Monday, December 31, 2012

the lost poems of 2012


a few poems linger


a wisp of smoke
in the hemlock trees


an unlikely sonnet
lodged behind the shed
covered in drifting snow


turn the dials
tweak the reverb
one more poem
rattles in that old amp

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tired Monk's Christmas

temple dog snores
a low rumble from the hall
even the temple cat sleeps
bathed in Christmas lights

Monday, December 17, 2012

tired monk blues

thin disguise
beat n'dirty trucker cap
old lumberman's coat
30 or so extra
Tuckish pounds
rock steady flat top

no give away robes
just the Birks reveal
the tired monk

Sorta kinda by request.  Novice Emmett and the Tired Monk play a bit of blues.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rock n'Roll Saints

no Christmas tunes,
no - not even yet
Maybe a few sacred choruses
from brother Cash
on the cusp of the holy day

For now
this old monk works
rockin' the sweet humbucker reverb
snow gets stack high
frozen ice chips fly

thanks to

Neil, Jimmy, Gord, Fred, Ryan, Jimi, Eddie, Dave, Jeff, Matt, Joel, John, and all the rest of the Saints of Rock n'Roll

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monk's Music

headphones rest
tight on tonsured head
robe sleeves rolled high
deep in monk work
praying, raking, sweeping

Novice sees and ponders
  What holy music fills those monk ears?
   Tibetan horns?  deep and rolling
   Holy brothers chanting? those most ancient prayers
   David's Psalms?  sweet sweet praise


remember these are humbucker poems


I'd love to hear your guess...

the Tired Monk

on poet monks

poets got work
capturing moments

monks too
those robed wardens
that ritual doesn't
slip to routine

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the working poet

we don't pay poets
to write poems
no hammering out
in eight hour shifts

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lingering Dreams

heads a bit foggy
reach for my robe
still morning clumsy

go to fill the kettle
a second time
this old monk brain
awash in a final
flurry of dreams

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the monk's fourth wall

are you a monk?
          really a monk?

I've got a bowl, a robe,
I pray

last night
I really shaved my head -
but can one tonsure a persona?

please accept this ever so subtle nudging of the fourth wall  - some days...the fourth wall is all I got

and yet one sneeze shatters...



demons are circling
just behind the fence

the tired monk sees 'em
pretends not too


the tired monk
walks his temple

checks the doors
stout staff thuds
with every step

Monday, November 5, 2012

coupla monk poems


an acre of leaves
aspen, maple, a few birch
raked by one monk


wind picks-up
could cuts right through
     these monk's work robes

Monk Warmth

but the secret lies deeper
my old SFDCI sweater
ragged n'warm
tucked under
flapping robes


wrote a few poems about these leaves
when they were green, then red, then fallen
now wheelbarrowed forest deep
to nourish new monk poems

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Poems

birch trees creak
shed door blows open
temple dog jumps

robes whip n'fly
rain blast batters
bare monk head

white pines
grip deep n'sway
more roar than whisper

Friday, October 19, 2012

a Monk's Morning Music


seeking that song
the one that compels

that song
prompts, no demands
you turn it up


tonsured monk head
bald n'bobbing
to big bass beats


even amidst
the stoplight stares
the tired monk sings

Bruce Fish: Hero

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Frost Warning

radio warning
killing frost they say
predawn creeping cold

the tired monk hears and heeds
covers his pumpkins
digs out his wool work socks
chooses the biggest mug
brimming coffee warmth

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

monk's work

temple dog shivers
her sacred forest duty...done
she waits
wonders at the tired monk's delay

he's thinking on monk's work
daily duties:
unbreaking hearts
turning songs to prayers

Friday, September 28, 2012

night guitar

these old strings ring
a touch a rust
but true n'tuned

chords beat big
the usual heavy
hammers n'pulls

songs soaring out
deep into the night

fall morning

cold floors
seeping drafts

summer robe
all too thin
this morning

first coffee brewing
as the furnace clicks on
basement deep

a burst of heat
up through the vents
a monk smiles

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

song of glory

the guitar top
chipped worn

pick mark laced
rusting strings
nagging fret buzz

the tired monk
adds a few more nicks
working on the song of glory

Monday, September 17, 2012

a monk's perception


he talks

- the end of graffiti,
and broken glass

he smiles
                    so proud



the tired monk knows

bits of painted hate cling
missed in sandblast haste


the tired monk pauses
brushes tiny shiny
glass shards
from worn sandal soles

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the timeworn monk

graying temple tonsure
clicking knees
sun faded robes
ragged hem dragging
on well raked paths

the Tired Monk

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

beer prayers

the lawn chair
under the hemlock

old monk
stretches out
birkenstock feet

takes a cold pull
of frothy lager

Monday, August 20, 2012

just summer


coffee steam
circles up
drifting through


coffee cups
washed and stacked away
ready for tomorrow morn


monk ponders today's duties
flips through Proverbs


rake, mower, broom and brushes


hockey equipment needs sorting

Thursday, August 16, 2012

a new time

the battered boots
in need of new soles
the well worn walking stick
that weathered cloak
all stored

out come work boots
brooms and brushes
leather gloves
the old paint flecked robe
a new time

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

David at 34


he's still the same David
built of whispered promises
 earnest ones
lingering memories

this year he's still the same



the monk robes suit him
he wears them as a rib
a joke - his joke
on me

he laughs and rubs
my grey temple stubble

To my good blessed brother.  

He is 34.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

a purge


few quick j-strokes
keeping steady
on early lake waters

battered shoe box
rattles and slides
as the canoe leans

the tired monk
glides, slows, drifts
by the cliff side

they shear and plunge
cold water deep
night dark deep

the tired monk
shakes the box
over the side

ill gotten  - ill made
compasses sink
into walleye depths


only one compass remains
wrapped in tired monk robes

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Elbow Lake

last echoes
of guitar string prayers
flow across Elbow Lake

heads tilt  - eyes scan
canoes slip into the mist
seeking the source

Thursday, July 26, 2012

night watch patrol

getting dark,
as dusk slips away

the tired monk
takes up his staff
wanders the night

shooing raccoons
as the novices sleep

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



are you really a monk?
why are you tired?
where is your monastery?

tell us

we really want to know

the tired monk:

take off your shoes
and pray with me

Sunday, July 8, 2012

monk's prayer

one more prayer
a monk's prayer


to the saint spoken

blessings break the brim
flow free

Thursday, June 14, 2012

the Tired Monk: on fishing


zinging lines
across the bay
sinking bait



mist is low

curl up in deep robe silence
just a few dock creaks
and one bobber splash


no line
or ancient tackle box

no pond
or cold river bend

just some koi
waiting to be fed

The novices wish me to mention their video - please watch, please click like, please help us bring brother Joel and his music to the Monastery.

Oh...the thumbnail is indeed my koi pond.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


love was lost
scattered bits
along the path
just out of sight

the tired monk
steps from the path
all the lost love

a film my novices made... 

They are trying to get brother Joel to visit us at the Monastery.  So please like and share.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

on robes

the tired monk
steps into
dusty dress robes

loose prayer beads
saint's coin
a cross

milk bone crumbs
Marc's funeral card
a folded fiver

even monk robes
have pockets

Still trying to get Likes on this video.  Help us get brother Joel to come visit the monastery.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the story

they like that story
like the telling

how your dad was
when you were two

how my dad left
the night
I was born


they like that story
like the telling

but we know...
we connect
     outside the story

for Nilame  - one of the saints out on the path

Monday, May 28, 2012

40 Days

40 days
walking, stick swinging
no touch of the pen
just a poet's lent

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On the Brink of 300...


The Tired Monk is heading out on a Pilgrimage; after four years and, oh so close, to three hundred poems.

Just out on the road looking for saints.

Thank You

first step

trees are budding
the old forest path is dry
a pilgrim takes his first step

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Tired Monk Ponders Escape


didn't I already escape
up from the world
into the temple
and deep
into monastery halls


some days
I ponder another one
another escape
away from robes, duties,
and the razor nicks,
and stings
on this old tonsured head

A short short story...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

temples empty

temples empty
fewer novices sit out by the gates
waiting to be let in

they used to sit out there
cold n'cloaked huddled
tight under the hemlock tree

makes for quiet halls,
but the dust still gathers
the tired monk sweeps

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the edge

some days
so early
staff leaning  - crook of my arm
sipping coffee
astride a dark path

dim light
of a crescent moon sky

are there any more poems
out in that forest

even the temple dog
stays on the edge

Thursday, March 22, 2012

coffee light

slow creaking bones
in creaking chair
the tired monk waits

deep in an early morning stare
thoughts blurred...unformed
eyelids sink....

...til the coffee light flicks on

Fresh Olsonomics Blog Post...check it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a lesson?

novice monk
brimming with anger
loading bitter blocks...
caustic shoulder chips

they'll stack high
eventually break your spirit
before they break your back

tired monk ponders - what words to give...

...change your mind - change your path

Checkout this fine post.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

yellow headphone meditations

i) tired monk icons

Buddha busts, crucifixes and stained glass...nah
at most a leather Bible tucked
elbow deep under the truck seat

ii) tired monk icons

yellow twisted wire headphones
boxy tape deck whirring
battered cassette case
rock n'wrestling posters faded
but tacked tight to garage walls

iii) tired monk music - (Sony Walkman Sport Edition)

a monk's sacred music:
chanting monks from Tibetan mountain tops,
Gregorian masses, Handel...Bach?


just heavy beat sermons
by Beastie Boys, and old master Downie

Visit Olsonomics

Monday, March 5, 2012

Morning Monk Work

that morning work
that morning monk work
readying and rousing
a temple

like monks world over:
prayers, poems, fire stoking,
tea brewing, sacred breakfast prep

in the tired monk temple
there is snow shovelling,
morning weight bench meditation
temple dog walking
and a dark forest coffee

..temple cat demands a break from
all this nasty scuttling work
she needs attention, warm and purring
on monk robes

the main duty
the key duty

set the novices on the path

Friday, March 2, 2012


uniform is just that a sea of others
a sea of monks
but - there is only one tired monk

in these parts anyways

hair cropped skull cap tight
no locks of vanity
but everyone asks..."can I touch your head?"

big flowing robes
prayer beads swaying...swinging
wool socks in sandals...these winter days

the tired monk fades into one last aspect of his uniform
the ancient yellow headphones
of his sony walkman

Olsonomics: New Post

Thursday, March 1, 2012

death, burial, resurrection

first told about being
reborn in a blessed baptism
in the midst of a dump run
deep and dirty

what better place?

...You should get baptised...even Jesus did.

oh sure
I had old lingering monk vows
but my robes remained dry
but flecked with twenty more years
of dump heap dirt

thoughts kept flowing back
to garbage dump wisdom

more and more novices looked
to me
to lead

I repented of sin and religion
changed red robes for white

being reborn
can be a process
slow to sudden like any birth

a tired monk work out

got this old robe
cinched tighter than a title belt
cinched up Jacob tight
and ready to lift

old tired monk muscles wake
dormant no more
woken by the same
bars, and weight stacked bench
from those novice years

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


that beat up bald
nicked up tonsured head
it steams
hot and heated
from morning monk work

Olsonomics: Read this Tale Friends

Friday, February 24, 2012

first bell

up at first bell
legs a swinging
as the first toll ends

deep in first light duties
water, rattlin', grinding, setting, and sorting


'cuz...even the temple dog sleeps
'til the coffee is brewed

the Tired Monk

Thursday, February 16, 2012

going home

the match was tight
no faking
no pulled punches
no step back ducking
even when the ropes became chains

30 minutes slips to 60
sweat slips to blood
no more smile just gritted teeth
set up...for one more counter...
a voice

take it home!
go home!

isn't that it?
isn't that all we're doing?, just let the tired monk vent

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

morning meditation

morning meditation
thoughts collected
settled and sorted
as 1080 candles flicker
baby monk rubs his face
deep into tired monk robes

Friday, February 10, 2012

forest shadows

slow snowy forest walk
amidst the shadows
cast by a Cat Stevens moon

the Tired Monk

Link: This Blog's Older Brother

Thursday, February 9, 2012

what there isn't

there's no steal cage
no grapple busted sweat stained mats
no square circle room strung with boxing gloves

out by the keeper
sweeping your feet out
with a learned staff

there's just paper and pens
forms with forgotten numbers
these things do snap
the tired monk from his slumber

Friday, February 3, 2012

on Novices (a meditation)

sometimes novice are just done
they step away from studies
monk robes become dusty...discarded
tonsured hair grows out

duties fall away...neglected
cigarettes held in bully fists

slow slide from fireside whiskey
to garage bursting with empties

the Bible left unopened
forgotten and lost

pursuits of virtue swing to vice
old life temptations linger

the tired monk was a novice once
he remembers

Thursday, February 2, 2012


yes is stepping forward
sliding between the ropes
getting girded in a low
           fighting stance


a quick bow as the bell rings

Friday, January 27, 2012

iced in

to walk empty temple halls
no novices on this iced in day

wander to the common room?

i would
but the tired monk knows...

the coffee tastes burnt up there



why do I have to?

novices ask, and ask
this one...the most

the tired monk wants to
dig zen deep
but he's got no roshi response

a back and forth of technique

tweed jacket
fatherly love
pleas, emotion, logic,
a converse of silence

the tired monk responds:


Thursday, January 26, 2012

getting to the road

the road is so busy

M.Scott and Robert
heads down debating

Jack flicked his butt
into my ditch

Paul and Luke
hurried west

Basho stopped
on his journey
wrote a poem
slept on the porch

a tattered father and son
stopped  - end of the drive
fixed their shopping cart wheel
with borrowed tools

the tired monk dragging
empty roadside bins
back up to the temple


ponders is just getting to the road

Proverbs 3: 5-6

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

so called

these halls
are empty

fewer novices
fewer monks

at last count: two monks
and one of them is tired


there were a few more
so called monks
overseeing detention
of so called novices
caught pen-handed
so called haiku

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

a monk's choice

a perfect prayer silence

banging thudding
garbage cans flying
yells shouts
fists thrown high

stop prayer?

the tired monk walks
into the fray

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Lights

lights left hanging
now just dark strands
coming free from the eaves
flapping against the house
as the cold front moves in

Saturday, January 7, 2012



first sound was the train
now there is just
white snow silence


mice tracks
tiny by the tree

rabbit tracks
big and bounding

fox tracks
tight on the hunting trail

monk tracks
weird robe swirls

Sunday, January 1, 2012

on new year's day

some huddle
fearing Mayan math
resolving hurting and hung over

the tired monk
sink lingers
sips coffee and benedictine
drying towel sits ready
on robed left shoulder
pondering poems