Monday, August 31, 2009


He is disappointed that I won't
Harmonize, he
Waits at the backup vocals for
Me to chime in
I won't.

I won't harmonize until I
Float into his dark pupils and
Know that no sea monster awaits,
Know that I can show my
Heart and the beating
Will not cause a squall.

I rest mute.
I will not harmonize
Till I hear clearly
A voice with no lies,
Till I see
No harm
In his eyes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Merman

She fell in love with a merman,
It was foolish, she knows that now.
She was at first just captivated by his long green hair,
His noble brow.

He had every appearance of a man,
A fine man, above the water.
Below, his cold-blooded churning tail, his
Mystery was what caught her.

Day after day, to the shore she'd go,
And he would swim in to meet her.
They'd race, each in his element, and
Because the water made him fleeter
He'd often beat her,
And then feel bad, and
Treat her sweeter.

She listened, enthralled to all his tales
Of life as a prince of the ocean,
And if, when she spoke of life on land,
He seemed to recede farther from the sand,
She didn't catch the motion,
And she moved from infatuation to love,
And he accepted her promotion.

Of course, warm-blooded mammal she was,
She dreamt of lying in his arms,
And though her friend raised alarms,
Certain this would to lead harm,
All their warnings she did not heed
Blinded by her passion's need.

One day, they met at the usual rock,
And she, overwrought with longing,
As she had already drowned in his green eyes,
Dove in the deep water with a sense of belonging.

He shrugged and pulled her near to him,
And here, we must not judge, it seems to me.
He knew only that it was his birthright to swim
And his father was a cold-blooded creature of the sea.

He dove, with his love pulled tight to his chest, his
Powerful fin kicking behind,
And she, breathless in love and blind
Already, barely noticed the thickening gloom,
The pressure building in her lungs,
His bed would be her tomb, and yet
She inhaled the salt with no regret.

He was saddened, in his man-heart, but
Felt not a thing in his fishier parts.

Such a story needs a moral, and yet
I don't know what to say,
She knew what she was doing when she dove that day.
Perhaps the lesson is simply this,
Know he's a merman before you kiss.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


These are my words
and in the spaces
are the pieces of me that
broke off a long time ago
the scars
the scabs
the stories I can't
tell you
Although I wish I had
the words.

Around the punctuation
You'll see the curved places
Of my wanting
The echoes of my
Open arms.

And in the dots on the i's
And in the bowls of the o's
the exotic lures of wild
Orchid species, designed
Only to bring you to

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The most trite image:
"Hanging off a precipice,
Afraid to fall."

Honestly, ten thousand pop songs and
A million would-be minstrels have
Paved this path.

But then you took my hand,
And I was suddenly
Hanging in a strong breeze,
Gripping one slim bar beside
An airplane attached to
Looking down 14,000 ft at
A squirming mass of snakes, spiders
and rejection.

How much faith do I need to let go?
How much courage?
Or should I just wait till I'm too tired
to hang on to these fears?

Friday, August 21, 2009

thinking too much

every time my
eyes close
one more scene flashes up
like projected vacation slides
your eyes deep, dark, impenetrable
and my phone keeps
not ringing

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For the word stringer with the greatest cache of beautiful beads

And so the sun stared down
Our backs, and we, hunched, focussed,
Counted out our beads, piled in glassy hives of
Beautiful colours,

And so we strung a pattern, a story, with our
small glass beads.

But as always, he
Sat apart, slightly turned, and
Only when he revealed the final
Scintillating, labyrinthine pattern,
Only when his smile
Resonated in a thousand facets of light from
The resplendent rosary he held aloft,
Adorned with a myriad of stones,
Large, small, beautiful, all--

Only then
Did we acknowledge ourselves mere dilettantes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

tempus fugit and we are glad

Is there inherent quality in this, enough
That if infinity were an option and we,
And this, went
On and on, like
Movie vampires, living through aeons of change,
And remaining, ourselves, unchanged;
That this, and we, would still retain this
Golden sheen of beauty?

Or does the brevity of
Our lives lend them meaning, as
The philosophers and poets insist?
Does our struggle to make a ripple
In our moment
On the surface of the vastness of forever
Define us with honour, joy or value?

Even so, does the blink of
Time in which you and I are
Clasped like this,
Have a beauty that overlong held,
Would be stained by familiarity
And contempt, first
Verdigris and then
Tarnished to dirt?

and all the infinite stars

I was staring into the night sky
Thinking about the person I
am, the person I should be,
Who I was and who
I am with you, and it
Was like looking around a
Mirrored room with me
Retreating endlessly away
In all directions.

In a way it was odd, since
Usually I can only see

I started thinking about all
the infinite stars in the sky,
And I could feel myself disappearing,
Shrinking to one of a billion grains of
Meaningless sand, and so

When you woke and asked me
Why I was crying,
That's why I said because
I miss the moon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

petals falling

Some would compare it to an
Onion, but I think, if I'm going
To cry I'd rather it be from the thorns,
So, like a rose, layered deep, our
Mutual and exclusive needs,
Stripped away as they are exposed,
Support, and security,
Acceptance for all this,
Silky hair, and sinewed muscle and an
Absolute lack of judgement.

Is deliberately a dual-edged statement.)

Enough reflections of 'yes, me too' to balance the
'really? ... no, really?' moments, and then
parental echoes and tests we invented to
see how much cynicism you would require and
how strong are you? Because I want you to
Carry this for me, on your own trembling

Stripped away till there is left just the
Tiniest heart-of-rose, the softest and
Starkest moments of open, raw
Don't ever leave me alone.


At the stage of tired where I
am limp, muscles sapped of any
power, mind quieted,
spent post-desire and
ready to lay my
head on your lap, close
my eyes and listen.
Tell me a story about today,
about the past, about our loving.
I am too tired to search your
Coruscant eyes for hidden truths
and lies.

So tired that the inner voice that
Questions me, outraged,
(In the voices of my mother and
ex husband)
about just what the HELL
I think I'm doing? has gone on
Break, subdued by the search for an inner
well of energy. That Starbucks is closed, and
for the moment, that cold logic is
rendered vestigial, and I,

Stroke my hair, let me rest, and I
Will resume my subservience,
My cynicism, and my safe distance

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the many little deaths

It's funny how some people paint themselves in death
Scream out their gory fantasies to the crowds
When the real death is not black eyeliner and blood, it's
When you lay down your will and accept
The inevitable, stop
Fighting against
Destiny and soft focus.

I'm watching a morality play about death
The slower kind
Nick Cage is shaking in the final
Throes of the battle

And I'm soaking in the agony like
A napkin soaks up spilled wine.

Monday, August 10, 2009

like a magician

like a magician but not
precisely like that,
he lifted a hat, and
no rabbit was
revealed, but instead a
whirling, shifting image of
the world, changed and
filled with his own
gods and monsters and
each bore
his face.

his words pulled at my wrists
and ankles and the
warmth that spread within
made me drunk, made
my vision blur,
made it harder to breathe.

so I found myself in another world,
a universe he had created to
make sense of what he saw and
no matter where I went,
or turned, he was
there, like a soft blanket,
like a fast tornado,
like a fox hunter
and the persistence of the
last note of wind.

now when I inhale
his scent I wonder whether
I was ever real.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


"Oh mama, say a prayer for me
Jesse's back in town,
It won't be easy..."
-Carly Simon

Oh, there's a poem to go with this, but
Before I write it, I must
Channel my mother's spirit, ask her
How she did it for 40 years,
Swam in my father's wake.
Was it worth it?

Is it hereditary that we require
That locus of dark addiction to spin
Around, to focus our lives,
That lends a livid edge of tragedy to
The mundane details of our
Otherwise boring lives?
To the extent that we each
Harbour our addictions to replace
Any that might be lost to
Reform and good intentions?

I thought I had no addictions, but
The tidal pull of your skin tells me
I was wrong.


in the sun it's like
you were never here.
I only see you in shadows
and in the cool taste
of blue freezies but
you know how fast
they melt.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

open road

this is a metaphor

there is no here
it all flies by
all i have is this moment
all i have is this purring
powerful engine beneath me
roar in my ears
there is no here

all i have is your strong
back, these arms tight around
your waist, eyes squeezed shut
sensation of moving

and we breathe in time
melded by movement
my legs squeeze to keep me
tight against you

all i have is now
there is no here
all i have is you
and this machine
and the carving wind that defines me.


It would be so easy to
wade in that pool, drown
with all the others.

The warm water invites,
beckons with refreshing promise,
But oh, the bottom is so
Murky deep.

And it looks so solitary,
Calls to only me, but
I know about the bodies below.

Bluebeard's closet, that
is, women drawn to the honeyed
waters, never to emerge.

do I have the strength to
walk out of this glade?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Remember the cusp of 12?
We summer-school-studied
Circus and Bop to learn
How to be cool, listened
To tapes, baby-oil-and-iodine slathered
In the backyard,
Still watched Starblazers, planned
To go to space, argued
Whose boyfriend Derek was.

We ate junk food, sunshine, movies
And experience, gobbled each day,
Savoured nothing, swallowed it whole.

That September, back at school, I
Found the chocolate bar, you
Had given me, BFF, to
Think of you while in our separate classes.

It was sun-warmed, melted, and I
Pressed my lips to it, wore it laughing,
Like lipstick. Then Todd, that
Guy we had splashed at the pool,
That you said was short and I thought
Looked like Keith Partridge,
Well, a little
Licked some of the chocolate off.

So I guess I owe you credit for
My first kiss too,
Kind of.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I am one of six
I chase your silver
Tail and four more
Fall behind.

These walls are glass,
But flitting among
These plastic grasses, I
Don't even think about that,

I just think about
Now I am in the lead!


Small dark space, I know every
Wrinkle within here.
I can touch all my limits, I
Know where I am,
Know where everything is.

Outside these walls, the
Chaos lurks, I can hear
Birds, sirens, screams
And laughter.

I am growing, I know, and this
Case won't hold me forever, but
I curl up, trying to hold this
Moment, hold the safety of now.

What will do it? A persistent
Bird, a hungry rodent, or just
The fall from this height, at
Which I lightly swing?

What will release me?

Monday, August 3, 2009

what middle way?

Always leaping in reaction.

First chasing the sun,
Gamboling faun utopia,
Gods on the lawn
Verdant and nymph-filled
Pastoral and domestic bliss.
And a bright boy, blonde smile,
With a wholesome, sunny laugh.

Spun from Eden, whirling
Into dark shadows seeking
A pale night dweller,
A picture with
Edges singed by dark fires
Cool body to share
A moonlit altar

Always seeking a hand up
Out of the creeping suburban normality
That pulls like the muck that sucks off your boot.

of pictou

It's insidious, that
After 20 years uprooted,
Transplanted to this city I love,
A few hours back and my feet will barely
Heave from the dirt, so
Heavy with the weight of
All that I have been.

My heart is given to
Urban dreams of cafes
And concerts and crowds,
But here, that vision is overlaid with dirt
Road, bonfires, guitars and
Country twang, the lingering warmth
Of being wrapped in a blanket that smells
Like doughnuts, mom and home.

I must drag myself from this
Woven bed of expectations, dreams,
Security and hurt, and unfurl myself
Back in the light of my real life.

(Still rough, bear with me)