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”.

End of a Road

Fifty years it’s taken to get here
and the road’s all wrong:
the easy pavement with its white
sidewalks and marked shoulders,
the solid yellow line, cats-eyed,
ends

and everything I’ve passed by
at a distance
now leans in.

If life is a long walk down the aisle
to an altar,
then this must be the kiss
that lifts the veil,
loosening my tongue – willing or not –
to learn new vows.

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