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

The fuck

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

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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Time For Me

Wandered out of dreamland
Midway between the gates of Moon and Sun
Found myself in the living room
Listening to Andrew Jackson Jihad on repeat

Fixed a letter for a student
Volunteering his Japaness in Vietnam & Indonesia
Rich doctor's son in guitar club
I sent him the link to Sense & Sensibility

You'll go upward and I'll go down
You'll go forward and I'll go back
You'll go upward and I'll go down
I hope we'll catch up with each other back on campus

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Late Lazy Day of Love

Woke up under a starless blanket of endless sky
This late lazy Day of Love

Walked my shadow hand in hand to his school
Sent my hopes in a manila A4 express pack
Ate two slices of friendship
Drank a cup of lukewarm obligation

I sit listening to my digital brain sing
As I do twelve shirts of meditation

Sitting in a couch of arms and legs
I'll be driven to my holding pen
Milked of my Anglo-Saxon
Then driven back
Hanging raw from my joint hook all the way

When I stumble home
My sun will already be sleeping

I'll crawl in beside him
Let his breath lullaby me
Out of this world

Until his rising
Draws me back

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Rainy September

I'll survive
Rainy September in Japan
A can of cold coffee
Warming up in my pocket

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Garbage Park

This is the park
Where homeless hid their mahjong board
In the public toilets
To play on benches
When homeful people
Took their eyes elsewhere

This is the park
Where my foreign body comes
To kick itself into shape
Sweat out the toxins of age
Karate my worst enemy
My dojo between three trees

This is the park
Where soccer boys
Chase each other down
In homoerotic summer games
Leaving tessellated footprints
Empty sports drink bottles

This is the park
Where salarymen drink cheap sake cups
Poor young bucks scream at midnight
Find the mahjong board
Smash it into pieces
Drive unmuffled bikes home

This is the park
Where the wind blows garbage
In every season
Half drunk cans and PET bottles
Leaves clogging the chainlink fence
Mixed with mahjong board fragments

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Vertical Society Bullshit Jungle

Dear Japan
I am tired
Of vertical society bullshit
This place is a jungle

Balding managerial lions
Lead prides of chuckling hyena recruits
To the watering holes every evening

Women are the prey
Fishnetted gazelles packed tight
For easy groping on morning trains

It's hard for me to keep seeing
Eye to eye when everyone takes their place
Up or down a social totem pole
As immobile as any carved in Canada

This son of the North
Has seen enough jungle
To last a lifetime

Friday, July 7, 2017

Shinkansen Haiku

Her spiky cellphone
Slid like a cockroach from her
Lost in train make up

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kentucky Racial Tension

No racial tension
In Lexington Kentucky
Just tense & intense races
Black & white race
Cat & rat race
Foot Ford train & plane race

I am lost amidst this

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

When Your Eyes Are Full of Tears

When your eyes are full of tears
They're also full of prisms
That make rainbows before you

When your heart is heavy with dread
You are grounded firm
Enough to cast a weight far from you

Monday, January 30, 2017

Plan for Syrian Refugees

If I wielded the pen
Of the American president
Here is what I would do
With the throng of refugees
From Syria

Take them all to the American desert
Have the builders and architects
Re-create the beauty of Aleppo
Before the bombs fell

Have the bakers, cheesemakers and chefs
Fill their air with the smells
Of the fatteh feast of Damascus
And fill the bellies of all there

Have the teachers teach
Have the children learn and play
Have the mothers and fathers love
Have them all heal and live again

Most importantly
I'd have the artists and writers
Write their story
Have the dancers, singers, and actors
Perform it on the stage

Have the Syrian musical
Play in every city in America
Have every American
See the beauty that is lost
And weep with joy
That they saved
The tired, poor huddled masses
Yearning to be free

If I wielded the pen
Of the American president
This is what I would do
With the throng of refugees
From Syria

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fight Like A Woman

Fight like a woman
Proud together
Crowding the avenues
Their coward-foes couldn't
A million Lady Liberties
Making truth heard
In a time of deceit