Nominated For A Pushcart Prize: One Sunday, Slow To Wake

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Photo by Zach Taiji on Unsplash

Let us grant that the pulsing rain wells
from a cavernous heart. Now the tulips

peering redly through my basement window
stoop slowly, nodding amid the blades of grass

as I curve to red yawns and the green stretch
of a lip, artfully shaping soundless appeals

to these guardian sentinels, this crimson grail
from which I drink and dream. Let us believe

there are upheavals in the dark: a bell ringing,
tears gathered in the urgent arch of my heart,

the congregation, at last, rising to sing.

I’m thrilled to share that this poem has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by editor Robert L. Penick of the print journal “Ristau: A Journal Of Being” where it first appeared in January of 2019! Oh happy day! Here’s what the Pushcart Prize is about.

 

 

“The Colour of Bruises” – Joint Winner of the Jack Grapes Poetry Prize!

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Photo by Janice Gill on Unsplash

I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to have this particular poem considered a winner by contest judge Eric Morago! Each of three judges chose a winner and two finalists from a pool of 2000 individual poems. You can read my poem and the judge’s comments HERE

The other winning poems and links to them can be accessed from the main page here

 

Autumn Flow

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Photo by michael podger on Unsplash

The west windows of the house cannot open
far enough to hear the backyard river
but the one east window, by which I sleep,
lets every murmur in, brimming on the early
morning tide with night’s collected songs
and a wind for dreams to sail on, in red and
yellow and green boats, past the branches
of the only trees they know, to land on the
shores of an earth that needs them, my earth.

To go forth into the day
in the wide pull of that current,
belonging deeply to the world.

The chill of autumn is in the air today. Made me think of this poem, first published in North Shore Magazine way back in 2005!

Full Moon

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Photo by Sanni Sahil on Unsplash

O! Moon’s so full –
I could say it is an orgasm
of light

or the white climax of a line
that in its beginning
meets its end

or it is a tearless eye
that cannot close
its dark and heavy lid.

I could say it is a dead planet
thrust deep in our throats
but you might choke on that.

How about a window
through which we are beheld,
in which we see a shadow of ourselves:

look how, night after night,
the moon slowly pieces itself together
until, weeks later – and then briefly –

it is whole again,
as if it finally finds the answer
to an old, disturbing question

only to lose it
down the well of darkness
from which it came.

I think this is the only poem from my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity” that I haven’t yet posted on the blog.

I am back from a nourishing month on our coastal waterways, my favourite season upon us now – a time of great release and vibrant ripening. Autumnal blessings to all!

Poem Up At “Kissing Dynamite”

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Photo by Brem Jeff on Unsplash

One of my edgier poems is now live at “Kissing Dynamite”. You can read ZOO here

Awesome art featuring awesome poems, see the main page here. Many thanks to editors Christine Taylor and Jason Bates for believing in my poem!

To anyone commenting on my poem, please know I will respond as soon as I am able – but I will soon be out of cellphone and internet range, enjoying the Pacific Northwest waterways at their best – wild, remote, whatever news delivered daily to the shore we find ourselves at.

The Cry No One Wants

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Image by robson melo bob from Pixabay

I walk past a house in Tahsis as a woman
leaves in a taxi. Her little boy stands
on the doorstep, crying loudly and long.
Another woman comes and quickly
guides her hand like a missile
to its defenceless target.
The hard slap sounds through the street,
startling my every cell.
He is pulled inside, crying more.

The cry no one wants keeps banging
on the walls of my heart.
It is my cry too. Weedlike,
its roots travel hauntingly deep,
able to crack apart a body
or rot into tumours. By snap,
by bloodsqueeze of tears, by a
howling good grip, it will
unearth the light and live!

I say live like a river,
loving the drag of its boulders:
shoulder the cries that come and
carry them gently over. The physical
heart is so little, even for us, now big,
that it hangs, unnoticed, from the upper
branches of the body – not a windchime
until pelted by raindrops
or shaken, glinting, in a glad wind.

Another poem from my earlier chapbook “Stealing Eternity”. Tahsis was a town we visited on a boating trip many years ago, located at the head of Tahsis Inlet in Nootka Sound.

I will be going away on our boat shortly, for about a month, so you might not hear much from me. I do have a poem coming out in Kissing Dynamite early in September (“Zoo”) – if internet service is available wherever I find myself then, I’ll update this blog with a link. Happy end of summer to everyone!

Thirst

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Photo by Michaël Bethouart on Unsplash

Enough rain today to banish all thirst—
but what of the thirst I was born with:
to taste the sweet and formless
wonder of my own soul,
to have it held up as perfect
and infinitely translatable?

Lift that crystal goblet
repeatedly to my lips
and I will be drunk
with love for you, and I
will lift it again and again
to yours.

I’ll say then, we are forgetful
gods and goddesses
wandering the streets
of our lives. I’ll say,
let’s celebrate being found
and slake those ancient longings,

for this is not a thirst
I want to die with—
the coveted bottle cellared,
we, the ones not poured.

Another poem from my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

 

Night-Light

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Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Look how the moon hangs
its luminous sign outside
the bedroom window: the man
with a grin is open for business!

But in your private dark, nothing
so grand – only the chest-warming
glow of a night-light never turned off:
being able to take one good deep
breath after another, and feel
your own durable heart pumping
steadily in unsteady times,
its rivers, rich with blessing,
coursing through a world
that knows the fierce
need of it.

Another older poem which first appeared in North Shore Magazine and then my chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.