Thursday, November 23, 2017

Under Blue Sky, Friday Morning, Japan

Fat idle parking attendant
Feeds vinegar chips to bar strip pigeons
Before the lunchtime nightime rushes

Two year olds in pink camo hats
Peer at commuters from an elephant wagon
Pushed by preschool teachers

Hatted masked toilet woman
Scrubs one shiny station urinal
As I lazily piss into the neighboring one

Chic manicured business woman
Writes New Year's cards with a designer pen
In the green express train seats

Under Blue Sky, Friday Morning, Japan

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How To Make A Girl Smile

I saw you girl
Don't think I didn't
Beautiful young person
Standing opposite me
In the morning train

Doors opened
You saw a seat empty
A place to rest
Early morning make up & heels
Hesitated as I moved too

Just another old man
Making me wait
Putting me in my place
You must have thought
Giving up on comfort

I saw you smile
Don't think I didn't
As I swept past
To another seat at the far end
In the morning train

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This Fermi Life



I don't remember great grandfather Gilbert
Just a photo from Them Days
Dated 1971
When I was a mouth and two feet and hands

You went your way
I'm going mine
I hope we meet each other somewhere down the line

Nan and gramp
Warmed and coloured my youth
In frozen Labrador
We were adults together
Only one afternoon
In the Duckworth Cafe

They went forward
I stayed back
I hope we meet each other somewhere down the track

Leo, I love you
With every fiber, every atom
I will stay as long as I can
Enjoying every second of overlap
In this Fermi life

Poem of America

America has swallowed lies
So large and outrageous, so clumsy
They could only be true
The greatest in the world
Staring up from the mat


America has closed the door
Or shown it
To those who pluck strawberries
Forgetting how
To do these things herself


America, I love you
America, remember
You were never defined
By your low points
But how you picked yourself back up


Now
Get
The fuck
Up


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Me too

Seeing all these "Me too"
Digital ghost voices
Invade my social network
I think
How brave women are
How craven men can be

If men were challenged
To post "Me too"
For every catcall
Every unwanted touch
Or rape
We would not be so brave

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Bullying Spot

There is a spot on the crowded road
Where I walk my beautiful four year old
Japanese-Canadian boy
Holding hands to preschool every morning

A gravel welltrod path between
Narrow soccer van parking
And overgrown concrete gutters that rage in typhoons

On Monday, a soccer ball bought by a proud mother
Sat in the gutter, red, wanting to be played

Tuesday a leather tissue box
Given by a loving father
Blocked our path

On Wednesday, handouts blew about the lot
Prepared by a concerned teacher
And a lunchbox joined the tissue box

Thursday
Nothing changed

Friday saw notebooks in the gutter
A newish pair of leather shoes
Beading under the drizzling sky

My boy said "Why why why?"
He, too young to read
But I was bilingual in cruelty
Taught by Canadian toughs lurking in after school parks
Schooled by Japanese administrators waiting in interrogation rooms
I could read in the strewn pieces of a life
The name of this place

The Bullying Spot





Monday, October 9, 2017

I Give Thanks

I give thanks
That I knew William Pritchard
As I grew to manhood

William taught that younger me
The power that is kindness
The strength that is gentleness
The toughness that is laughter

Thank you

I give thanks
That I could see William Pritchard
Last year

I give thanks
That I could wheel him around
That I could sit with him at the optometrist
That I could watch him play with my little son
Who I hope will be as thankful for me

I wish I could be more thankful today