Sunday, March 25, 2007


Seventy-five Percent

Look at the sky and imagine
the blue hugging your feet.

The ocean, a passage that envelopes
the rest of the globe,
retreats from land by day,
overtakes it by dusk.

Appearing serene on the fringe,
the metronome of white-capped waves
roll in like postcard greetings.

Look now to the edge of sky
and tell me the colour of tomorrow clouds.

The fine, steady line of the horizon
twists, tantrums,
sometimes never reaches the beach.
I want to show you where the land ends
and the earth continues.

The ocean is a place to feel small.

Here, near the desert you lose yourself –
an isolation, a different kind of small.

You are safe
you can hold sand in your hands
longer than water.

A Lesson In Love

Love was something you made your parents believebefore you went to bed.
I made a boy chase me,pedalling faster and fasterin the rain.
Splooshing his thin legs through puddles
I laughed and later he kissed me.
Love fell from my tongue,just a word I had heard.
I drew heart-shaped lines when I was nine. "I love you."
How his face flushedand his eyes gapedwide and strained, like dry egg whites.
I was too big for my body.

I haven't learned love.
Hands and lips.
He said love after denting my mattressand licking my ear.
What did he love?
It was just a word that needed to be heard.
I said it back.
What was I saying?
I was too big for my body.

I said it back

published in A Mother's String by Ekstasis Editions


The bamboo trees reaching like jail bars in the jungle, kheda
a place pretending to tame wild things.
I see the giants grazing on palms
a family of prisoners restrained
forgetting their freedom.
This is how we box nature, to make it tidy
and bring across continents like television sets for viewing.
A section of wild land and ivory shrunken beneath hot sun.
A depletion in the earth.

* Kheda - an enclosure or corral for the capture of wild elephants

published in A Mother's String by Ekstasis Editions

The Visitor

She raps the rhythm of a secret knock
in her sleep –
the one she learned in a dream. The hallway is so long.
When he lets himself in, she will know him.

She lives alone, surrounded by her antiques,
refuses to fade into the decor and become another
fixed item in the room.
She refuses to surrender this place.
All this place knows is time.

She waits for him
while the milk sours in the fridge
and everything else is past its due.

She waits for the guest
who never arrives too soon.

Between her afternoon naps, she reads the newspaper
to learn what she will be missing.
Reads Dickens,
memorizes lines from Austen.
She keeps everyone’s past alive;
the last one to tell the stories.

She envisions her visitor as a dark stranger
from the Bronte books – perhaps Heathcliff –
or her husband
come to gather her fragile bones in his arms
and carry her
down the long hallway
as he did on their wedding night.

She is a widow now, a grounded sparrow,
still lingers beside her tree
she tumbled out of three blocks
from her birthplace.

She waits,
falls asleep in her chair.
With one ear buzzing,
she listens for her secret knock.

*This poem will be aired on CBC Radio One sometime during April - National Poetry Month

Sorry I Had To

locate her name in the global directory
not sure of how
many matches might come

and perhaps you didn’t think
of this tool, this landscape.

I had to know
the shape of her name
each stroke and incline. The hard sounds.

You thought my geography
was not so good.
Forgive me
I could not resist retracingthe broken lines on the map you left.

published on Monday Poems

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