Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Butterfly Effect

A man in a suit
In a glass tower
Can sign a piece of paper
And rob a million of their livelihood
Or send a million soldiers marching
Drop tons of fire or split the atom
On a country
He has never been to
Or even seen

Friday, July 29, 2011

Points of View

Willy Wonka river
Chocolate milk spilling over its banks
Oompah Loompahs in colorful clothes
Giant red, white, and blue toy machines in a row
Is how the flood looks on TV
But when it comes through your doors and windows
Or surrounds your car
Or carries away all you own
It looks like
The end of the world

Reflections July End

Reflections July End

I haven’t done a reflection since May, but my day job kept my pretty busy. Wrote a lot of poems in that time, and some of them are pretty good.

The Rani of Jhansi
Don’t know how I cam by her story, some random Google misread. Her tale enchanted me, so here it is.

Came to me at the same shrine. Sat drinking lemonade while huge boulders balanced overhead at the foot of the mountain, held aloft only by roots and lichen. That, my friends, is the precariousness of life.

Messages From Beyond
At a shrine in the hills and this came to me. People are desperate, so desperate to believe. When I’m gone I’m gone, believe me.

Modern Kama Sutra
Just a funny thought I had while making love and fearing that knock on the door on Sunday. Developed it a bit and voila.

The Storm God
If typhoons are the manifestation of gods, it only shows how feebleminded they are/

Ode to Sudan
I hope the partition solves some problems, I really do. Sudanese tell me their country is beautiful, but what people do to each other there is pretty ugly.

Where You Are At
It’s important to have a sense of scale. Life is infinitesimal, but not meaningless. And the narcissism of religion isn’t needed to give it meaning.

This Exile Life
We all make our choices. I am happy with mine.

Rice Husking
Something as simple as taking a bag of rice down to b husked can be filled with beauty, if you look at it right.

African Koan
I am dying to go on a safari. Seeing animals who have carved a niche in Africa’s nature could teach us so much.

A Poet’s Heart
Being a poet is even more important now, when science and capitalism suck the mystery from life.

The Right Time
The priorities of humanity are messed up. Just saying.

The World Forecast
The bullshit that countries put out as their version of common sense is really astounding. Thank Zod I am a citizen of the world.

Ode to Canada Day
Yep, a hot and sunny day to represent an icebox of a country.

The Rich Earth
Rich people think only of squeezing the most out of the planet. They seem to have forgotten that they have to live on it, too.

Ode to the Free Drink Machine at School
This thing is a lifesaver, and almost

The Country of Friday Night
Having a great Friday night at this age is like passing back into a parallel universe where you lived most of your time when you were 19. Nice to pop in again.

Japanese Summer Haikus
In addition to the normal heat and humidity, Fukushima has stolen a lot of relief from people in Japan. Hard summer coming.

Student Poetry
Getting students to write poetry was one of the best things I did this semester. Each class regardless of level surprised me. That fact that poetry is decoupled from the necessity of grammatical perfection and the avoidance of ambiguity that marks good prose makes it a great exercise for students. They stumbled into some good phrasing.

Lament for Tripoli
Europe should never have started dropping bombs in Libya, in my opinion. Regime change and bombs for peace usually do not work. When will we ever learn?

Won’t Stop Till The Motherfucking Top
Listening to lots of Kanye, just had to throw down on all the haters out there. Lamely enough, I have haters.

Jogging Downhill
As far as I can tell, I haven’t changed much in 20 years. Matured, become a better worker and person in general, but my joy for life hasn’t gone anywhere. I thin that’s why I love working with young people so much.

Knowing Plants
Living in cities really disconnects you from nature. I’m a poet who doesn’t know the names of flowers. Pretty sad.

Our high speed development is causing all sorts of things to crash down around us. Hopefully we can build up better things, that it is hard to see how at the moment of impact.

Two Poems
Poetry can have such strong reverberations with the human heart it really is amazing. As for the poem itself, the quickest way to feel what it is like to be treated as if you were retarded and illiterate is to go to a completely different culture. Puts you in your place.

On Humanity
What would aliens think of us? I am afraid the impression we make would not be that good.

Leaps and Bounds
Technology again. We are almost like wizards in a sense, at least we would be in the eyes of our ancestors.

The Rumble of the Gods
Fukushima reminded us how fragile all this technology is. No wonder people created gods to explain the raw force of nature.

Time to move on methinks. I’ve started looking around. Wish me luck.

Ode to The Bloop
There’s so much further mankind has to develop. Hope we can break out of our shell and learn to fly.

My Stupidest Students
Never look down on students. They may not know what you know, but thy may have many other talents.

Gay Co Worker
Went out drinking and found out. Happy to see people happy, whatever their orientation. Too many aren’t.

Amazing little creatures. Pure psychopathic machine. Also slang for a 100 person plus orgie.

Then and Now
As I kid I was so envious of adults, and it always seemed strange how envious they were of me. Now I know.

Waking up to my wife’s face is a joy. Her rituals hide her true beauty.

The Peddler
English teacher as peddler of words. Pretty cute. Where do I come up with these things?

Of Love and Pain
We are getting to that point of giving up on ever having children. As long as I have her I can be happy, and giving up also means no more painful miscarriages. I am ready for that. Is she?

Ode to Youth Wasted
Youth should be wasted, up to a point. If the young were as calculating with their time as adults, what a dull life it would be.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Rani of Jhansi

Motherless girl queen
Adopted light-hearted dear Chhabili
Adopting in turn
When your princely son was lost
Dalhousie claimed his lapsed throne
Gave Anan Rao a pension instead

Revolution over pork and beef bullets
Which sent Muslims and Hindi alike to unclean death
Shook British from the subcontinent
Like fleas from a king's dog
You kept calm leading the haldi-kumkum
But when a Rose laid siege to Jhansi
You jumped the wall on horseback
Adopted son clinging to your back

Rallying rebels at Kalpi
You pushed the invaders back
Till your lifeblood was spilt
Laid low in armor with sword in hand
Even the Rose acknowledged
Your beauty, cleverness, perseverance
And most of all your danger

In truth your body scattered with the birds
Turned to seeds of bronze
Spread your shining flower all over India
To remind all women
Of the beauty and bravery
They are heir to

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The vines and roots
Hold the boulders fast
It’s life that keeps
The mountain from falling

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Messages From Beyond

A bank of broken telephones
Eating coins as we call home
Giving no signal or dial tone
We are so desperate down here
That we keep trying year after year
That we pay some deceiver
When he waves the receiver
And says we should be believers
Of his link with the father
When he is alone like any other

When my systems fail and I go offline
Don’t waste a second of your time
Trying to reach me
I’ll have left these cares behind
No forwarding address left to find
Just mental photos of me

I will state it lest you read me wrong
There are no messages from beyond

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Modern Kama Sutra

Jehovah position
Man outside the door
Sticks his cock in the mail slot
The woman gives it lip service

Fundamentalist position
Woman wears a burka
Man hits her if any flesh shows
Or she thinks of another man

Atheist position
We do it whatever way we want
We just don’t believe in one another
Or anything greater

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Storm God

Raiden comes
Ancient man on his bicycle
Whipping winds

Before him
Sometimes doubling back
In senile dementia until

The clouds ebb away
Rain settles in the rice fields
And he forgets

What it was he came for
Then the storm god is gone
Leaving the sky washed chrome

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ode to Sudan

World’s youngest country
I do not know you
But I hope for you
I have met your beautiful sons and daughters
And I wish them well

I have seen your sons in Egypt
Flown from death in their hometowns
Working, five to a giant shovel
Four grunting on the haft, one guiding the shovel with a rope
The new Jews of Egypt, enslaved
Waiting for their Moses

I have taught your sons and daughters
In classrooms in Canada in my hometown
Learning at dizzying speed
Going to school, getting jobs and citizenship
The new Canadians, free
Tired of waiting for life

World’s youngest country
I do not know you
But I hope for you
I have met your beautiful sons and daughters
Who return to your renewed soil
And I wish them well

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where You Are At

An infinitesimal animal
Spinning on a ball of rock
Looking through a sky painted blue
By the air that courses through you
A hundred hundred million little cells
Working together to make you, you
I do not need gods
To thank for this miracle
I do not need to live forever
I’ll cross the stage
Then go to the wings without rage
Fearing neither heaven nor hell
Content that I acted well

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Exile Life

Canada is the house where I was raised
So large and empty nowadays
Walls filled with my childhood pictures
Japan is the apartment I live in
Crowded with books and things
Shared space for the love of my life and I

Rare colors of a Labradorean flower from the wild
Flourishing in the sun and hothouse warmth of this isle
Alone far from its fellows
Or a delicate frost bitten Japanese lily
Strangled without sun and withering beside a cool window
Blasted by north Atlantic storms

The choice was simple
And I do not regret it

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rice Husking

The husking booth
Is a sauna in summer
My sweat beads on the brown bag
The last eight or nine kilos of rice
Sent from her uncle in Kyushu
His waving green fields
Far from this dirty city parking lot
Where I dump the brown kernels
Into the hopper and insert 100 yen
The booth shakes and chugs
While I batter a reggae drumbeat
On its sides so that no rice escapes
But all comes spilling back out
Into the empty brown sweat-stained bag
A sparrow comes to see the concert
Gets driven away by two hungry pigeons
Black eyes scanning for dropped kernels
Pure white polished rice, rice
Leaving sweet, nutritious nuka
For some neighborhood lady to come drain
From the machine into a container
Throw in cut carrots and daikon and cucumbers
To make cool pickles for her family
As I carry the bag of rice back to mine

Sunday, July 10, 2011

African Koan

The cheetah chases the warthog
For 1.5 minutes then quits
Before his brains boil away
The lion waves away a cool skinned zebra
Whose black stripes shimmer in the heat
Then sprawls in the arms of a tree
The hippo sweats cooling blood sweat
And his feces gives life to the life in the river
So that even the crocodile leaves him be
All these animals understand better than any man
What is important in life
And what should be let go

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Poet’s Heart

All these silver clouds
Have their dark linings
It’s hard to see beauty
For the truth of factory walls
Harder to sing of love
When emotions come in capsules
Poems have become jingles
Written by software
But the poet’s heart
Surpasses flesh and electricity
MacDougall found the 3/4 ounce soul
But he never found what it is
The poet has always known
It is the font of poetry and life

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Right Time

In the middle of a storm
Is no time for mutiny
When waves threaten the ship
Save yourselves through unity

Waiting in the slaughter pen
Is no time for keeping quiet
Let the butchers hear your voice
Rise up in raucous riot

When the house is on fire
Is no time for starting a fight
Fight against the flames and smoke
Or be extinguished in the night

Monday, July 4, 2011

The World Forecast

Chinese exports
Of propaganda and great stonewalling
Are up again this quarter
America still corners the market
In fear and related futures
Canadian complacency
Accounts for its stability
While Japan debuts the latest denial technology
It hopes to export to third world dictatorships
Afghanistan’s grassroots growth
In corruption and chaos
Sets the pace for the region
While the rest of the world is carved up
By the bull and the bear
In terms of the economy of common sense
Looks like another banner year

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ode to Canada Day

Blue sky blazing
Snowy white clouds grazing
July first my dear
Is the least Canadian day of the year

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Rich Earth

Eating lobsters and black tuna
As the sea dies off massively
Flying across the world
As the ozone dissipates
Shuttled around in limousines
As trapped gas superheats the winds
Drinking pink champagne
As clean water gets scarcer
Seeing doctors and nutritionists
As diseases return and life quality plummets
When the poor are starved and poisoned
The rich will live long after
To enjoy the hell they created
And when even the last billionaire is gone
The rich earth will live on