Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Neighbourhood

  Old Neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is full of nonsense;
Bells ringing all night long;
Cerebella draped on fence posts,
Ghosts shimmering under street lamps;
Singularities hammering tin plates,
Not to speak of birds preening feathers on electrified clothes lines.
Dear God how can celestial choirs conduct skies
Above this swelter of ludicrous possibilities?

Children run burnt powder streets,
Gripped by extravagant deliriums,
Hang from the diamonds of Austrian chandeliers.
They explode like mercury between grasping fingers.
Ten thousand fireflies from the left,
Ten thousand diving birds from the right,
Winking from deep shadows,
Diving from black skies.
Even dogs shit wherever they want to.
As for old men with brooms – they soon find out.
Useless their calipers,
As water their cast iron lassoes.

And it’s here my father strolls in the evenings collecting for John Knox,
Deranged fedoras gracing the edges of his silver underwear,
Delivering denial to jailbirds and alcoholic beauty queens.
Give it up Dad!
What’s the use of nailing your lower lip to apostrophes?
Dangling your liver before the eyes of the recently dead?
Let them shake their crystal trees.
Let them ride thin rockets to their own Jerusalem.

Once, five in the morning – complete quiet.
Everyone dead and buried.
Then up they spring like jack in the boxes,
Happily blowing reedy noisemakers!
Blessed by feeble skies, clutching blankets,
Hopping from one foot to the other in front of woodstoves,
Who can stop it? Why?
Sun and red jelly, surely cellophane handcuffs are totally useless!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Self expression


  Self Expression

God in a hip flask. Smashing palms, steel doors at the TV stations.
CDs hanging from nipples.
Working a weak brick at the southwest corner.
Fame is power.
Give us volts! Nature is stasis.
Give us our rosy crucifixion!

Ditches ashamed of themselves. Bare clay open to the skies.
Gray wounds from a war which never ends,
Edged with summer glory – goldenrod, asters, harebells.
Brown eyed susans, sedges, tall yellows,
Caring for themselves, waiting for rain.

Plasmas injected with revelations everyone already knows.
Pitching placentas on the busy corner,
Racing alleys in plastic underwear, hand cams fornicating.
Already there are too many expostulations.
Down lava, down engorged brains!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New Garage

It used to be the chicken shed
But the weasels and hawks killed them all.
Too small for the old car but the Suzuki fits,
One wall morphed into a door and it’s ready to go.

My cat inspects, looks at me suspiciously.
“Where are the ones who smell like this?” she seems to say.
“You ate them, didn’t you?”

No, dear cat, it wasn’t me.
Hawks by day, weasels by night did them in.
See, here in the corner one white feather,
Left behind as a memorial for their handsome struts
And bright red combs, now so sadly gone.

Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear

Let me make this perfectly clear.
I have never written anything because it is a Poem.
This is a mistake you always make about me,
A dangerous mistake. I promise you
I am not writing this because it is a Poem.

You suspect this is a posture or an act.
I am sorry to tell you it is not an act.

You actually think I care if this
Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
I don’t care if this poem gets off the ground or not
And neither should you.
All I have ever cared about
Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.

Do not think for a moment that it is the Poem that matters.
It is not the Poem that matters.
You can shove the Poem.
What matters is what is out there in the large dark
And in the long light,

Gwendolyn MacEwen  1941-1987, Canadian Poet

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Death Rain


  Death Rain

She came into the basement to tell me you were gone.
Flesh tube exploded, flooding the cerebral plain.
You shouted once, arms held out in pain,
Fell back upon the pillows never to move again.

Death comes. This nobody can deny.
My mother, father, uncles, aunts are no more.
The death rain fell upon them
And now they are dead and gone.

Everyone wants to live forever,
But this nature cannot sustain.
Everybody’s cotton candy
Waiting for the death rain.

She came into the basement and told me you were gone.
She was weeping,
Mouth full of mucous, face full of death rain.
She sat down beside me but I had nothing to say.
What use words, what use feelings,
When it comes to the death rain?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rock Arrangements

I took a string,
Tied it to a stake and scribed a circle,
Filled the circle with ditch rocks.

So there it was,
A circle of rocks,
Muddy; multicolored,
Sucking up heat from the summer sun.

My grandson comes.
He has his wagon.
Seriously, meditatively,
According to the promptings of his materials,
He carries rocks from one spot to another,
Fits them in here and there.
It takes a half an hour.

Finished he wipes the dirt off his hands,
Comes into the porch where I am reading.
He tells me some rocks were in the wrong place.
“Hmmm,” I say.

“But don’t worry,” he says.
“I fixed them for you.”