Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Specialist

The specialist said, "I don't do that." Please,
We begged him, do it, only tell no one
And we'll keep it a secret when it's done.
You know it's nothing, it'll be a breeze,
And you can do it with a local freeze,
So the anaesthetist won't have to stun
The patient with his bag of tricks. No fun!
"I could involve myself, if no one sees."

We certified that nobody would see,
Assuring him that we were all adults,
Although George still played with his catapults
And Marcia keeps rag dolls on her settee.
I think he did it only for the fee —
Okay. We only care about results.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Two Hundred Sonnets

A celebration of a sort today:
Two hundred sonnets since last August 10,
A certain weight, there, and a boon to men.
There may be women who are prone to say
Romance is dead, but sonnets find a way
To move the hardest hearts, no matter when,
No matter where, so I took up my pen
And brought you love, triumph, truth, hope, decay.

Production of this sort of poetry
Is not the sort of thing a man can jerk
Out of himself, and it's more than a quirk,
Although some people have said worse of me.
Two hundred sonnets! There's no recipe;
It took me fifty-four weeks of hard work.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Playing Through

The inconveniences of how we choose
To live and work don't mean a thing to you,
Since you don't work, and what you choose to do
Is near enough to being dead. This skews
The way you look at things; your jaundiced views
Of lives lived peaceably provide a clue
To what you mean when you call, "Playing through!"
On crowded sidewalks. You have a short fuse.

I won't pretend that we'll act civilized
When it's our turn to have a joust with fate.
Whatever fortune places on our plate
Is what we'll eat, disgusting or despised
Or chewy. Time to stop acting surprised,
To load the bullet, pull the trigger, wait.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Art

My fabulous existence had its start
In outer space, where I exploded twice,
Turned white hot, changed into a block of ice
With pyramids of diamonds at its heart
(The pattern here displayed as a star chart),
Then delicately I took one thin slice
And saved it (on solicitor's advice),
Employing it in service of my art.

New sonnets, each a jewel of great worth,
Come forth, as quickly as a raging flood
That carries life along, amid the mud
And branches, representing the rebirth
Of beauty, as I populate the earth
With children of my dark poetic blood.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Make Justice

Dark truths emerge when we are looking back
To what we think was once a golden age
Where every man became a thorough sage,
When every woman felt the earth's wide track
Across the cosmos, each child had the knack
To hear the spirits of the air and gauge
Their goodness. No, the planet, filled with rage
And grim despair, was always raw and black.

Slowly, we learn to conquer fear. We must,
In order to make justice. Holding fast
To what we once believed, we are aghast,
Discovering the past was never just.
We can adjust, or, swallowing the dust,
Dispense with justice and embrace the past.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Heaven's Wrath

Now leave this man to heaven's wrath, and go.
You'll see him fall, struck by a thunderbolt,
If you stand far enough back from the jolt
To watch rather than feel it. You won't know
What happens if you stand too close. You'll glow
With the electric thrill of every volt,
And start to feel like you're a thorough dolt,
Missing how far he'll fly. It's a good show.

You wonder if it means he'll end up dead,
And why the wrath of heaven has been brought
To wrack his soul. What vengeance has he bought?
Why will all heaven's wrath be visited
On this man? Was it something that he said?
No reason will be given, and none sought.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Always Disheveled

Yes, that's motto, just above the clock:
"Always disheveled, but never alone."
I have it printed on the telephone,
Stamped in maroon ink on a flattened rock,
And knitted neatly into every sock
Which droops forlornly at my ankle bone.
The one sure thing that I have always known
Is crowded rooms, mobs, people in a block.

My confidence attracts them all like flies,
And when I run, they cry, as if bereft.
Some evenings, when the clever talk lacks heft,
We all go out for steak and kidney pies.
You tell me it's delusion, hope, or lies,
But, friend, I notice that you haven't left.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Wardrobe

Impressive though it is, your rubber suit
Will not replace your pair of woollen slacks,
That shirt with pictures on it of attacks
By otters, and the big hat topped with fruit.
By all accounts, your underwear is cute,
Embroidered in dark colours, blues and blacks,
And yes, your socks are special, stocked in stacks
On dressing tables by the laundry chute.

Your daily wardrobe might be thought of as
A tribute to this business we call "show"
If we were all stoned, or a little slow,
And overwhelmed by hours of toneless jazz,
Afflicted by the dream one sometimes has,
The thought that wishing something makes it so.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Prepared for Peace

We travelled in a convoy with the king
Through lowlands, highlands, and assorted towns,
Where people hung bright garlands; there were clowns,
Processionals, great feasts, each gathering
A celebration of our warmaking.
Before the dark, cool forests and the downs
Began to show fall colours, reds and browns,
We rode in triumph. There were songs to sing.

Some tempers flared: with pride on the increase
(We all were restless), having spurned defeat,
There was some jousting in the summer heat.
The king told us the infighting must cease –
The war was over. We prepared for Peace.
“This castle hath,” he said, “a pleasant seat.”

Monday, August 14, 2006

Saxophone

The coolest woman that I've ever known
Does back flips, with a ribbon in her hand
Dissolving into swirls, a red headband
Creating rainbows. I'm not made of stone.
I was amazed, attentive, and alone
When I discovered that her knowdge spanned
From calculus to getting safely tanned,
And she knows how to play the saxophone.

Compared to this, my capabilities
Are nothing, and my knowledge even less;
My heart is open, but my head's a mess,
And watching her now only makes me wheeze.
I've begged her to destroy my enemies,
But if she will is something I can't guess.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mocking the Scenery

You mock the scenery: "Spectacular!"
And laugh at me displaying once again
An inability to deal with pain,
Declaring coolly to me, "Macular
Degeneration rules!" Oracular
And unregenerate, you love the rain
That grows the quinoa; your sharpened brain
Rejects using the plain vernacular.

What spectacle has raised such woeful glee?
Is it a public statue, ill designed,
Betraying tastelessness, absence of mind,
Or fat dogs underneath an ugly tree?
I cringe to hear you mock the scenery,
Attempting comfort for the newly blind.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Red Wine

I have a special fondness for red wine,
Which catches sunlight nobly, subtlety
Its hallmark, rising to meet misery
And conquer, so we drink it when we dine,
Glaring at one another. Grant me a sign,
I pray, show some compassion when you see
The way she points her three-tined fork at me
And smiles the way no one's face ought to shine.

Champagne does not reflect the way I feel,
While still white wine comes pouring in a rush
And gurgles happily. After a hush
I clamber over furniture, I kneel,
Pretend my heart is full, finish my meal,
And sip the wine, dark, velvety, and lush.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

If I Were Better Looking

If I were better looking I'd smile more.
There would be women coming after me,
Displaying their forgone virginity
To strip me of my will, a female corps
Of engineers preparing to explore
My inner emptiness, this sapphire sea
Of sky and nothing, rolling helplessly
Inside my head and heart, not like before.

Before, when I was handsome but not sleek,
And did whatever women would allow,
I hoped the future would be just like now
Except with more of what all lovers seek:
I'd let them kiss me, turned the other cheek,
Then let them plant a wet one on my brow.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Poem for Canada

Some days I fear I love my country less,
But I consider my capacity
For love so tender, so outsized, so free,
That small amounts of my love are excess
To others. Do I love snow? I confess
I do. And ice, and lakes set plentifully
Where blue horizon is all you can see
When looking for the other side. Love? Yes.

The mountains, and the ocean, and my friends,
All thirty million, decent and polite,
Kind as the evening, genuine and bright,
The borderless land to the north extends
As far as starlight, heartbreak, and amends.
Some days I feel discovered by delight.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Spent

I'm spent. I've worked so hard these past few days
That I have nothing left to conjure with.
I know you think I'm magic, but the pith
With which I speak is only verbal haze
Designed to fool small children and amaze
Small minds. I'm like a veteran goldsmith,
Constructing models of a monolith
Built by a man whom time itself obeys.

I sigh, but even sighs can have a cost,
So each breath can become a marathon,
A test of whether life may carry on
Without the air. My breath has turned to frost.
I tell you that I'm spent, all meaning's lost:
A moment's breath, and sighs themselves are gone.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Waging War

I'm waging war against the evergreens.
Deciduous is how I like my trees,
With leaves that grow, and fall, whole families
Of beeches, willows, maples – autumn scenes
Exploding with bright orange, change that means
The seasons come and go, with a cool breeze,
With new spring buds, newfound identities,
Discovering their hearts, not cold machines.

Our hearts are made of oak, not sappy pine
That sticks unsweetly to our fingertips.
We proudly serve summer apprenticeships
Under the shady elm, drinking new wine
And cooking with the leaves of the grapevine,
Remembering the ash between smooth sips.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Too Hot to Write Sonnets

It's way to hot to write sonnets today,
So I'll just sit here in the awful heat
And slowly sink, like mud, into my seat,
Thinking of setting maple trees ablaze,
Perhaps inventing some new type of craze
Of making mischief out of harsh defeat
By telling everybody sweat is sweet,
Or claiming that the moon is out of phase.

I can't write sonnets when the sun, as bright
As heaven's headlights, aiming at our eyes,
Won't stop revolving. Wait a minute, guys!
That's not the sun, it's just my head, screwed tight
And shaking from the heat. Wait for tonight:
The sun will stay on, and moon won't rise.