Monday, January 25, 2021

praying for the saints

some will pray to the saints
seeking help for every lost cause 
the tired monk prays for the saints
little unbidden glimpses, prompts to pray
for struggling saints scattered over this world

Friday, January 22, 2021

Chomolungma

1. 

sitting in the waiting room
amidst scattered magazines
chairs 6 feet apart...more or less
guy over in the corner breaks the lingering awkward silence
"every one a these fucking rags is about climbing goddamn Everest"
tosses the National Geographic spinning back onto the table

the Tiredmonk just smiles...under his mask, and nods

another voice 
from behind the nurse's office glass says "Chomolungma" 

The guy in the corner looks at the Tired Monk: "You Chomolungma?"

"...nah man Everest is."


2.  

Used to go walking down to the park.  Right along the lakeshore.  On good days Tenzin would be there walking his massive mastiff. His dog was a female called Chomo; short for Chomolunga.  This is the Tibetan name for Mount Everest.  It means Goddess Mother of Mountains.  Tibetans are good at naming things.


3.  A few years ago us monks got into making our own shirts, then we started making some for our neighbours, now...in this lockdown we design digital art almost everyday.  Here is our Chomolungma design.  We made it for our buddy Tenzin; it is his favourite shirt.  Calls it his "Dog Walking Shirt" .

Monday, January 18, 2021

a trade secret

slick hot water suds
 razor honed sharp 
each stubbly bit removed
pristine monk head 
dried ready...
for a healthy application 
of Brut  - classic aftershave

Monday, January 11, 2021

AM Radio

 the train is cutting up above Superior
"we're out in the bush now...way out"
The AM radio sputters, spits static
not even a glimmer of CBC

cassette player bungeed to a hook
four D Cells located...scrounged from flashlights
the tape clicks into gear, hisses, slow
then Ernest Tubb "Drivin' Nails in My Coffin" pours out
loud n' right in the middle of the chorus:

I'm just drivin' nails in my coffin, Lord
I'm drivin' those nails over you




Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Nebraska


lingering cold mist over the fields
a young buck bounds out of the dark
clears the deep ditch...gone

radio is laden with early Christmas songs
and talk radio spin

I reach down 
fumbling through an old tape box
Van Halen, Trinity Sessions, Nazareth...
there it is
Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska
SIDE A is almost worn clear off

starts midway through State Trooper
flip it and listen to SIDE B
flip it back over
sing every work of Atlantic City 
as I coast back into town.




Thursday, October 29, 2020

sometimes

Sometimes its like someone took a knife baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley
Through the middle of my soul

 
sometimes I play this song
maybe a bit slower, more meditative
less youthful passion...you know...I'm old

sometimes my soul is cut
fallen apart -  in twain

I picture lashing myself back together
binder twine
wire
a piece of broken mason's line
packing tape

sometimes I go out looking
for pieces long enough to hold the world together
songs - music
humour, a smile (with one's eyes these days)
a long form discussion 
a kind word
a mission of mercy
a campfire, and a tug of single malt
even a prayer...
...If I can muster one

Friday, October 16, 2020

heavy

i)

"you look like a man with a heavy heart"

heavy soul really

Van Zandt heavy
Kerouac heavy
renegade country music heavy
can't lift my hood heavy
parking lot sad heavy
tears could spill heavy
considering meds heavy
minor chord heavy
tired monk heavy

ii)

follow up piece...poem...

Why are you tired? Why are you the tired monk?

tired of facades
tired of deconstruction
tired of shaving my monk tonsured head
tired of girding up for fights
tired of lies
tired of platitudes - pinned up on posters
tired of hollow virtue signals
tired of meetings, emails, emails about meetings
tired of these tattered robes
tired of being the only monk
tired of this heavy load
tired monk tired

iii)

an anecdote

Student enters the vice-principal's office.  

He knocks on the door - three quick knocks.  

Delivers his line: "Hey I'm tired of this fucking bullshit. (pause) I'm outta here."

Student runs off down the hall.  

The VP pursues...a futile act.

The Student exits via the main doors, and hops on a downtown bus.