Saturday, February 28, 2009

Louis and the Crowd

Immense Immanual bends bars of steel,
And Pork-face Petra sports a fulsome beard . . .
The Chickenhead berates the crowd that cheered
The tightrope walkers, Buzz and Benny Beale,
And is quite justified, the others feel,
In calling the crowd down. As Louis feared,
The crowd thought eating fire was really weird
But nobody believed his act is real.

Laconic Louis does not bare his teeth
To show the lacerations on his gums,
But waits for Thad the Throat to smile and sheathe
His swords, then, to the rolling of the drums
He loudly introduces Kelpmouth Keith,
Who sticks his face into a tank, and hums.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I understand you're staring at my stump,
Although I really can't see, being blind,
Or smell the coffee. Or an orange rind.
Or anything at all. I heard a thump
And felt a definite improper bump
First from above me, then from just behind,
A few remarks were heard, mean and unkind,
About the size and colour of my hump.

No one dares speak of disabilities
In my disgruntled presence (I've got gout).
Some folks believe I ought to be devout,
But somehow I just can't get on my knees
And praise their calves. Instead, I face disease
With stoic pride. Is my tongue sticking out?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lacking Dignity

I'm sitting on a flight to Winnipeg,
Alone with thoughts befitting nobody.
Ill-humoured, shaking, full of contumely
And breakfast — underspiced microwaved egg,
A corn tortilla — I can feel my leg
Cramping, just like they warned, when they warned me
Not to fly coach: "It's lacking dignity,"
They smiled. "We will advise, but we won't beg."

Oh, sure, I must have just imagined that,
Imagination surely run amok,
An outbound freight train or a monster truck
Of crazy thinking underneath my hat —
But wait! I have no hat! I watched, and sat,
And waited, but I didn't have good luck.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Are My Darling

Your hand is soft as velvet, but I feel
Something harder – not bones, no – in the glove
That could be diamond, as it may be steel.
You are my darling, and my own true love.
Your lips are bold, your answers bolder yet
When I have questions; why, it is your right
To right me, as you have done since we met.
You are my darling, and my heart’s delight.
I can go on, I will continue thus
With you beside me. I will drink my fill
Of your eyes. Who would dream of parting us?
You are my darling, and my very will.
You are my love, my heart’s blood, a sharp knife.
You are my darling, and song of my life.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

This Shiver

This shiver was an unexplained event,
A picaresque development, a thought
Too brief to matter, a forget-me-not
Among the blooming lilacs, heaven-sent
(Or maybe just a passing word, well meant
But not as meaningful as words we caught
Between the chauffeur and the maid), a spot
Of momentary truth that winter lent.

We'll give the moment back now, payment due
Upon receipt, and duly logged and paid.
That kiss between the chauffeur and the maid,
Resentful yet respectfully held through
Eight seconds was as honest and as true
As February and the games we played.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thirty Minutes

I like the doctor's office waiting room,
Where we spent thirty minutes, just until
The doctor called us. I stood very still
While Sue looked round, in the encroaching gloom,
As if to say, "What's that?" or maybe, "Whom?"
It was our moment! Us! We'd had our fill
Of waiting, but I like this room, and will
Remember two poinsettias, still in bloom.

It's wholly pleasant for us hoi polloi.
I got us in, with a series of shoves
Up the beige ramp. Inside, she stuffed her gloves
In pockets, and our hostess wasn't coy
About breastfeeding and her little boy,
As we three talked about our lives and loves.