Oak Tree

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Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash

Its aged roots like umbilical cords
never severed,
still pushing into the womb
of their earth mother.

Its stalwart trunk
at the centre of the dancing
leaves, belled
with acorns.

Its free splay of limbs
that invite
no posturing of the soul,
human or not.

The buried questions
that find their way here,
some even answered
in a mutely mysterious way.

This is the great oak
whose address I remember
whose gnarly throne of silence
I ascended once in a dark hour

when the moon, with a fatherly hand,
drew an amazing gasp
of stars
down around my shoulders:

the light by which the bark of my body
listened, then became the listening
of lobed leaves
for more than wind or rain,

became the long roots
longing,
until I too reached from the earth that held me,
with praising hands.

This is a poem from my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.

Lovers In The Lobby

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Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

My poem “Lovers In The Lobby” is now up at Blue Heron Review. Many thanks to editor Cristina Norcross for including it in this themed summer issue: Aspects of Love. My poem is second to last, so there’s a lot of scrolling; you can read it here.

Along the way, please also read my good friend Mike Lewis-Beck’s poem “Purple Love” – wonderful to find ourselves in the same issue! And there are some stunning photos accompanying the poems too!

“Clear Night Over Treadwell Bay” – Nominated for Best of the Net 2017

Photo by Luca Baggio on Unsplash

A couple of hundred miles up the coast
two weeks into a summer of cruising
we end our day of fishing with a movie.
But the shouting and shooting carve sharp
initials into the tree-deep silence here,
so I step outside, right onto the glittering
dance floor of an olive-black sky
on a clear, good night. My mind whirls,

words falling far away, then my fears,
then even the best of the best in me, all
dwarfed by this lavish sprinkling of stars:
confetti of the gods, tossed long ago upon
a lifted veil—marrying me now to the
faintest glimmer of worlds beyond ours.
I gaze, it seems forever, a moth burning
to remember a dream wings can’t forget.

I am thrilled to have this poem nominated for the Best of the Net 2017 Anthology by editor Cristina Norcross of the Blue Heron Review, where it appeared July 2016!

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….

Radio Broadcast

Photo by Vincent Chin on Unsplash

Snowflakes feathering the trail
below the highway.  A young
fellow, toqued and sweatered,
strides out of the woods
where he has been camping
for some time.  Now on a search
for empty cans and bottles,
he asks me what I think
of last night’s news (which I,
watching American Idol, missed).

He tells me Iran warned the United
States it would feel the pain
if tough measures were imposed
against the Islamic Republic
for its nuclear program,
and ponders aloud the grave
possibility of a third world war
before drifting away,
back into his solitary life
which, like mine, lives
inside a bigger story
that is always ripe for change.

He knows the Earth he wants
to inherit, having made his
living room into a grove
of trees meadowed with stars,
stars loved more than priests
for their enduring benediction
of light, their twinkling
testaments of hope.
Trees whose raised roots
rope roughly into pews.
The ground that knows
no names, but keeps
a footprint.  Wind
that is a window.

The darkness humming
with a billion unheard voices
when a different congregation
is invited in.

This poem was first published by New Verse News in 2006 and then by
New Millennium Writings as an Honorable Mention in 2012.