Thursday, September 30, 2021

Scattered Wind Blown Poems


evil spilling down
through a sieve of fools
splattering toxic nonsense

respond with better words, blessing, 
midnight prayers, truth steeped in love. 


poet laureate's laurels
scattered spinning in the wind
down the alley
past the overflowing dumpster
and open kitchen doors


not much call these days 
for a claw hammer banjo master
folk songs under fall maple trees


tobacco, or an offering tug
from a plastic whiskey bottle
a song, a poem
all medicine  

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I'm a Human Being

up early
pre-dawn dog walk past the Mission
fellow pushing a cart stops me:
"I'm a human being...
and a teacher you know."
He looked up into the sky, 
then back to me.
"Got a word for you... your homework:
find joy."
I handed him some money - 
he pushed it back with both hands.
"Give that to the next saint you meet;
there's one just up the street."

He gave his cart a big inertia breaking push
turned the corner singing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


I'm with Holden
ready to head north
a solitary cabin
front door held open
by an acoustic guitar 
for a cooling lake breeze

slow beer buzz...all day
sitting on the deck
oaks and white pines above

on darker days
I think of going further
home to Ireland, maybe Scotland
out far on a point
rugged sea washed
small lonely monk island

Tuesday, June 8, 2021


 some paths are worn
 deep rutted circles
 the same ground pounded
 deep and hard sun baked

some paths are blocked
 black chainlinks barring
 forest walks, rambling dog
 wandering adventures

some paths are crooked
 all roots, stumbling rocks 
 soft sand shifting underfoot
 or swampy mires

some paths are straightened
 by prayers, acknowledgement,
 songs, meditation, kindness
 unconditional hospitality. 

Saint John

 John knows

about scarred up souls,
dodging demons, and lying
about being okay
he's so damn good
at sadness. 
evidence in every song,
every poem, every chord.

bless you brother monk

Wednesday, June 2, 2021


been a monk for just over 10 years
decade of tonsures and robes

up truck driver early
brewing tea
...and french press coarse grind coffee

sweeping, praying...yeah I'm praying right now.
working through daily duties
tending the temple
walking the dogs
playing guitar in the garden
writing/reading sacred poems

shooting hoops in the driveway
reverse layups - robes flying
ignoring the long looks 
as the neighbours drive by


Wednesday, May 26, 2021


turns out every prayer
is answered
yes - no - later
no quick conduit to God
even monks have to wait

lately I've rounded out
and aged into the time
of seeing old prayers answered
yeah - dusty  - almost forgotten,
but answered all the same

is the miracle

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

a monk's list


monk robes cinched up
for work
sweeping  - a typical monk duty
brewing - (more coffee than tea these days)
lessons, poems, prayers
dawn devotions done
the guitar pulled out
to play a new song.


thick flat carpenter's pencil
stuck up under the brim
of a gifted baseball hat
marking out lines - 
crossing duties off the list

Monday, May 10, 2021

Love the Poets

sure there is always guru Gord 
then there is the younger ones...

John -  a master of sorrow
he'll break your heart sweetly

Benjamin - a young teacher from the hills:
there's nothing learned from resentment

Charlie - the man that time forgot

Colter - he's writing songs 
after a hard day ranching

keep the poems coming
all you poets
all you poets everywhere

Sunday, February 21, 2021

tired monk tired

I know I should rise
(no grave can hold me down)
fight this (epithet) malaise
but this one is heavy
like wet monk's robe
soaked with lake water

too much 
fighting and fleeing 
wearing me out
past tired monk tired

Friday, February 19, 2021


brewing tea
morning coffee for the abbess
hoppy my daydreams

a pull
of whiskey, whisky, 
or Kentucky Bourbon from 1773

a last meditative puff
another pull
of a Benson and Hedges

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

J.E.D. March-19-1927 - January-30-2021

funny how it ends
...what's a better word for funny?
absurd (sorry for the language, 
but more like completely fucking absurd)

no soft "peaceful" slipping to the next world
or slow dimming of consciousness
more like hurtling
a head first hustle, just out, and gone

that's it
bit of blood on the floor
a grocery list
a new wheelchair
an old walker

no fine Irish wake
just a hollow Zoom funeral


my brother left
oh I remember that one
my mother left (so to speak)
at the same time
my dad?
gone to...long gone
left before I was even born, 
           and I was premature. that's why 
I won't leave
I'm an oversized anchor
an immovable object - pure inertia
a monk rooted down deep 
right through the temple floor

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



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."


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, 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