Category: Poetry

Memory poem: for Clara

Thrift

The older I get
the less I waste

remember how Grandma used to save
envelopes in a certain drawer
to reuse for grocery lists

	loaf of white bread (not McGavin’s) 
	cream
	McCormick’s social tea biscuits
	Tums
	7Up

From Wylie’s Store downtown
where they used to let us buy on credit
if our Family Allowance check was late
or Dad had been fired again
Grandma

“Saskatchewan Weekend”: The Interview

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Shauna Powers, host of “Saskatchewan Weekend”.

I usually shy away from interviews but chatting with Shauna about my poetry collection The Definition of Melancholy was like sitting down for coffee with a friend or colleague.

You’ll find the interview in its entirety here–not sure how long it will be up, so enjoy it while you can.

Melancholy:cov:art

Strata Festival of New Music

Yours truly will be making an appearance at the Strata Festival of New Music at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

Along with visual and performing artists, I’ll be offering my response—through poetry—to the three musical compositions making their debut that evening. I’ve never done anything like this before, so it should make for an entertaining and nerve-wracking evening.

Details below and here’s a link to Strata’s official page.

Strata

Ambient

I love the sounds Nature makes
when she’s happy and none trouble
her serene countenance, vexing
her with their tireless machines

She hums contentedly
tending her bursting flower boxes
attentive to each seed or shoot
showering them with maternal love

She likes to get her hands dirty
except for the blood
which flows so copiously
it inevitably leaves a stain

She would say she’s blameless
as an iris, tender as a fawn
but we know her as a ruthless foe
when her existence is threatened

Leave her to her graces
praise her in word and deed:
the many shades of green she grows
the beauty she won’t concede

 

Written on my back deck June 2, 2021, while being serenaded by several varieties of bird song.

Continue reading

A poem for “wannabe” writers & other miscreants

An Intimation of True Genius

Before I sit down and write my masterpiece

I think I’ll take a few minutes and go over my notes

check my sources and of course compose a brief 

biography of the author who despite his apparent 

lack of credentials has achieved true greatness with

his soon-to-be completed debut novel a sensation on 

all seven continents endorsed by the glitterati honors and

prizes pouring in optioned by Hollywood dining with

royalty hobnobbing alongside jetsetters existing in

a social whirlwind object of adoration and naked envy

topping every bestseller list appearing on all the right

programs lionized by my peers no limit to my reach and

power once I finally find the time to buy pen and paper

take a seat at my humble desk and commence work on what

will undoubtedly become a pillar of the Western canon

my much-anticipated long-awaited magnum opus

the only story left untold

*******************************

The context of this poem:

I don’t know how many of my fellow scribblers have been annoyed by some arsehole you encounter—perhaps after a reading or literary gathering—who assures you that they’ve got a great book idea and “one day” hope to have occasion to commit it to paper. Or a total tool who, upon hearing you’re an author, gets very excited because “I’ve had some amazing things happen to me, you should write them down, I bet it would be a bestseller”.

If you’ve had a similar experience, you have my permission to print this poem and carry it around in your wallet, to hand out whenever you come across one of these utter, contemptible fuckwits. That ought to shut them up.

Poem of the day

September 19, 2020

I begged you to linger
because you kept the chills at bay
but you insisted you had
business elsewhere
and took leave of me
with an air kiss
that brushed my cheek
with the last warm breath
I’d feel until Easter
paid its ritual visit
on bended pagan knees