climb at clouds just as playfully as comets
Off to the fathomless deep.

And on top of old St. Thomas church
Over there from Hart House
Miles west at the heart of the city
From that house that watches clouds, waves and wind-winding gulls
At the far east edge of the city.

A Muse

This air
dry,
Burning and clear
Does not bite bone
But warms gently,
Skimming the skin
It touches the heart.

Solo

Thrown from man
Like a star from the bright way,
One grows diamond hard,
Precious and cold as the moon,
A stranger to night and day:
So went Dante Alighieri.

 Things You See

By the tracks
Bouncing in the trees
A pillow like balloon in purple skin
Dances on the wind,
Straining on a string tethered to a tree
Set free to the south from the north some where
Near the train by the track.

Whence do ye come tiny cushion of air
Whose hands made thee fly through the sky
To be caught by a tree
By the train on the track heading east?

“Mama’s Pizza”

I see a Mama’s Pizza sign up ahead .
And I wonder who the real mama is
And what kinda pizza she’d make?

And there’s a picture of mama
Right there up on the sign
Kinda 50’s hair,
Sorta broad slightly smilin’ face,
Class of Ernest Borgnine maybe.

But I can’t stop thinkin’
What kinda pizza mama’d make
Would it be like the first pizza I ever ate
About an inch thick with just some tomato on top?

Does mama make that kinda pizza?
And if she does would they still be sellin’ it in Mama’s pizza store?(10. a.m. September 6, 2012)

“Mama’s Pizza”, Spoken

A Night

Sam talked to Joe
Cymbal hissed
And the drink man
Mopped the counter top.
Joe slumped toward Sam
The guy beside cried
And Sam saw none of it.
And I asked Bill if he didn’t think knowing one thing for sure
Implied the certainty of knowing all of it.
And the horn man sailed a string of sounds over top
And the guy besides eyes stared blank as stars.
And the night lady sashayed onto an empty stool
Whose to know she’s not just another lady?
So Joe told Sam to get her a beer.
And she laughed her thanks to Sam.
And the bass man traded 4’s with the horn:
Tobacco smoke traded space with a gust of beer.

Desolation

The air is wet-grey
And like it
I am free of colour
What distinguishes man from thing
In and out, down and up
Or you and me
Is one sea washed of relativity.

Time, space, place waver
As I flow through walls
Wet-souled
In this flux without fire,
Poured out
And resigned to this intermittent chill.

Sun and Phosphorus

Antique children of endless spring
Gaze blithely
Over timeless sands,
Mindless of their abandonment
To the fiery light,
Stilled before the flickering
Phosphorescent night:
Wizened visage
Powdered portraiture
Mildew blight.

A Peach Stone

A stone I planted
Became a tree;
As if by magic
Or to defy inertia
or gravity
To fulfill its potentiality,
this essence
pushed up the earth
Bore fruit
And became a tree.

Butterflies and Trains

An ancient tree hanging near earth
Expels a cloud of Monarch butterflies
Whenever a train shrieks by;
Then up like a mist, they blend again
With the leaves
As the train whispers into the distant sky.

A Park

At dusk scarcely audible, crickets twitter invisibly.
At dawn above scattered wrappings, a squad of Monarch Butterflies flutters menacingly.

The Mean

What one knows is what one thinks is so.
Only by deciphering principle amidst competing egos
Can one hope to act ethically
Spotting the moral mark like the archer aiming at the dazzling eye of the bull.
Only with eternal vigilance can one claim adherence to reality
Lest agitated by desire
We say a cat’s a lion,
A wolf’s a hound.

“Once Upon A Time”

A grove where a now forgotten
Deity was said to dwell
Maintains its fascination.
Mindless of anthropologists’ explanations
Generations retrace the spot.

And in a moment sipping tea
Or through an early morning reverie
The sound of time and coffee
Graced by an unseen wisp of straying sun
Fashions spells in light-caverned leaves
Hallucinating Halcyon.

Youth’s tasks, false starts
Lost in the years’ spinning
Grow wild in their seasons
But through an Adonian ambulation
We return to replenish
High on a vague familiarity
A faint fragrance of ambrosia.

Icarus/the boy who fell into the sea

The Sky run turned dangerous
Because of the most unlikely surprises.

The horses charged ahead,
Propelled by an urge no amateur jockey could counter.

And the sun’s well worn path
Seemed somehow obscured.

Fare Forward

Don’t think that ease is man’s natural state
Don’t expect old joy as a prize that awaits.
He has no interest in what you say
When you curse his absence:

The moon follows the sun
Just to borrow his light
And never falls when there are clouds around
Nor should we
When what we’re watching
Evades our design.

Aphrodite I

Sky’s so blue
Water and mind seem one
Love leaves garlands for the ground to wear,
Feet flying
None could deny deity,
And for him that would
There’s no trusting
Just conniving and seeking his own,
No time to stand back
Mustachios twirling
Watching some sweet thing
Make the eyes of Venus shine.

Aphrodite II

Venus laughing sways summer branches;
Birds sing sweet-scented Cyprian air.
Lynx-eyed cat and fawning-grey wolf
Follow to Idaen pastures.

In Anchise’s hut, Lady Love,
Lovely face turned shy in desire
Is stripped of bright garments and girdle
Shing jewelry of broaches and beads
And reclines on the backs of beasts
Her lover has torn from the forest.

In Rome’s seething streets,
Cynthia tumbles her gown to the floor
From shoulders like marble for her lover’s eyes.

Above dust from his brother,
Paris plays with his lady;
And he knows she’s so pretty
She must be Aphrodite
For Helen swears she’s in Egypt.

Here in the moonlight branches bristle;
Birds sing sweet-scented Cyprian air.
Lynx-eyed cat and fawning-grey wolf
Follow…

“The Other”

Two factions
Both without privilege,
Without hope;
Without the means
To comprehend the
Calamity that engulfs them.

Each believes the other is the blight that consumes them,
The other that no mirror could conceive.
Poetry about Nature
Political poems
Verse Translations