Sunday, February 25, 2024

sauna prayers

sauna door clicks shut
birch water ladled
over volcanic rocks

heat rises
edging on unbearable

the tired monk
thinks of poems
as he soaps his head

razor slicks foam
slides on sweat
smooth and renewed

steam and prayers escape
via the tiny door crack
up through barren branches
and white pine needles

Thursday, February 22, 2024

one road over

the road is straight
just off a divided highway
past suburbs
butted up against
working farms

through a little village
down past a cemetery
a horse farm or two
then some open 
wind swept fields

the road narrows
the pavement stops
gravel and rutted dirt
right up to
a rusted dead end sign

keep going
the road dwindles
to a winding path
almost overgrown

under a tarp
by a cedar fence
a small red canoe

I push it out 
into the creek
paddle a few strokes
drift with the mallards

Friday, February 16, 2024

secrets from the deep

secrets
sure I got 'em
a little spell ago
I pulled them up 
from the deep morass
slathered in canal muck

I hosed them off 
took a look
poked them with a barge pole
watched as they dripped
black guck, and slime
on the boardwalk
and slowly dried

I kicked them 
hard 
back into the murk
sinking down
past bicycles
knives, guns, empty bags
and litter
...so much litter
to rest 
still
on the bottom
forever



 - for the record:

I'm very much pro surprise and very anti secret. 

Monday, February 5, 2024

church

nursing a slight hangover
in the back pew
boozy spirts waft
amidst some mumbled
yet earnest prayers
only one mid-sermon nip
from a battered flask

last hymn fades
jacket, scarf, and Irish cap
on quick
  a quicker exit out a side door

a short brisk lonely walk home

too Christian for the world
too worldly for the Christians

Saturday, January 27, 2024

hearthside

my obituary burns
torn into tendrils
tinder to light the hearth
the flames move
consuming kindling
birch logs ignite

this old ghost sits
warm in the fire glow


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

gotta be the shoes

old monk knocking down jumpers
in the high school gym
his handles are tight
ball is on a string
quick crossover 
a flash
step back fade away
hitting all day

on his feet
well worn Jordan 1s


Closing Time at the Russel Hotel

stubby bottles cover the tables...
along with tall quarts and pitchers of draft
thick cigarette smoke plumes the air

Toronto power trio hits the stage
plugs in oversized (for the room) amps
buzzing barre chords wail
thundering bass and drums

they rip through some originals
gets the crowd cheering 
when they swing into some Zeppelin

in the corner by the bar
the manager cringes - too loud!
the girls can't hear the orders

he snaps  - rushes the stage
flicks off the breaker
Geddy and Alex laugh
and promise to turn it down
...a notch or two

the settle back in
wrap up the gig
with Working Man

the manager grabs the mic:

"Hustle Bustle - closing time in the Russel.  
This is a Hotel, not a motel.  
Drink up and get the hell out!"