Tuesday, 21 January 2014

1 New Poem

Flowers and Ferris Wheels

Riding Ferris Wheels alone can be so calm,
the carnival lights swelling in thousands' feet time,
and cold crystal clutching to eyelash in summer's
pale pier docking, there was nothing to hear
but one's own breath; you say it's alright,

And you hide behind glasses,
push worries away with clouds in the
Halifax skies and Breton's undertow.

Tumbling shoe-tied streets can be so illuminated,
drinking and dragging along time tendrils
drawn from the last talk you had with someone
you could have spent hour dawns with
blessed thought, hands held; you say it's okay

And you hide behind bar tabs,
staunch dried tears with memoirs,
paper pages and quill ink.

Talking with yourself can make great partners,
when there's nothing left but the wall's echo
for understanding, when lights have all
snuffed out from half-thinkers sitting rooms
and friends shut their eyes; you say it's just fine

And you hide behind platitudes,
half-ironies and placid smirks;
black-out curtains in your room.

Monday, 20 January 2014

1 New Poem

One Hour Spent Talking

This is hollow: two voices strained for thought
in harried breath, voids between netted shut of wire
and syntax, but, still, you are, you are

everything I could think to speak of snow storms,
and light shows, south pols and night skis,
slow motions to tender rain and pictures in magazines.

This is all: two people getting along with their
smiles and exasperations, choking back truths
too kind to say, but, still, I am, I am

so summertime's smitten with every circle's rhythm
your hair bobbed with, every hand and mark
of black ink you pressed to cheek, just as

much as ever, really.

Monday, 13 January 2014

1 New Poem


Hair of auburn curl, summer dewy night wishes,
those cat calls half-remembered, unmade beneath
a teeth colour you kept in tone; as
unpainted a ceramic piece as I, but filled
in better of curve clasping line, and breathing in.

Shoulder-length apology, echoing among the hither-hills,
picture you in rivers' lauded depth, in the
salutations of salty brine I down-take in your
absence, in the mud-splash patterns on bus windows
I stare out with my bags and bushel packs, breathing out.

Patience in winter's jacket warmth, you are as moonlight
in lily meadows, as springtime shadows' maple hangings,
you are the whirl of lights in Belfast, the tempo-keeping
feet of dress-shoed men and chapping lipstick,
you are the drunken cobblestone stumble, breathing in.

Waiting, waiting, always waiting, I am bloodied by
time ticking, I am a shivering figure at the
Rideau stoplight, I am an overburdened pack rat,
collection of traded junk bonds coming up to ear height,
I am your mirror, in wishes, in dreams, breathing out.

Monday, 6 January 2014

1 New Poem

If You Travel South

If you travel south sometime with bramble branches
and Highway 61 signs, with the swirl-tumble of
Kentucky coal miners' smoke break tar,
take the pieces of pine needle I've saved
and knotted together in clover's shape.

If you go when its too cold to breathe here,
flying as the seagulls and songbirds do alike,
check about me in newsprint scribbles, in
tongues talking around Christmas tablecloth
in high-plucked tone from sundown heavy
trees, if ever my name comes through the fog.

If you depart when streets are slick for skating,
when the icebox is scarcely worse than hands
beyond the window dash and stepping on
the sidewalks outside with your old cracking boots,
take a letter-page I'd shed a tear on
in your pack, its edges well-worn in time.

If you go some place where green warmths dance
amongst the strands and fluttered curls of her hair,
ask if she still thinks of my face at all, imagining
the road salt stains on my dress shoes and
snow collecting on coat collar edges.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

3 New Poems

Paper Heart

Torn in two, asunder on the moor wind,
crumbled and craggy, patches of old misery sewn in,
stitching worries, blurred memories of women
with painted faces you regret the touch of,
you regret the thoughts you could churn up
at a moment's prompting, at fifteen.

That time when your heart was paper,
lit with matches, struck to kindling,
and I gave chase as a fire dancer,
echoing coloured ash in wake.

Open Books

Written in the sharp shapes of January sun,
cold creaking in the door frame jammed
up with memory of skin hanging lampshade,
around your darkness and water-cause
you wrote upon me in felt-fallen script.

Carved in cutlass of chancellor's pen,
a solemn look for two between pipes and
kitchen linoleum, as we looked out on
frozen farmhouse landscapes beneath Northern skies;
I wrote on you in jagged scratch.

Scissor Cuts

We fall into each other, sometimes,
as eyedropper ink in dinner guest pitchers,
when nothing so much else would do.

We cut in deeply, burrowed blades,
sharpened teeth to glint about nightfall,
some kind of feeling of something.

We stun ourselves with regret, coming cold
clean in a lightning flash, stoking over
the coals for a month or two afterwards.