Tuesday, December 26, 2023

yule poems


ragged notebook on garage floor
inches from melted snow puddle
front cover loose and torn
taped back on
new poems today


the night before
the night before Christmas
promise of snow...
just slashing white sleet


twin orphan fauns
walk the fence line
up the frozen hill
into the cedars

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

two scenes

"news" thick with doom
algorithms of  filthy lucre...death
"social" media swipes
skits on a tiny screen
pulling your gaze deep

woodland walk
a rugged trail between 
icy cornfields and a rocky ridge
out deep with the deer, 
the pheasants, the quails

Monday, December 4, 2023

early winter

crimson flurry
a whirling flapping burst of red
two male cardinals
scattering the grey chickadees
and pretty slate juncos

seeds fly 
fall from the feeder
squirrel bounds
over fresh snow
to feast 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Milton Road Poem

attention drifts to a barren tree
...that's a big bird
an owl, a hawk, a  raven?


the head is blended invisible
into the grey November sky

a bald eagle
scanning for rabbits
along the cold creek banks

Sunday, November 19, 2023

the season

macabre pumpkins melt
rotten orange goo 
between deck cracks

snow skiffs swirl
blowing a pinless poppy
into the ditch

newly unboxed lights
LED brightness beams
sparkle over new snow

Sunday, October 29, 2023

fragments from the road

rearview make-up applied
gas pedal pressed to make up last time
stop signs rolled and full out blown

Lexus bumper suspended
with shredding duct tape
bent plastic fenders line the ditch

"kids" laying rubber out by the lake
Coors can rolling on the shoulder
beside the new black stripes

Friday, October 27, 2023

El Día de Muertos

a little wall hung shrine
golden framed photo
of a tiny one
born with a broken heart
ceramic knick-knack 
kept on display
for 45 years
cross stitched art
dates of birth and death
not a mote of dust

today - this 
el Día de Muertos
a new candle is lit

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

forest edge poem

bits of wood flying
from a dead tree hole

red squirrel
a porcupine?

masked face looks out
surveys the forest edge
curls back inside 

a long ringed tales
blows in the breeze

Thursday, October 19, 2023

the fence

a few holes
here and there
rotted out cross beam
about to fall
whole section sagging
posts leaning
into the yard

tired monk approaches
tool belt over robes
boxes of nails, and deck screws
sawdust in sunlight
fresh new wood
(donated at that!)
fixed straight and true

the gate is rehung
latched up tight

Thursday, October 12, 2023

and that's right


When you've got so much to say it's called gratitudeAnd that's right...

collected compiled
in a new leather journal
before one drifts to sleep
thinking back 
over precious moments
a smile
a laugh
a minute of peace, 
quiet solitude


spotted and appreciated
right in real time
and that's right

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

deers and beers

one fawn deer eating
her brother approaches

little sheepish bleats

as he comes through the hedge

the don’t see me 

and munch a few more 

fallen crab apples

I crack another cold can

of German pilsner

they leap up

and white tail away

bounding over lawn chairs

and fallen trees

into the forest deep

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


accident up on the new highway
crumpled metal, tire in the ditch
smoke in the sky
glass over three lanes

cars, trucks, delivery vans
drive down onto old country roads
avoiding gridlock grief

most speed past
rolling stop signs
blasting gravel road dust

a few stop...then more
at the farmer's stand
they purchase crisp apples
huge field pumpkins, and 
big bunches of beets
then slow and easy
back to the city

Monday, September 25, 2023


I didn't think you had a culture...

well we did
fires and flat top guitars
and beers passed around
a dozen, or so,  people singing
just belting out
Thorn in my Pride
Wheat Kings
Rockin' in the Free World
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
 - and so many more

bonding over our Columbia House CDs 
cassette tape libraries
shared, copied, and copied again
townies soaking up the sounds
in a warm beer buzz

Friday, September 8, 2023

campfire whisky

fire light through
Glencairn glass
amber whisky swirls
intense smoky peat
figs, dates, vanilla,
a touch of sea air
in the evening breeze

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


4 am 
low motor sound in the cul de sac
black sedan full of young men...boys?
scanning for opportunity
key fob relay thieves, or
tools from the trailer out front
 - maybe gas from the shed

the tired monk emerges
from the cedars
puts down his morning tea
120 000 lumen flashlight
clicks on 
illuminates the temple yard, 
and startled faces

one burglar turns
jogs away
lands in thick ditch muck
tumbles into the side door, and away

one shoe remains 
stuck in weedy slime

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


bulldozer rumbles
ploughing over trees
pulling up roots
that cling to ice age rock

tremors shake
mud quakes
windows rattle

I turn the radio up
and look away

Monday, June 12, 2023

rain shadow

484 kilometers away...
...lets call it 500 
the rain has passed
raging fires are quenched
a few wisps of steam 
     the air crisp clean 

here the rain storm of the north
is just a steady mist now
the tired monk dribbles
shoots bank shots
swishes mid range jumpers
under the maple tree rain shadow

Friday, June 2, 2023


tree shade over the driveway
phife dawg rhythm 
bouncy old school beats
dribble step back three
can't miss

hooping in the early June heat.  

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Friday, May 19, 2023

Radio Silence

one more big stretch to go
big city radio station
finally within range
first tolls of
Acca Dacca bells
next brother Gord
sings of New Orleans
blessed trifecta rounded off
with Neil's blazing licks
I'm indeed Rockin' in the Free World
radio cranked to 11

...commercial break...

a mellow set
The Tired monk sings
Lost Together
out the window 
cows look up chewing

opening chords of
New Kid in Town
radio clicks off
on the open road

The Dude was right.

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Collected Works: Poems by Brother Ollie the Tired Monk

This looks so much better all opened up...  I'll work on my cover design for my next book (My Collected Haiku).  I'm a total amateur in the realm of book publishing, but it is nice to have a printed version.

Thanks to Sherry Blue Sky for the Foreword.

Visit my bookstore via this link:

The Collected Works of Brother Ollie   Tired Monk Poems 2009-2023 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

the edge

mowing less
letting it grow out on the edge
aspens, spruce, and baby maples 
shoot up above the long grass
makings of a mini-forest

volunteer flowers
that have floated seeds
on a breeze
grow with the wild trout lilies

a few fallen logs
dragged into the furthest shadows
damp and rotting slow
a perfect salamander home

oh this wild edge

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Walking Poems

1.  The Tip

tangled weeds
mangled trees
growing up through 
a rusty washing machine

cabinet record player 
rotten and pulped
glistening smashed
TV screen glass

a push lawn mower
twisted blade 
bent handle
two snowmobiles
sinking into the earth

scattered Labatt 50
stubby brown bottles

2. Trilliums

white trilliums
deeper down the path
out on the edge 
of a shady glade
one red trillium

3.  Jimi

"I stand up next to a mountain"
echoing down the path
into suburban windows

 - just out walking 
 - collecting moments in poems

Monday, May 1, 2023

spring walk

beaver crossed  here
dragging a tree branch
foxes and coyotes mingling
with cattle dogs
a deer straight down the trail
then through the cattails 
deep horse hoof prints
walking side by side

tracks in spring melt mud

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


the forest path
the inner sanctum 
inside temple doors
in a truck
driving down 
back country lanes
a desk scattered 
with papers
and coffee cup debris
the smoke break bench

everywhere is sacred

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Come outside

 the Abbess:

"come outside
it is loud
you'll love it."

the monk is confused
...then remembers:

"are the peepers out?"

they are  
with loud forest calls
oh this spring chorus

frogs thriving
in perfect woodland ponds

I love it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


(or one might call it seething evil)
almost killed the tired monk
tipped him from tired to dead
killed his spirit
sent him out on the road (poetically)

working my way back to monk duties
poems and prayers

     hopefully peace.

Friday, April 14, 2023


trespassing...I guess
beat down path beside the creek
just a bit off the (city sanctioned)
recreational path
crushed domestic beer cans
pile of fortified wine bottles

cold wind over the field
gather up a few scraps and twigs
little daytime hobo fire
warming up the little dell
one perfect cedar brand
to lite my pocket pipe
a quick tug
from a silver flask

fire dies low and slow
kick over some dirt
bag up the party debris
one more whisky sip
and home

Thursday, March 23, 2023

on demons

the demons slipped out
they are out more than in...most days
today they sit huddled together
out on the edge...waiting? just watching I guess.
   they look bored, a bit disgusted maybe.

sure they cycle back and poke, look for gaps,
try their old ancient tricks
I can still see them, but it is harder.

eventually they'll break off, and just leave


Friday, March 17, 2023

Soda Bread Poem

Soda bread, scones, 
and Guinness stew
Irish kitchen folk songs.

I pour a stout, later a red ale
then sip a Jameson...slow
think on my family
from Clare, Wexford, Antrim, 
Wicklow, and Cork.

Blessings, peace and rest to you
this St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Monday, January 23, 2023

sleeping monk

when I sleep I'm healthy
striding deep in pine forests
up and over gnarly roots
inspecting forest floor mushrooms
and high branch Ravens

when I wake
I'm sick
 with "the cancer"
my very blood is rebelling

Brother John says: "Sleep is God's Medicine".

good remedy for this most tired monk.