In those last few years
he needed me
like stepping stones need solid ground
to mark the fading day
And so we found a new
kind of love
a love that was
never really there
No arms wide open,
or curious conversations
no belly laughs on the floor
he just didn’t know how
a distant, but loyal gaze
past the white picket fence
to a galloping foal
from high above
a crow circling for danger
carefully beside the fireplace
In the end
our new love hovered
above the hospital bed
grew from a place
There was something that I asked you: to empty the dishwasher please, to clean up your bedroom, to pack up for your dad’s, to get your stuff organized for your trip.
Do you have? Do you need? Did you find? Made a list? Where’s your suitcase? Got your ticket?
It’s a morning in July, and we drive to the airport at 9 am. You, to board a plane to Calgary to work on the Bow River. …
Five years, five percent
hope. patience. luck.
dangling from my liver,
49 staples graft me together.
a fruit tree
sown in my heart,
small black seeds
tendril into rich red tissue,
fear quietly taking root.
The wonderful unbearable
weight of knowing
a life’s end,
rooted but left unwatered, kept
at the back of the orchard,
in the rusty wagon next to the barn,
under the patch of rotting vines.
A mason jar,
lid screwed on tight,
buried in the dirt,
a scrap of white paper inside,
penciled with a wish —
Hope opens a window
and a breeze passes through,
you turn, wonder.
Surprises you with a pink carnation
tucked in the pocket of your jean jacket,
a yellow cashmere scarf
wrapped around your tired heart,
a package with a red bow
left on the doorstep.
Arriving with no demands
that you complete a gratitude list
and walk daily in the snow.
Greets your body
with the warm buzz of possibility —
the party before the party
in your best friend’s bedroom,
teenagers, laughter and sips of wine,
from an empty jam jar.
Receptors wake up,
pulled by an internal…
Get me to a new place.
Burn me up on the outskirts of town,
ride me over the coast
until we’ve lost all the guards.
Let me swing from the top
of your tower
and land in a puddle
with new feet.
Rush me out to fresh markets
with all the flowers and tea
and quills I can find,
to brew myself someone new,
someone writing themselves alive,
by a forgotten well.
Free fall me into Walden
and dance along the ledge
where the torrents of water rush,
dare me to jump. …
A case of you,
And I will be drowning in you,
drunk, drunk, drunk with your body,
your blue eyes, your mop of hair,
with coupledom that doesn’t quite fit
but I’ve drunk a case, so it does.
What I need is a glass of you,
a glass of you and some toast with butter
and then a walk outside
and then some time alone,
and then I could be on my feet.
I could drink a glass of you and still be on my feet.
Second glass, I’ll be lifting one foot up for you to rub.
I walk along the Grand River,
the trees, still empty of leaves,
show off the red winged black birds, cardinals and doves.
The grasses along the banks slumber,
golden and soaked with early spring,
as small piles of snow melt
into new sculptures each day.
My destination is the same —
the red covered bridge
at the end of the road.
Its’ small blue plaque says
it was built in 1880,
the only one left in Ontario.
Made for horses and buggies to cross,
covered to protect it from the elements. …
I want a real thing
my body pleads,
someone else, with me today
to share, being alive.
Peddling hard down a dirt road, the sun watering our dusty necks.
Diving into cold water, coming up in a burst of air
with handfuls of seaweed to share.
Not words on computers
and people in space.
Although I love them all,
They’re not here, are they?
Holding a gaze as I share a new stanza,
listening to them share theirs,
or better still, staring at the fallen wasp nest alongside me
marvelling together at it’s beauty.
Instead, I’m shaping my mouth into…
Thin sheets of unfurled love
swathe a delicate core.
Wood fibres and plant stems
mesh with water
and a grey paper blanket
emerges from bodies.
Gift wrapping the queen,
and her brood down below.
Then emptied of life and sweetness,
they leave, fly away.
Their paper mache shadow
swings from a branch all winter,
until a spring wind lifts it off,
an intricate, complex world falls from the sky.
The architects long gone
don’t miss their home, laying smashed on the street.
Like the spiders, beavers, and birds,
master spinners, builders, and weavers;
they abandon their wonder without a glance…
What if you start erasing
the place before the starting pistol,
the lines on the track you run,
The path scuffed over, washed away
to that small borrowed cabin, patch of shore,
the boat with one oar that you learned how to row,
out to the middle and back again.
Rubbing out mazes from childhood notebooks,
a thick blue pencil dictating routes of escape.
Erasing lines to there, and away, and before.
The vastness of a new space,
an ocean with no islands,
snow squalls on a white mountain,
miles of corn fields without rows.
Breathe in treetops,
grasp clouds and blue light,
walk a tightrope that appears with each new step,
over the rushing river,
the winding gorge,
Thanks for reading. You might also like this poem I wrote…