Wednesday, December 2, 2015


It seems safer
to inch along
a proven way,
refusing to look up,
refusing to hope.

I can reasonably expect
nods of approval
if I stay within
familiar and comfortable lines.

The Powers that Be
will surely favour me
with smiles and compliments
if I follow instructions.

Why am I compelled
to gorge and gorge?
Why am I weaving
a silken cradle to hide
my unkempt self?

Death seems like
a long and blissful nap,
but sometimes I wonder
if there is something more:
a door of unknown revelation,

Perhaps I will awake in the dark,
and start chewing
to release my wet, uncertain wings
to the wind.

                                       February 2014

Monday, November 30, 2015


First love,
however ill-advised,
is a gift
that never comes again.

It shimmers like a dewdrop,
vanishes too soon.
We move on,
older, wiser,
chasing sparkles
dancing in our memories.

What might have been
is a potential nightmare,
but cold, hard facts
are powerless to change
our dreams of retrospective bliss.

                                            Northern Ontario Speaks
                                                                  Northern Ontario Poetry Collection
                                                                  Volume 19, 2014.


They go up,
they go down,
pausing politely
at the push of a button.

Then, without warning,
All the ups and downs of life
in the blink of an eye.

Chaos.  Plans awry.
Useless rituals.
Hope deferred.
Predictability hangs suspended,
waiting for the crash.

                                   Northern Ontario Speaks
                                                     Northern Ontario Poetry Collection
                                                      Volume 19, 2014


In my dreams
I stand, naked, at the window,
a parched desert,
waiting for you.

We are young again,
eager to touch
and re-arrange
shimmering prisms
of passion and hope.

"As long as we have each other --"
you told me whenever thunderclouds
darkened our horizon.
As long as we had each other,
no loss was final.

In my dreams
I understand
you are still here,
wanting me,
dancing in my heart.

                          published in "Northern Ontario Speaks"
                                        Northern Ontario Poetry Collection
                                        Volume 19, 2014.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


How powerful I felt
when you looked up to me
for life, for meaning, for encouragement!

I dreamed your growth,
straight and tall,
arrows in my quiver,
conquering all
while I cheered from afar
congratulating myself
for the miracle.

Now the work is over
and I weep, redundant,
a shadow ghosting through
the margins of your lives.

When it's all over,
I'll lie meekly on my back
looking up to you.

                         (Oct. 2012)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prodigal Daughter

Perturbs you, does it,
Daddy dearest,
that I spread my thighs
for strangers
to earn my daily bread
and crème de menthe?
"Why?" you ask.
I don't know.
But my heart gloats
to see you squirm.

"I gave you everything!"
you bluster self-importantly.
Indeed you did.
Your thoughts,
your plans,
your dreams.
Remember that tax-deductible soirée of yours,
complete with rented flesh?
You got so drunk
you would have taken me
(I saw it in your eyes),
but there are some things
even I won't do.

If I married into
your caviar crowd,
how would that be any different?
Roll over, smile on demand,
battered, bartered -- for what?

It's killing my mother, you tell me.
Is she too far gone
to pick up the phone?
Her bleeding heart's reserved
for painted ducks and baby seals!
("Fastest draw in the West with a cheque book,"
you smile indulgently, "but I can afford it.")
Affirmation on demand -- that's her cocaine.

Forty short days, you plead.
Forty days in a mink-lined cell
to make me fit for your table;
clinking your stemware
wearing your dresses
high on designer drugs
prescribed by your shrink--
all courtesy of high-yield
Third World blood and tears.

In the empty morning hours
I waver,
muster a nostalgic tear or two
before the downers kick in.
When I wake,
I paint my face
and go to war once more.

I sell diversion from
the dreary demons
of inconsequence.
You buy and sell
the lives of voiceless children.
Keep your forgiveness.
You need it more than I do.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Second Chance

I was a garden once,
alive with hope.
One by one the seedlings died
starved or crushed
by faulty guides,
hens scolding
ducks for craving water.

I disappointed everyone
or so I thought.
My trembling smile
pleaded for absolution,
claiming no right
to disappointment of my own.

Forbidden seeds still wait
charred seeds of rage
push swell crack
until I see at last
through my own eyes

Sunday, December 23, 2007

to be continued . . .

to be continued . . .
the never-ending story of our lives
folded accordion style
from the beginning of time
as far as we can see and more
beyond our wildest dreams
there are no periods
just commas and suspension dots . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blossom Raiders

A cavalry of giggles
charged my lily bed,
yanked off fistfuls of colour,
heedless of the countless hours
I lavished on my cherished chalices.
I watched, did nothing.
Was it too difficult
to don a frown and shout?
Or did I recognize
a shadow of my secret self?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Window Shopping

There she is,
the doll of my dreams,
pink and cuddly,
the doll of my dreams.
Why are the best things
always behind glass?

My mother pulls me away
I take her hand,
knowing too well
her grown-up
worries and burdens --
food and fuel and school supplies.

My birthday.
My mother
tears in her eyes
holding the doll,
no glass.

I can't move.
I stare
at my mother
her tears
the doll of my dreams
in her arms
No glass.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rehash Reheat Replay

refrain relentless
recycle recycle
relentless refrain
i bruise when you stub your toe
i laugh when you tickle
i smile when you succeed
?what more do you want?
?can roses grow on apple trees?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Urban Hermit

A book and a glare--
poor accessories
to attract companionship.
Time to arise,
this rat's cage
masquerading as a life.
At least, that's what my mother tells me.
Meet someone nice, she says,
and everything will change.
My married friends nod wisely,
recount their SO's latest pranks,
or turn away to scream
at wayward offspring.
Change is a crap shoot.
Not everyone wins.
-- 2004