Tuesday, December 31, 2013

staying the course

i)  Tired Monk's View

path is iced over
steadfast boots
slide deep
fill with snow
even monks slip

ii)  Temple Dog's View

temple dog is on a scent
something hot
tinged with human

big deep snuffling, snorting,
ah    just spilled coffee

Monday, December 30, 2013

always the cold

temple is frost heaved n'shifted
little cracks
welcome the cold
       creeping low
across the floor

the tired monk fights back
with hot hearth logs
and doubled wool socks

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

stars n'guitars


starlight glimpses
quick n'sly through
low hanging campfire smoke


that guitar a yers
it looks like yah
walked out in to tha deep woods
hewed that guitar outta
some storm blown
lightening burnt tree

yep -
that is how I get them gnarly old sounds

I'm trying to capture the real Lanark County/Ottawa Valley Accent.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Imogen's Poem

tucked up neat n'deep

in monk robes
soft baby murmurs mix
with soft strummed chords

Brother Ollie

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

flurry of winter poems


snow blower starts on the first pull
growls to life
tired monk sets the choke


touque slips to a jaunty angle
almost slides off
the hot tonsured head


temple dog does a quick check
smells the rabbit tracks
looks out into the white forest
runs back inside
the open temple door


tired monk ponders
thinks to his Belgian Brewing Brothers
and the winter air
slipping in under the garage door
cold enough to keep a chill in the beer

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Movember Monks

monks tuck
razors away..more or less
just a quick flash
across the face
to create
a most unmonkish moustache

Us monks have changed our shaving rituals, for this month of Movember only, to love, and support our brothers, fathers, friends and sons.

The abbess's father, a most jolly Benedictine monk, is fighting prostrate cancer.

Also a brother monk begins his battle with testicular cancer this week.


Join our team.  Pray for the health of our brother monks.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lost Saints or a Monk's Lament

so many old saints
far afield
or dusty faded
from my life

gone to
those lost
lingering links
saint's prayers
just a click away

time to gather all the saints

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Brother Gary

Gary is a guide
he took me up mountains
echoed poems
off Desolation Peak

brewed campfire tea
focused my eyes
on the beauty
of nuts n'grime
hard work sweat

pointed his walking
stick up through
pine tree tops
and the blue night stars

Mine is about my favourite poet Gary Snyder; another good friend of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.   You may know him by his Kerouacian pseudonym: Japhy Ryder.  I've hidden the name of my very favourite poem somewhere in here...do you see it?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

night prayer

rattled awake
by a lost n'lingering thought
a late night nagging
an image of your face
I pray
blessings to you

Lately, I've awakened at night with a vivid image of someone to pray for, so I do.

ha - maybe this is why I'm the Tired Monk

Friday, October 4, 2013

a good misty morning

flame darts out
the first
early dawn smoke

slow coffee sip

settle down into
sagging porch chair

morning valley fog

through the mist
burst of warm colour
monk on a mountain bike
waving g'day

cigarette dangles

Sunday, September 22, 2013

grumpy monk

robe snags
from the path

sandaled toes
into gnarly oak roots
temple dog flees

monk grumbles
ramping up to a
staff swinging rant

abbess waits
brews tea
kisses tonsured head

Friday, September 20, 2013

rough poem

just shy of a killing frost
enough to shrug
the old lumberman coat
up over summer
robbed shoulders

Friday, August 23, 2013

a Monk in August

the day heat
sits deep inside
temple rooms

the tired monk goes
window to window

lets in the cool
August night air

Monday, August 12, 2013

a monk swim

eyes down
below the surface

legs beating
just enough
to keep these old monk bones
from sinking

novice voices n'laughs
sound clear over the bay

steady elementary backstroke
back to the beach
and into monk robes

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

falling photo

the photo falls
slips out
from between
the pages

the last one
from the role
an over exposed edge
dipped in yellow light

the other side
a bit blurry
my wife
and my lost brothers

Saturday, July 20, 2013

night walks


heat breaks
little breeze
rustles in

glistening skin
finally dries

the tired monk
walks the forest
bathes in the new cooler
cold front air


hemlocks and pines ally
to block the star light
and banish moon beams

still the monk walks
back to the temple
guided by firefly light

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

silent poem

a poem
a small poem
etched out of the silence
just a few pen scratches

last note
of a fading song

Brother Ollie

Monday, June 24, 2013


he speaks of miracles
wants to see one
a big one

fingers lost in the lathe
woven back on

partially paraplegic grandfather
tossing his walker away

dialogue slips to a rant

cancer screenings coming back clean

barren moms birthing babies

all the lost ones

the tired monk finally slips in one word




praying is a miracle

Thursday, June 13, 2013

new strings

new strings
each notes rings
a little truer today

new strings
a little bright
that'll fade to
resonant warmth

Friday, May 31, 2013

storm shaken

dawn storm
ritual morning walk

temple dog hears
the thunder rumbles first
looks to the sky

back to the safety
of home

Monday, May 27, 2013

a stuck poem

the poem
     small as it is
bounced and skittered
off the b-string

now it rattles
like a lost pick
sound hole deep

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


he said to bury my toes
wiggle 'em in the sun warmed sand
feel the tide reach in slow

I buried my toes in the wet damp earth
just some mouldering leaves...

no sand here

somedays the universe humbles you - and maybe that is a blessing - Peace to all you poets - 

Brother Ollie

Sunday, May 12, 2013


pentatonic scales
sliding around
reaching, searching,
finding the key
bending low gauge strings
looking for hidden half notes
hammering on
hammering off

deep in tired monk method

80% of the notes ring true
100% played passionately

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


a sad cycle repeated
a generational blood washed theme
from babies
to lingering grandfathers

more scalpels, tubes, purple scars
oh these sputtering hearts.

Friday, May 3, 2013

monk's tools

chip off the lingering rust
grind it
to a sharp sheen

refit the new sanded handle
in good n'tight

can't fix anything
with broken tools

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

tonsured poems

the last remnant hair falls
shaken loose from robed shoulders
a little more grey this time

little baby monk hands rub
laughing at the stubble feel
then a kiss 
on this funny monk head

Sunday, April 14, 2013


far off
just at the limit
of tired temple dog legs
a clearing

sun beams
cut the very sky
cloud splitting heaven
chords spill

it ends
a blink of an eye moment
less than a scientific second
a few tears roll

the monk
gathers the remnant notes
a small gleaning of glory

late spring haiku

white pine wandering
quick steps n'hops
over slushy rivulets

Friday, April 5, 2013


head foggy thick
early morning
deep dream muddled

shake those lingering dreams
out and away
with a strong french roast

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Anvil Poem

sledge hammer swings
big thunder cracks
metal heats good n'hot

sweat beads flow
soaking hem deep
hammer raised high

weight crashes down
dust cloud flies - swirls
hammer head splits


Thursday, March 28, 2013

a reminisce poem

long hair
 viking blonde
swept and fell
over these frets

 as razored head bows
loose monk robes
flow over
ringing strings

Sunday, March 17, 2013

dawn fox

turkey feathers blow loose
twirl in the wind
just off the trail

old fox slinks home
low in the first dawn shadows
sated, but cold

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Abbess at Dawn

no dawn daylight
no bird songs sounding
yet the Abbess awakes
to her day of duty

the tired monk rises
flicks on some low lights
brews her favourite tea
prepares a path
for his most loved one

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Coffee Ceremony

good old well water
from the deep and cold
right mix of beans
a few lighter browns
many more darks

ground up precise
bang the grinder
shake loose the
last few remnants
of this perfect blend

now the brewer

boil, pour, soak, wait
a few grinds bubble
float up...wait
a solid patient pause

ready - press slow n'steady
this most sacred brew
for the tired monk

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the last winter poem

late night
low snow plough rumbles
back-up beeping
blue lights flashing
metal blade scraping - shooting sparks

the tired monk
now awake
picks up his shovel
joins in

Friday, March 1, 2013

night in the snow temple


snow is laying in thick
trees bend
branches snap
temple beams creak

power flickers twice

tired monk keeps on
by candle light


even the candles
red wax on the temple floor

tired monk strums
a few lost n'lonely chords
this old guitar has new strings
resonates deep
into the dark

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

poem duty

snow whips in sideways
pelted face stings

notebook pages twist, rip
frostbit hand settles them

pen darts in quick strokes
finishes poem's last line

even in the midst of the apocalypse
the world needs poems  
                              - the tired monk

Friday, February 8, 2013

on snow and coffee

snow swirls
into the black
of my coffee
even here
deep under
hemlock boughs

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


first predawn temple bell sounds
tired monk shakes his head
to stir the first prayer

select beans are ground up right
water to coffee ratios seem sound
soon...french roast incense

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

song fragment

you are the chords
i hear before they're strummed
you are the chords
i play with my eyes closed
you are the chords
the ones that resonate

you are the notes
you are a love note

Thursday, January 31, 2013

cold front

temple windows rattle
icy branches snap
layered robes fly up

hearty tired monk laugh
impractical dress
in these cold front winds

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tumbled Robes

last duty done
temple lights dimmed


robes tumble off
tired monk slides into bed
slow and silent
as the abbess sleeps

post dreams
pre dawn
pre light
the tired monk wakes

reaches blindly
for those tumbled robes
tosses them over
his cold bald head

starts the kitchen fires

Sunday, January 13, 2013

gather the monks

gather the monks
tune the guitars
strum it out loud

find the key
work the fret
join in
pick out the notes
bend every note
in pentatonic perfection

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

head shaken

morning bell sounds
tired monk rises
flicks routine switches


shakes his foggy head
clearing it out
gathering for the day

Monday, January 7, 2013

a temple dog night

one last rattling door check
lights off  - candles out
tired monk duties done
good night

the temple dog rises, stretches
dashes from her dog bed
to the warmth of the couch
good night

Thursday, January 3, 2013

post Christmas lights

Christmas lights dangle
shaken storm loose
cast waving colours
over the new snow

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

monk soup

still a little shaky
fevers fading
chills beat
by monk brewed
soup and tea

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sick Monk

shaking chills
even deep down
in monk robes

buried in blankets
bathed in fireplace heat
a most fitful sleep

finally woken
by poems boiling
in fevered dreams