Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Secret of Poetry

If I cared what you thought
About my poems
I wouldn’t post them

If I tried to get money
From my poems
I wouldn’t post them

If I studied to be a poet
For my poems
I wouldn’t post them

Aren't you glad I am
A careless
Poetry writer

The Hand of Okinawa

When Satsuma swords
Robbed you of yours
You turned your hands and feet
To weapons of their defeat

But the Ryukyu kingdom did go
Absorbed into greedy Yamato
When Funakoshi was exiled from you
He spent his life among the Yamatonochu

Teaching their elite the empty hand
While they held contempt for their fellow man
Put with Koreans and Africans in their Human Museum
Tokyoites would pay money to see them

Of course Funakoshi hid the secrets
In simple dancing moves for idiots
Only those respectful of Okinawa-te
Can unlock the wisdom hid away

Yamato’s greed was its downfall
The Yankee horde crushed its armies all
The debt was paid in Okinawan blood
Two blinding flashes united them in victimhood

The same hand that plucks the sanshin
Strikes down foes with zanshin
This now empty hand, once Chinese
Is free to move as it may please

I humbly take the hand of Shuri
Which has given so much to me
Peace of mind and heart and health
There could be no greater wealth

Some take the hand in arrogance
And boastful of their karate dance
Think a white suit improves their mojo
Strut and bully in their dojo

That is why I train alone
In a park my skills I hone
With pages of Kanezawa and his mentors
I avoid the throng of blackbelt vendors

Those who see me and feel sorry
Have never heard of yamakomori
What I lose in fighting prowess
I gain in peace and humbleness

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Naked Truths

Listen children to me
We are not born sinners
But make ourselves feel guilty
And only we can forgive us

Breasts and cock are not dirty parts
It is how you use them
The filth is in our hearts
And how we choose to view things

It is as natural to be nude
For a newborn baby
As for a young woman or old dude
Who cast off their cloaks of shame

Never think women whores
Because of thongs and miniskirts
It is the hypocrisy of our mores
To do this and forgive bikinis

Burqas to conceal feminine beauty
Are just bodily oppression
A weak-minded male imposed duty
To save them from their obsession

If we hated ourselves less
And learned to love our bodies
We’d feel less unease undressed
And learn to face the naked truth

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The hunter wakes up
Knowing what season it is
Whether to net ptarmigans
With a breath and a single stroke
As they fly north for summer
Or spear seals
As they come up to breathe
Though nowadays using a rifle
Behind a white blind
Or cutting up narwhales lost in the bay
The days of trudging
Pushes sledges
Are long gone
Outboard motors and rifles
Speed him on his way
To great family feasts
Of birds fermented in a sealskin bag
Or else boiled whole feathers and all
Divine heady stew
Fresh whale meat sweeter than any fruit
Steaks of caribou or musk ox
But sometimes sleep doesn’t come
When he reflects how warm
The days have become
Or how poorly his pelts sell
Barely enough to support
The wife and children
Who will not follow
In the footsteps he has followed
In a line unbroken for millennia
But be lost in the whiteout
Of the outside world

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Working Staycation

 Reading the ‘The 47 Ronin’
On my sunny balcony in the morning
Cutting mushrooms and onions
For a simple lunch
For the wife and I
Tapping at the keyboard
As the noonday sun turns to evening rainclouds
And the heat of the day blows away
With cool winds from over Holy Hiezan
Watching a show together
On the flat widescreen we bought
At Christmas
Then collapsing side by side
On our futon in the dark
There are worse ways
To spend summer vacation

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Laws

Battery acid in a river
Shit dumped in a stream
Let’s prosecute environmental crimes
And make this world a dream

130 million dollar bonus
For 10 000 out of a job
Let’s jail economic wrongdoers
Crush the temptation to lie and rob

Only because we allow them
The system retains its flaws
Let’s stop those who abuse them
Inject justice in our laws

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summertime Butterfly Lesson

Dandelion and jet wings
Having a weightless screw
Amidst warm summer winds
Tumbling between sun and blue
This is how love should be
And how it feels
With you and me

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Modern Cave, Man

Think we’ve come so far technologically?
I know we’re reversing anthropologically
Fruit picking cro magnon straightened his spine
While clicking this mouse is curving mine
He spotted distant tiny game with his eye
This tiny screen reddens my peepers till I cry
To stone caves he returned with game
My concrete pad is a cavern in all but name
It’s freezing in winter even with a heat fan
And in summer I sit nakeder than a caveman
Least those guys had the ice age to cool them
Our global warming has ruined earth’s system
My continent crossing frozen Thulian forebears
Would never have to walk round in their underwears
I’m embarrassing my wife and scaring the neighbors
While my ancestors would just carry on with their labours
And although I’m WiFi connected to the digital plane
I still get caught with no umbrella in the summer rain
We modern people think all this info makes us smarter
It just makes us less able to choose what we ought to
One thing for certain with this internet revolution
No doubt it is the start of our de-evolution

Friday, August 19, 2011


I sat with an American
On the other side of the world

So, he says grinning
You’re Canadian
Do you live in an igloo?
Of course not
Igloos are temporary shelters
No one ever lived in one
They built them to stay alive
When the arctic storms blotted out the sky
And the wind came to freeze their flesh
But we built and played in them
Often as kids

Well, can you see an aurora from your house?
The house where I was born
But my family moved
Away from the alcohol and joblessness
And quiet desperation of the north
To a place where the ghost of an aurora
Shines dimly
Once every few years
Over city streets where no one looks up

Are you an Eskimo?
Not 100 percent
I have Métis status
Which means I am proud of my Inuit blood
But don’t have enough in my veins
To get money or special treatment
From the government
But just enough to be called ‘skimo’ and ‘skapi’
In high school

Do you club seals?
Never had to
Nor have I wrung a chicken’s neck
Nor shot a pig, cow or goat
But I happily would eat
A good feed of seal
As I would any of those others
And if stranded on an isle
I'd as happily kill a seal for meat
As a pig, dolphin, or even you

Do you play hockey?
Never did, never will
Can barely skate
Can’t ski, love snowboarding
But never go
My generation was raised
To hate and fear winter
Not love and play in it
As these new Canadians
I think they’re right
But just can’t force myself out
Into the snow and cold

He says, none of the other Canadians
Knew or did as much Canadian stuff
As you

I laugh
He doesn’t know that
In Canada I am the exception
Rather than the rule
And feel as estranged in the land of my birth
As here on the other side of the world

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Your are my weather
Greeting me with sun
Till white clouds
Gather like sheep
Then dark clouds
Furrow your brow
Thunderheads roll in your face
And your eyes flash lightning bolts
Your words growl thunder at me
I grow agitated
Like animals in a zoo
Running panicked
From the crack and smell of ozone
Until you rain tears
All that is inside comes out
And you greet me with sun

Kyoto Cricket Song

Is that a cricket chirping
In our hot apartment
This sweaty Kyoto night
Or a loose screw
In our old fan
That barely turns
The turgid air

I know you cricket
I saw you yesterday
Brown cockroach color
Peeping out from under my slippers
In the hall
My roach murder rage dissipated
When I saw your fiddlebow legs
And sad pinhead eyes

I let you live
Now you serenade us this night
Your repeated high C
Cooler than any old fan
That barely turns
The turgid air
This sweaty Kyoto night

Monday, August 15, 2011

Of Terms and Terminology

 Rightful government
Is a contradiction in terms
No government has
Or ever will
Be full of right

A war on terror
Makes as much sense
As a mad king
Slashing the ocean waves
With his sword

We live in
A world of terminology
Terms infected with ideology
Germs of falsehood
Riddling our truth

Summer Slowdown

Hey all,

In case you haven't noticed or do care, I've slowed down to 2-3 poems a week since last month. Lot of writing projects going on now outside of poetry, but the mental exercise of doing the blog has really helped whip my writing ability into shape these past few months. Since I figure most of you are on summer hiatus anyway, enjoy the light build up of poems when you check in once or twice a week or on rainy Sundays.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two Way Street

My blue bird of happiness
You chased from my brain cage
My inner dog of loyalty
Fled from your military boot
I am lost
Between your ‘this’ and ‘that’
Communication should be
A two way street
You make it one
I cannot enter

Friday, August 12, 2011

Life is Unfair

The cicada sings
Then screws for six weeks
And dies

Sharks never get cancer
But suffocate
When they stop moving

The poor person
Cries over pennies
But knows his friends
Are true

The rich man
Lives longer
Using his fortune
On painful degrading treatments

Life is
But that
Is not always
A bad thing

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Old Joke

In the joke
The old couple
Making love
Each think of
Other people

Know that
When I love you
I fantasize
About you on
That night

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ghosts of Japan

My first year in Japan
I saw no ghosts
Just the rusted skeletons
Of a broken bubble

I heeded the call of blood
Ran to Europa in summer
Was exiled on my return
To a haunted mansion

In the screaming jungle
Praying at the foot
Of a templed jade mountain
Gazing out at the sea

My second year I met a ghost
Recognized his uniform
From ‘BANZAI!’ charges
In Sgt Rock comics books

It took me a year
To understand his words
The wife and child left in Kobe
The dysentery that killed him

Other foreigners came
To my place in the jungle
But couldn’t see the phantom
Walked drunk through him

My third year in Japan
Other ghosts arrived
The faceless woman
Eye for anus man

They held no fear for me
I drank sake with them
Told them of wendigo
And the old hag of Newfoundland

At my contract end they wept
As I returned to Canada
I hoped the next English teacher
Would love them as much

Monday, August 8, 2011

Simple Math

Poverty + Prejudice = Riots.
Work – Dignity = Unrest
Negligence x Brutality = Resistance
Despotic Regime   The People = Revolution
Leaders everywhere need to learn
This simple math

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Other Labradorian

I met him
Coal black hair
Dripping like a mop
Four paws
Scrabbling on hard stones
Tongue hanging
Dragged by the collar
His arctic body melting
As the red sun turned its back
Beyond holy Hiezan mountain
And the heat of the day died
Enough to let live
The other Labradorian

He met me
Thinning hair
Plastered to my skull
Arthritic feet
Pounding hard pavement
Chest burning
Dragging myself outside
My arctic body melting
As the red sun turned its back
Beyond holy Hiezan mountain
And the heat of the day died
Enough to let live
The other Labradorian

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lost Arts

Like retired sumos we meet
In the earthen ring of combat
Flabby conversation muscles
Lagging concentration ability

Duelists lose their touch
When everyone gets guns

We stare off into space
Tired of keeping the ball aloft between us
Wishing the face we face
Was inside a screen before us

I have started scribbling
Thoughts from my fingers
Onto paper airplanes
That circle the world to find you

Cheetahs get fat
When meat is thrown to them in cages

It numbs my digits
Cramps my hand for days
Costs money
Like all real things should

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summertime Simile

The singsong trilling of cicadas
On orange Japanese summer nights
Crying out for short-lived love
Sounds like the sad shrieks of loons
On lonely Ontario lakes
Moving ever further from the homes of man

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It Finds You Everywhere

Fake American boulevard
In an Osaka movie park
Where a mechanical shark swims
Terrorizing a fake boat
In the fake New York town
Real Newfie music plays
And makes me wonder
Am I a real Newfie any more