“Connection.”

I share this one with fear and trepidation.

Last night, I felt terribly lonely. To alleviate my loneliness, I listened to a number of late-Nineties pop songs, and I cried…and I wrote this poem, which expresses deep longing for connection with another person. Particularly, I long for touch and intimacy. I owe this poem to the lovely Leigh Nash, and to John Rzeznik.

I hope you like it. 🙂


Connection

The loneliness still follows me each day,

And stalks into my visions every night.

It haunts me with a saxophone’s soft tones,

And lives on in a longing Nineties song;

I want to feel the living flame Desire

That courses through my veins like lightning currents

Turned to the laughing power-chords of Joy.

 

The ache I feel is never memory,

But only yearning for the thing I’ve never had:

I long for sweet connection, with tongue and eye and hand,

To trust that I love someone who will not depart from me.

I hear the yearning whisper in my blood,

And sing its gentle song to every starlit sky.

 

The gentle ebb-tide swell of bass guitar is not enough;

I need the stark climactic cymbal-crash of a kiss,

The whispered melody of day-long conversation,

The chance to see stars shining in my lover’s eyes.

I ache to dance with someone in my good dress shirt,

And split a bottle of wine, and then…I’m sure you know.

 

I have no patience for small, patronizing words;

Don’t soften blows with, “Someday,” or with, “Soon.”

If passion is the force that turns the earth,

Then I would feel this love both here and now,

Although it might still fall quicksilver from my hand.

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“Walking to La Ramblas.”

Walking to La Ramblas: Meditations on Loss and Grief

A few minutes ago, I read about a terrorist attack in Barcelona, and I’m still in recovery from the shock and terror of reading about Charlottesville a few days ago.

Let me be as clear as I can: evil actions make me sick. I know that I’ve hurt others, especially with my words, but I have never engaged in acts of hatred that kill others. I feel that denouncing, hating, and killing others for the colour of their skin, as for any other essential characteristic, is reprehensible.

I cannot imagine why people would commits actions like these, and so sometimes, all I can do is cry, and wish that the world were a better place. I cry because—by virtue of my white skin—I am complicit in racism; I weep because, as Tennyson wrote long ago, “I am a part of all that I have met.” For that matter, I’m part of all those I haven’t met, as well. I mourn because, for terrible reasons, human beings kill our own people. We kill our own flesh and blood.

Reflecting on the weight of human loss and grief in the last few days alone is very difficult. It makes EVERYTHING harder, because the grief obscures our hope.

In my heart, I walk with those who recently attended a candlelight vigil in Charlottesville, and sang Pete Seeger’s “We Shall Overcome.” “We are not afraid, we are not afraid…” In my heart, I weep with those who mourn their lost loved ones in Catalonia. What else can I do

I can pray. I find myself doing that constantly anyway.

I can write, and sing, about peace; I can particularly do the latter with my friends.

And I can love. By myself, I’m not enough, but it’s a start.

“Contours of Eternity: the Return.”

In light of a great experience sharing my poetry with some colleagues in California at an academic conference, I’ve decided to reboot my book of poetry, Contours of Eternity. Here, once again, is the link to the book, newly-priced and ready to sell!

http://www.blurb.ca/b/4705289-contours-of-eternity

I hope you like my work!

“Shadow-song.”

I wrote this l ast night; I’ve been thinking about it for six days…

And I hope I don’t have to explain it more than that. 🙂


Shadow-song: a Sonnet for Chris Cornell

Your liquid melodies are tidal waves,

Embracing us and drowning all our pain,

But there’s no lifeline; there’s no hand that saves.

Your beauty crashes into us again.

Your voice still melts away anxiety,

Both scarred by cigarettes and smooth as skin.

Its angel notes caress infinity;

We stand in awe; with you, we cannot sin.

You call to us from fear and helplessness;

You sing of shadow through your aching heart.

You offer honesty and sweet redress,

Though loneliness and loss obscure your art.

Your longing tones still echo through the sky.

Your music feeds us still, and does not die.

“The Lizard King.”

I wrote this week after the American election; I’d appreciate commentary or constructive critique.


The Lizard King

I know our earthly sorrow has a shape;

Sometimes, it feels like heavy teardrop-stones,

Each facet rounded to a liquid face.

At other times, it’s jagged, like the spires

Of ancient, semisolid stalagmites

That grow up from the onyx cavern floor.

 

Our fear—our abject terror—has a form.

Our fear is broken bottles and sharp stones,

To tear away our faces, cut our throats,

And mutilate our thousand joyful dreams.

As Berkeley burns, Dakota cries in pain,

And Washington will kiss the lizard’s lips.

This fear and dizzy numbness grips us all—

It is the barbell’s weight upon my chest,

The shadow lurking in the hotel hall,

The clammy, bearlike hand around your throat.

It waits within our every loving word,

Erasing our graffiti from the walls.

 

The lizard sees with lidless, hateful eyes,

And sends its slimy reptile progeny

To infiltrate our mammal rebel fronts.

Although its baleful eyes are everywhere,

We hold each other in the growing dark;

We wait to hear the low amphibian voice,

To drown it with impassioned earthly cries.

Our songs and shouts will drive the vermin off,

Will light its viscous lair aflame with love.

Our love helps us resist the Lizard King.

“You Are the Flame.”

Last night, I felt inspired to write a hymn. Here’s a draft of the text. 🙂 I hope you like it!

You Are the Flame

You are the flame that warms the barren soul;

You are the tender breath of love and grace.

You are the living earth, serene and whole;

The saints, immersed in love, will see your face.

The fire of your justice fills us now,

Renews our hearts with creativity.

Oh Lover, tend our embers. Show us how

To listen for your Reign that’s still to be.

You tend the earth, and prune our fragile vines;

You coax our fainting trees to bear their fruit.

Sweet Vintner, pour your wine into our skins

And make our gardens flourish, stem and root.

You breathe upon this blue and blessed globe,

And race along the pathways of the storm!

Wind-Spirit, clothe us in your airy robe

And give our deep desires loving form!

Eternal Three-in-One, we praise your Name.

Give us the grace to see your justice flower.

Come down to earth and water, wind and flame,

And fill this living world with love and power.

“Communion in the Sun.”

Recently, I went on two very different camping trips. Then, tonight–the first night I’ve had time for poetry in a while–I wrote this.

I hope you like it. 🙂

Communion in the Sun

I wake in darkness, and I know my strength.

I’ve portaged over rocks and through the rain;

I’ve watched the ants that live in Georgian Bay,

And hiked a multicoloured river-gorge.

I’ve laughed and cried through whiskey, wine, and beer,

And felt no trace of sadness in the Sun.

With arms extended, I have touched the flame

That smoulders in the centre of my soul,

To be flung outwards in propulsive streams,

To turn to stars that pinwheel through the dark.

I know my strength; its whispered name is Joy,

A joy emerging from her sky-blue eyes,

From clasping hands and tightly-held embrace,

From echoed words that sing from every page.

My joy is not complete without you here,

Without your funny voices and your laughs;

We’re less without communion in the Sun,

And lose ourselves when we are isolate.

I am because you are, and you are free

To blend with me in any way you choose,

Like vegetables and sausage in a soup

That simmers on a cheery element.

We are each other’s taste and touch and smell,

And yet retain integrity of form.

Your love means more than I can write in words;

It visits me in times of grief and pain,

And clothes me when my anger strips me bare.

Love is the ancient poultice healing me,

The friend who greets me by my inmost name

Across the decades of our sundering.

Your love becomes the substance of my song,

And bids me fly to bright Icarian heights

Where we can soar in tandem, and at peace.

I am because we are, and we—through Love—

Are forming into holy, perfect stones

To build our Parent’s house of charity.