Tag Archives: poetry

Down and Out in Idabel (redux)

Pigments (2)

 

Down and Out in Idabel

How Myron found himself in the parking lot
of the Holiday Inn in Idabel, Oklahoma
looking out at the road
on a Saturday morning in April
– after a breakfast of brittle bacon,
sausages slick with grease,
dry fluorescent scrambled eggs –
is not important.

The road pauses, a skittish dog roams.
Myron’s eyes are drawn to a dead armadillo
upside down on the hard shoulder
an empty beer can in its claws:
Old Milwaukee, prehistoric drunk,
someone’s joke.

A pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
a pick up truck passes
over the fence a cow chews grass
and makes a meal of it.
Dogwoods bloom.
The cow moos like a reluctant foghorn.
Myron’s mood turns
he thinks about the cow,
Manifest Destiny,
the plight of the bison
our lust for red meat
while greenhouse gas
shimmies upwards
ice caps melt
glaciers retreat
and looking down
the road to Shreveport
buoyed by the prospect
of seeing Idabel
in his rear-view mirror
he quietly resolves
to recover what he was
before sadness lodged
like a wet sack
in the back
of his head.

This poem originally appeared in issue 38 of The SHOp poetry magazine (print) which was a fine magazine, unfortunately they closed up shop a few years ago.

Taking part in earthweal open link weekend, head over there and read Brendan’s very eloquent and comprehensive post on climate change.

This is my third in a series of climate change related posts, it wasn’t planned that way, but I guess that’s the way the wind is blowing this week!

 

 

 

 

 

Water (off a duck’s back)

 

 

Water (off a duck’s back)

What’s that?…….no, no, it’s all rubbish,
climate change is a Deep State hoax.
By the way, forgot to mention
I have some ocean front for sale in Florida,
are you interested?
I hear you’re a good swimmer.
Ha, that’s just a joke,
God controls the climate
the rivers, lakes and seas.
Look what he did for Moses.
Our local preacher has a direct line,
just send a donation
before he gets arrested.
Joking again! Those rumours
are just not true.
Besides, our supreme leader, Donald, says
we are going to have a great climate
the best climate ever.
Do you know any Dutch people?
They’re good at handling all this water stuff.
Another thing, does anyone else
really miss the dinosaurs?
I had this rubber brontosaurus
when I was kid, I kind of liked it,
a velociraptor too…where was I?
Yes, this oceanfront property in Florida
it comes with a row boat.

The word of the week over at earthweal is water. Got the idea for this poem while reading Sarahsouthwest’s poem “Water Again”.

Also participating in open link night over at dverse.

Pigeon (Anthropocene Poem)

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Pigeon

Early December,
downtown Vancouver
and it’s raining
more than the usual
cats and dogs,
it feels like the city
is trapped
in a giant car wash.

All year long the weather
has been acting like a child
that hasn’t been taught limits.

Three months of summer drought.

We woke up one morning
and white ash from forest fires
covered the deck,
and that evening down on the beach
we were treated to
a red ball sunset
worthy of Beijing or Mumbai.
The Indian guy in the coffee shop
told me it made him feel homesick.

Something’s happening to the frogs.

The Oregon spotted frog is Canada’s most threatened amphibian,
I saw that on TV program called
“Canada’s Most Threatened Amphibians”.
Also threatened is the northern leopard frog.

Sea stars have sea star wasting syndrome

We’re losing song birds, bats and bees

The world is an orchestra
and the string section is leaving
one by one.

Anthropocene
Anthropocene
Sixth Extinction,
soon there will only be us.

******
At the corner of Georgia and Granville
a pigeon waddles through a puddle
created by a blocked storm drain

and I’m thinking:
Who’d be a pigeon on a day like this?
Who’d be a pigeon at a time like this?

 

The theme over at dVerse is “soliloquies”, I think this sort of fits!

Also taking part in Open Link over at earthweal ( a new blog which is well worth checking out)

 

The Land Called Where You Are Not (poem)


The Land Called Where You Are Not

that place you will never go
it can be one hundred miles away
it can be a stone’s throw
but there is one thing that is sure
there is one thing that you know
in the land called Where You Are Not
you will always be a no show.

 

(I located my inner Seuss over Christmas)

Taking part in Open Link over at dVerse

Top Posts 2019 #3:The Wrong Way Home (a ghazal)

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I picked this one because it was an attempt at writing to a form that was somewhat successful.

The Wrong Way Home

happy hours and peeler bars
he’s taking the wrong way home

a friendly toke, a line of coke
he’s taking the wrong way home

the night is young, pass that bong
he’s taking the wrong way home

a McFlurry, an Indian curry
he’s taking the wrong way home

a pounding head, a stranger’s bed
he’s taking the wrong way home

early dawn, suitcase on the lawn
he’s found his way home.

 

Top Posts 2019 #2: The Beautiful Game (The Lads’ Poetry Project 2 )

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I’m including this one mainly because the subject matter of the poem – sport and the level of discourse associated with it – is somewhat neglected in the world of poetry. When you read the poem you may conclude that that is actually a good thing.

The Beautiful Game

Me and the lads are warming up
for our Sunday morning kickabout,
the weather’s not so good:
a black cloud loiters over head
spitting occasionally;
there’s a chill in the air.
Not that we care.
We are here for that moment of magic:
those three short passes
that raise life above the ordinary.
It’s all going well.
We’re stretching, squatting
sprinting, jogging, popping
Esther and Abi*
when up steps Paul
all sanctimonious-like
and starts to rattle on
about how this is a family park
and we should watch our language
and surely we can play a game of football
without accusing each other of onanism.
The lads are confused, gobsmacked even.
My face adopts an expression
which would later be described as quizzical
Onanism, I inquire,
what is that wanker talking about?

 

*Esther and Abi (Ofarim): rhyming slang for ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory. Esther and Abi Ofarim, an Israeli singing duo, had a hit with “Cinderella Rockefella” in 1968.

Top Posts 2019 #1: Todd and the Time Machine

 

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This is one of my most viewed posts in 2019, I’ll be posting one each day up to New Year’s Day. I’m picking posts from earlier in the year to keep things fresh!

Todd and the Time Machine

I
Todd’s time machine
has three settings:
time was
time is
time will be.

II
Sometimes
the time travel sickness
hits him
like a five alarm flu.

III
Returning through the time hail,
through the accelerating centuries
he hears his wife yell
from the ever present
from the basement stairs:
I’m turning off that bloody time machine
your dinner’s getting cold!

 

 

Leonard Cohen’s Final Album (plus Poem)

 

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Fascinating Interview (in The Guardian) with Adam Cohen on completing his father’s final album.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/nov/24/leonard-cohen-adam-thanks-for-the-dance-interview

A poem from the past:

Driving Home with Leonard Cohen

Despite what he says
not everybody knows,
not everybody knows
like Leonard knows.
Not everybody knows
that the best songs
are about loss,
about endings;
about so long
ways to say goodbye
closing time,
and that age
can be laughed about
but not at,
if I had a hat
I would raise it to Mr.Cohen
perched up there alone
in his tower of song.

Limbo Blues (aka Existential Boogie)

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Limbo Blues

today I remembered limbo
you can’t stand too far from the track

today I remembered limbo
you can’t stand too far from the track

the first line is about memory
the second is a disconnected fact

Bob Dylan mentions Rimbaud
Van Morrison does too

Bob Dylan mentions Rimbaud
Van Morrison does too

today I remembered limbo
Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus

existential boogie
do that existential thing

existential boogie
do that existential thing

you can do it in your armchair
summer, autumn, winter, spring.

 

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dVerse.

Bones of Contention 2 (poem)

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Bones of Contention

Bones to pick
bones to chew on
Anderson, Chris and Don
but there are no metrics to measure by
so the discussions drag on and on
and the screen splits into two heads
and the screen splits into four heads
and the screen splits into eight heads
a pundit arrives
a pundit leaves
a pundit gets indignant
a pundit gets emotional
a pundit gets that gotcha smirk
there is talk of smoke and fire
there not been one without the other
and I see this distraction of pundits
this deflection of pundits
this confusion of pundits
standing looking at the horizon
across an open plain,
oblivious, while behind them
Rome burns.

Peripatetic Blues

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Peripatetic  Blues

The signs along the highway
are leaking semiotic fluid

psychotic cacti strike a calculated pose

linguistic lizards parse the parched desert floor

Slim’s feeling demotic,
neurotic, anecdotal, over-used
he’s looking for a sanctuary
the fisherman and the shoes

he’s got those my way is  the highway
peripatetic  blues.

 

Taking part in Open Link Night over at dverse.