Thursday, March 26, 2015

Eyes Blue (Approaching the Lunar New Year)

Eyes Blue (Approaching the Lunar New Year)

Kids tugging at my clothes, small dirty
fingers busy far below my sightline. Where             

did you go? Why did you stay away so long? Remembering
you’re childless means nothing to this plucking.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Eating an Orange in Agincourt Mall

Eating an Orange in Agincourt Mall

Segment by segment. Carefully.
That’s life these days.
(Or always was? Clear            
seed misplaced in banquet blurs.)

Rotate in the hands with
gentle pressure. Pick a spot
with give to poke teeth into.
Unzip with thumb and two
pronged fingers, trying for a continuous
curl, forgiving yourself the snaps
and pick-aways. Plug with
pith tail levered free, and
clinging web of membrane
detached in branching strands.

Now. Colour’s fragrance is this
taste reclaimed from rushing roads 
and greasy hours. Spurts of             
sweet sweet juice as flesh gives

way, dissolves, becomes a part of

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March Squirrel

March Squirrel

blackly in
branches encased
in clear unbroken cold,

seven weeks from zero.

Nothing in your paws
to peel or rotate,
your jaws gnaw

on hard, budless bark.

all have ends
save one. You and I,
can we mine null hours

to find ice flowering?

Friday, March 13, 2015

East Window

East Window

Inching my chair back to stay in sun’s slant
path, its February arc brisk beyond 

this east window. Frugal as a basking lizard,
I finally run out of speckled ledge, find

myself in cool shadow, beside the Christmas
cactus. Flowering again, it needs water.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Looking for the Mother

Looking for the Mother           

Another toddler, the second in as many days, gone
wandering without clothes out into bone-shock cold,               

-30 wind chill. This one still alive, spotted and brought
inside by a neighbour. Police are looking for the mother.

Later in Longo’s, in the busy produce section, this small
old man with pinkish juice flecked with seeds dribbling

down his chin, evidence of a snatched piece of fruit he
ducks his head in vain to conceal. Ragged clothes, thin

and old—someone should tell him to wait at least till he’s
in a quiet aisle and to stock his empty cart with some items.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Frog Chant at the One Percent

Frog Chant at the One Percent

The collective wealth of the world’s richest 1 percent will exceed that of the other 99 percent of the global population next year...


Kings of old, they had the decency
to bump each other off, hurling armies into swamps
of gore that ended often at their own court-    
yards, their families raped and killed, their own  
heads leering atop spikes at their battered torsos.                           
They had skin in the game, and owned the rest of us outright.  

Blood and chains, not ratified trade agreements.


They built monuments to themselves
that made them unmistakable:
pyramids, palaces, castles with lavish
feasts and entertainments, never donning 
rags to share a lice-ridden peasant’s gruel
—why on earth would a ruler do that?   

Silks and jesters, not jeans and an iPad.


They were easy to envy, compose fairy tales
about, hate, occasionally plot against. Monstrous gods,
they made clean targets. Soaked up sun and arrows aplenty.
This new breed, though—you mingle middlingly, melt from
clear view. Perch perhaps in a condo thirty floors above the deli
we go to, wait patiently behind us in a Starbucks.

Tweet and update on Facebook, suffer trolls like


To scoop it all—and yet be safe. It seems     
impossible, a trick no one could plumb         
—no one really does, I think, and yet it deepens,
with pacts and accords, various tit-for-tats,
less a well-organized conspiracy than a messy   
but inexorable convergence of interests over time.

Evolution of owning, wealth retardants bred away.  


And now the planet’s on the line—what do you fear? 
Little or nothing is my guess. Amnesia and distraction 
have snared you like the rest of us, fogs of status
quo you lay down and are blinded by. When you peer hard,  
do you see something like those oblivious frogs
in a pot of water brought slowly to a boil?

Limp amphibians, smiling as they scald. 


It’s true—in pricklings, we realize it. Except—guess what?
There’s no safe perch on a cooking cauldron.
Bottom roasts first, but rim gets red-hot too
—it just takes longer. And the steam of seven billion
rotting will be some stench to suffocate in,
skin peeling in screams from your astonished bones—

Just silence then. No child left to damn, forgive or even
                                                remember you.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Horta Elegy (Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015)

Horta Elegy

Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015