Saturday, January 31, 2009


I'm not desirable, apparently,
As patrons of the library now go,
At least compared to one woman I know.
Here she's conversing, right in front of me,
About some disks, computers, and a key,
With a librarian, whose records show
She owes an old fine. How much does she owe?
Two bucks. Thank heaven it was less than three!

Thank heaven, because it was never paid.
The poor librarian asked, Would she mind
Paying it? Her account's fallen behind.
I think her pocketbook had been mislaid,
Or some other mistake must have been made.
They also yell at me when I get fined.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Surly Individuals

The wind was blowing extra hard today,
So my reflection in the looking-glass
Showed hair gone crazy, an unruly mass
Of surly individuals at play,
Each mocking me in its own happy way,
And, nodding, I remarked, "We'll let it pass,
It looks the way it looks." This wasn't brass,
But who I am: cool, laissez-faire, and grey.

I peered, then stopped myself, getting no nearer,
And I turned around, and felt just fine.
Was this a miracle of rare design?
No, every day, however, it grows clearer:
As long as I'm not staring in the mirror
How I look affects your day, not mine.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


This morning I went out across the street
To buy a newspaper, and at the store
I met a woman who was pretty sore
That homemade products took a clear back seat
On store shelves, and to her that spelled defeat
For all Canadian consumers. More,
She worried all this had happened before,
Elsewhere, and would continue to repeat.

Why did we have this conversation now?
I have no notion. We had never met,
And as I write I don't know her name yet,
But she believed we had connected. How?
What did I say, or not say? I'll allow
I listened, but to what words? I forget.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Juggling

Impressive as it is, the juggling
Of girlfriends falls just short of wonderful,
Despite your bold contention that the pull
Of art has all the women clamouring
To be tossed up and down. If anything,
They seem distraught to be available
For these manoeuvres. "You're an animal,"
The last one said, as she threw back the ring.

In fact, if they had been as clamorous
As you maintain, I think I would have heard
The noise, out in the garden. It's absurd
To say that what you do is glamorous,
Or that it shows that you were amorous;
The women, I'm sure, use another word.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

How Deep the Devil Digs

Impressive as it is, your Afterlife
Is unbelievable, an empty place
Of harps and peering in the good Lord's face,
A stupid thought, among too many, rife
With platitudes about an end to strife
And angels wailing. That's amazing grace?
Not really — it's a strange, alarming space
Between forlorn hopes and this sharpened knife.

You don't scare me with demons, bogeymen,
And recipes for puddings without figs,
Decisions as regards the use of pigs
In pies (a blackbird's better than a wren
And no, the sword is mightier than the pen),
Or threats about how deep the Devil digs.