Morning Blessing

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

One large glass of water daily
before the endless cups of green tea,

a glass that stood wrapped
a long time in my father’s two hands,

head bowed to it, eyes closed
to the rest of us at the table.

I didn’t know what he thought
or felt or said to himself right then

nor how thirsty I was
for a silence so meant

until I felt it filling me too,
slaking the cracked creekbed

of rushed and ordinary days.
Fifty-five years old and home for a visit,

back in the cradle
of his slow kind hands.

This poem won first place in Pandora’s Collective 2012 contest and is included in my new chapbook “Irresistible”. Only two weeks left to reserve a copy here!

Haiku Favourites

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

 

She bangs her son’s runners together,
turns them over.
Sand falls and falls.

***

roadside: all day,
teens in school uniforms
come, heap flowers

***

an old ladder
climbs a small embankment,
steps into the sky

***

in the glade’s cloaked silence
the shade-soaked song of
one bird plays

***

snapdragons clutched
by a rock wall:
mustard on an old man’s face

***

up from a cloud of gravel
peeks the half-moon
of a tire

***

opening the door:
a moth flutters in,
darkness too

***

the pen dips
into a small well of ink:
one by one, stars appear

***

Thought I’d change things up with a few haiku, first published in North Shore Magazine. I’ve missed writing them! More to come….

Spoon, Knife, Fork

The truth bends
into a spoon
with which you feed yourself
until the bowl
you put it in
is empty.
Then you look
for other bowls
with equally measured offerings.
Meanwhile, life
comes to your table
in platters,
heaped with bite.

The truth is razor sharp.
It slices and divides
until everyone
has a piece of a piece
of the pie.
It is not fair and
not always palatable.
It is forgettable,
dulled when lied about,
the dangerous blade now
of betrayal,
unable to penetrate
a thick skin.

The truth is a telling
fork in the road:
go left,
but if it is not right,
you will catch hold
of nothing.  You will
keep searching,
and never arrive.
Take the path
that is right
and there will be
nowhere left
to go.

This poem first appeared in Northshore Magazine in 2006. An old favourite.

Stealing Eternity

Waking up in the night
before the bugling of birds,
no child’s screams
tracking the 3:00 a.m. train,
no trucks or buses
bellowing into the valley
from the mountain highway,
no siren, for once,
gathering all who can hear
into its grief,

just silence
so deep
it speaks
to your stammering
heart,
sinking past the debris
of words,
washing over you
like a river-rich sea
the rocks.

Your family sleeps, unaware
you are stealing eternity
for an hour.
By the time they rise
you will be ground into sand:
a beach that can hold
the jump and jaunt
and slow toe-kick
of all their footprints,
until evening’s flood-tide.

This is the title poem from my chapbook, “Stealing Eternity”.