Saturday, January 27, 2024


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!"

Friday, January 19, 2024

monk's bridge

spare wood pulled out
from behind the shed
remnants of an ill built deck
carried piece by piece
down by the deep ditch

rusty hand saw
my grandfather's hammer
pocket full of nails

12 foot spans 
crossbeams banged into place
ugly but solid

new path
over this weedy watercourse

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

don't let 'em

a custodian mopping
in a dim basement corridor
beckons me over

usually he has a joke, 
or a wild story from the job

today a word of wisdom

"hey man 
don't let 'em steal your peace".

he looks at me real serious
and says "ok?"

I nod
respond "ok"

we shake on it

I hear him shout
"don't let 'em"
as I turn the corner

Monday, January 15, 2024

morning routine

hot water
over a old monk's head
steaming sandalwood suds
razor slicks
cuts away the grey hair

by a generous splash
of Brut

Thursday, January 11, 2024


hours upon hours of radio
couple "bad" tunes in a row
search the dial 
bantering bitter talk shows
call in complaining

quick click

takes a while
to get used to the quiet
just a faint
whirring 18 wheel hum

Father and Son

met my father

ran into him 
by chance
at a funeral

we shook hands
beside a coffin

he spoke seven words

I wrote them that night 
in a black book

Friday, January 5, 2024

three kings day

pea soup is simmering 
on the wood stove
snow coming in heavy
pine boughs bend

the tired monks sits
reads by Christmas tree light
one more day
one more feast
for the three wise kings

Thursday, January 4, 2024

2 million miles

jacket says 2 million miles
in gold embroidery (just slightly frayed)
right over his heart

he'd driven more than a few thousand
more long haul miles
before the jacket was delivered

25 years on the road
so much more than miles
every state
every province
...pretty much

thousands upon thousands of radio songs
and parking lot nights
missed birthdays, holidays, and days
with family

blizzards, construction, highway delays
of every sort - even a tornado or two

today the last delivery is done
heading back north
up and over Pennsylvania hills 

temperature drops
the cold snatches moisture
from the evening air
delicate snowflakes fall
lit by rig headlights

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

My First Albums

shoved into a dusty dark corner
battered boxes of canning jars
obscure a red milk crate

a few vinyl gems plucked:

Cosmo's Factory
Abbey Road
Through the Past Darkly

these were played 
and played again

41 more wait below
each one pulled out 
and played 

oh that stereo summer

Note: Woodstock, The Band, Rumors, Chubby Checker, CSNY, After the Goldrush, Elvis, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan...and so many more.  It was a beautiful and life changing find - I was about 7 when I starting listening to these albums.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024


laptop clicks open
blue light cuts 
through morning dark

emails have stacked up
over the holidays
first one: The World Should Fear 2024
an essay of doom

the tired monk leaves it unread
puts on steel toes, a thick scarf, 
and new Christmas toque
tackles the big Aspen rounds
axe cracks through cold seasoned wood

a fresh cord split by noon