Reflections on a stuccoed ceiling,
murmurs in the grass,
passers-by progress, unseeing
Creeping alley- wise,
arrested in artificial light,
I gasp at the sound of a skunk can-trashing.
A skunk, for god’s sake,
a harmless beast,
while those I truly fear
would never sneak up like that –
alone and unseen.
They travel only in packs,
screeching their presence
to all within shopping distance
(they are, after all, the centres of the universe),
punctuating their approach
with the machine-like precision of cracking gum.
Don’t let their pre-pubescent pallor
and powder-puff hair
Glitter is the new war paint.
Ridicule is agent tangerine.
Teenage girls are the most cruel animals on earth.
They paint their claws, don’t they?
I brush my teeth,
in a world gone wrong,
where death is feeling,
and work is song.
I whiten my teeth,
and hum along.
With credits to “Slow river”
Kittens should be round,
rivers should flow clean,
strawberries should grow wild,
man’s ashes should blow free.
I tried to laugh
but the world was against me
I attempted to sing
but it covered its ears.
I stretched out my arms,
but it wouldn’t caress me
My dreams of soft sun
were rejected in fear.
So I stumbled along.
And I drowned out my mind.
And I tried to escape,
(but the world fought against me)
And I tried to forget
(but the world wouldn’t let me)
After the years,
did the darkness possess me
so I gave the world what it wanted to hear.
Ah – springtime in the city!
melting snow deposits gritty
of a consumerazoic era
we’re all pud-muddled.
as worms dash stupidly
on quick-dry asphalt.
for cracks in the universe.
sun rises up,
the westward wind blows buttercups.
They swirl ‘round my outstretched hands,
invaders form a foreign land.
If only all would show their powers
by spreading other prairie flowers.
Such unnatural moonlight;
neon reflects off crystalline snow,
penetrating my dreams
like the afterglow
of burnt tangerines.
it’s a pill bottle – cotton ball explosion
Masked is all that lies on the ground.
Frolic among bunny tails with mirth,
carpet of white rabbits, noses down,
straining to smell earth.
Heed the wisdom of the whispering willow
rooted; brushing the top of your toque
as you drift by
on Styrofoam snow,
unable to break through.
Eastbound on a Shanghai train,
sunflowers bow their head with rain,
cornfields weave a carpet green—
Yellow River, wash me clean.
Red maple under a blue pagoda (dear Mr. President)
Is your crimson revolt
and winter retreat
for spring harmony?
for sure someday
perhaps, perhaps, perhapsly
Does the streetlight burn out as you pass underneath?
Does the sun hide behind the moon when I say your name?
Do autumn leaves whisper “Retreat, retreat,
exposing such light extinguishes its flame.”
Flutter on by, sugar baby.
There’s a world of beauty in you.
They’re all my type.
I will love you,
muse your worries,
breath your sheen.
I will follow
heed your ev’ry
of unthorned dreams
leads me blindly
Keeper of the strings
I’m just a sentimental liar,
soft as a moonlight sunrise.
Try you out at waltzes,
when I close my eyes.
I am the keeper of the strings –
cuddle me as they dance.
can’t make these fingers sing.
I will plant a garden song,
but find smoke rings among the roses,
unlit lotus eyes,
imagined twilight voices.
Found Poem # 3
I’ve been waiting for you –
will you be my willow tree?
Tell me cigarette
Wait and see
I never noticed
how your eyes change colour when you cry.
so clear, so close,
scars on irises
Let me shelter you
Let me protect you from the rain;
take this cloth and this metal:
the cloth of my skin,
the metal of my skeletal bones,
to shelter you
Read my lips
Read my lips
and how they smother themselves in woe
when faced with another
so as not to show
Stricken by a tuneless song,
somehow got the words all wrong.
Broke my string and now I lie
frozen in a lullaby.
Anyplace but here
Look everyplace but here;
wild irises disappear,
dart under shrouded lids.
how painful your gaze flinches
at the boundaries of my existence,
looking anyplace, but here.
Tundra inside, frozen ground,
unexpress’ed storms abound.
Peaceful seems a single flake;
snow on lashes tears awake.
Found Poem #4
Bad little boy and good little girl
just a regular girl
Mr. and Mrs.
and withered bone.
on dusty road
broken teacup –
no one home.
I am a Christmas tree in July
laden with gifts
no one cares to open.
I am an unbaked apple pie
left on a windowsill,
congealed and frozen.
I am a rock song unsung,
a poem unbegun,
a true word never spoken.
I am the quite one on your street
the whisper laying at your feet,
the drummer-dancing different kind,
the one trapped inside your narrow mind.
Every Now and Then
Every now and then–
dreams of wild roses,
in the hood
hide the wood
black bears eat
hide in a hollow only to be spit out
even the earth rejects me
for I am not pure.
You can look, but do not touch;
fill me up, but dare not clutch.
Gentle pressure will unleash
furies trapped in brittle seeds
unsown by those with frozen touch,
who did not see
and loved not much.
Exist no longer
Wherever you are, you no longer exist.
You rolled down my cheek
in the midst
of our last glance.
And falling continuously,
half of you drowned in my cold tea.
The other half rolled down my taut side.
Eroding away chunks of hard-fought pride,
you landed in the softness of my downy wrist,
and there evaporated.
You no longer exist.
This world holds many lies
This world holds many lies,
and some are true.
Like how the skies,
and how the light in my eyes
shines for no one,
I wake up in darkness,
to honour the night,
to see snowflakes bejewelled
genuflecting moon’s light.
Awake! And witness the first star,
hear neon’s shuddered last breath.
As shadows are swallowed by maples,
deceitful dawn signals night’s death.
Torredoro, my Spanish star,
what beautiful battle brought that scar?
That marble crack on a pueblo slate,
which tears and raindrops dare not skate;
That magnet pretty girls flock to grace
and with deftly dewy fingers trace;
That badge of bravery and kind –
O Torredoro, your scar does blind;
some unapparent wounds still shout,
some put their spurs on inside out.
Let daughters lie still
Let daughters lie still
lest they leap
Keep, keep not
lambs in green pastures;
grass must be grazed,
tired feet will wander.
weep not yet
at youth’s retreat,
they so still lie
Old men in flip-flops
and puddles on rooftops
are gifts from a shower;
like dawn’s early flower
laden with dewdrops,
gifts last but an hour.
Ode to Gi, the artist
Product of a land of snow,
of lake-filled fish and pining tree.
From the earth her hands unfold
legends until now unseen,
and from her brush are stories told
of wise old fish and watchful tree.
Do what I do not ask you
go where I do not lead you
learn what I do not teach you,
make pictures fly through the air.
For dreams miss you,
they drift by on the north wind,
sometimes I cannot catch them
Unbidden in my mind they sneak,
the words that none alive should say,
and freeze my inner soul so weak.
These are the words I dare not speak,
for fear that they will go away
and lead some other soul astray
You say you don’t believe in aliens,
yet wait for little green men to tell you it’s safe to cross the street.
You say you don’t believe in God,
yet scream his name from satin sheets,
from twelve-storey high windowsills,
from under the bathroom sink clutching handfuls of pills.
You say you don’t believe in the Devil,
in Heaven, or Hell;
Hell and Heaven are just two words that begin with the letter h
I don’t believe in words that begin with the letter h
like hand grenades.
or heart –
unused body part.
Have you been to Berlin?
There I cried you a tear garden,
brushed the goldfish from my hair
There I laid me down
a confusion of limbs
form well-trodden paths.
There I shrugged off the boulders
heavy on my mind;
entwined the vines, exhaled the moss.
Have you been to the zoo, in the Tiergarten?
There I shouted out angry cages
to keep you at bay.
You find me there still
tending the garden of tears
pacing back and forth
among the other voiceless souls.
frowns golden in the twilight
cuffs rolled up
she lives in the black leather jacket of the subway
plucks thorns from long stemmed roses.
Butterfly at night
Breaks its wings against the sparseness of light
Butterfly at dawn,
Shattered wings will morrow’s rainbows spawn
Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean
come vacuum my soul,
my mind’s full of mildew,
my heart’s blocked with coal.
Bleach out my memories,
corroded and old.
Oh please, Mr. Clean,
where on earth did you go?
I have aged a thousand years,
choked on dawn, and drawn its death.
I have seen a thousand fears;
but worst of all, with heartless breast,
I have faced a thousand mirrors,
and gazed at my own nothingness.
The Time has come
The time has come
to learn from tall grasses
neglected, too little respected,
to the secret of our souls
in the minds of dreaming horses.