I am a small town poet

I have a narrow sightline

and wide thoughts

That carry me over canola fields

and imagine uninterrupted fescue

and a terrible ever-present sky

and buffalo herds thundering

and naked tawny men

screaming at the sky;

and when I’m far enough from buildings

under that prairie sky

I think I understand their cries

in a different way.

It is the scream of men

against a terrible sky

which reveals them naked,

which shows them small,

which might swallow them,

It keeps the sky at bay.

I am a prairie poet

that walks among the wide

and has short thoughts

about that open night sky.

The Window

There it is the window where she stood.

Where she turned to sunlight with a smile,

Red light burning in her hair.

There it is that simple opening,

of solid-liquid glistening,

as I see it and an empty sky beyond

I hear faintly deep within my mind

the soft melody of a song,

with the song: words, images, a smell

Wet green growing spring

all flowing from the song.

The window is no more, the smile gone,

yet still the song lingers on;

spoken by old men in whispered words

who fear to break a fragile hold

on the near forgotten tumult of the young.

Was she had or not or left to be?

Did they love through life’s long decay

or part in emotional throes, violently?

It matters not, she’s dead, departed, dust

And his memory is clogged with rust.

Two nameless souls in a faceless crowd,

who carry hidden thoughts of a green day

A stolen embrace, loves gentle caress

the careless smile and lonely duress.

In frustration when I could not write

Stop trying.

Stop writing for the audience in your mind

Write for yourself and a few golden ears

Write the song of yourself

Write the song your soul sings

Write the lament of misspent youth

Write the lament of unspent youth

Write the lament of wrong choices

The lament of lost loves

Of murdered love

Of love missed and found too late.

Write songs of exuberance

Songs of the morning air smelling of fresh pine

Songs of still waters, songs of the paddle

Of the eagle swooping for fish before the boat

Of hands too cold to grip the paddle.

Songs of aching legs and aching back

Songs of coming at last to peak and pass.

Write also sad songs

Write of loneliness in the night

Write the mourning dirge for lost men

Write of the loneliness among the crowd

The feeling of one amongst many

Write the lament of not being known

Write the poets lament

The lament that seeks connection

The lament that seeks one like itself and finds none.

Write the song of love

Write the ecstasy of skin

Of bodies inseparate.

Write the moment of clothes unfastening

Of slim straps slipping off shoulders

Of nipples bared to the air.

Write the foul things whispered in the darkness

Write the ecstatic calls screamed out in the darkness

Write the weeping of fulfillment

And the emptiness of disappointment.

Write the love song of eyes meeting

The thrilling song of smiles

Write of yearning, write of longing

Days and weeks and months of wanting.

Write whatever is within

Whatever sadness and joy is within

Give it word and voice,

Choose carefully the words

and beware how it sounds in mind

Then write it and sing it anyway.

Write it for yourself!

Write it to quell the fires

Write it to fill the void

It is sustenance

It is vital

It is the breath of life.

Write of the sunrise glimpsed in the morning

And the sadness of sunsets

Of the stars that make you small

And the inner life bigger than all.

Write the song of your children

Write the song of their laughter

Write the song of upturned faces

The song of small hugs

Write the song of defiance

The stomping of small feet

The song of young anger

The song of crying.

Write the quiet song of exhaustion

And the song of desperation

Write the lullabies for tired faces

The Lulla lulla lullabies

Write the sound of I love you

Spoken in little voices

Write Tou ra lou ra lou ra

The songs of tucking in.

Write the song of beauty

The song of little beauties

The quiet soft singing of the beauty in ordinary things.

Write it so you can see it

Write to remind yourself it’s there

Write so others might see it through you.

Don’t write for followers

Don’t write for likes

Don’t write for workshops

Don’t write for prompts.

The only prompt the prompt of your heart

The prompt of pain

The prompt of beauty seen and felt and tasted.

The prompt of life’s beginning

The prompt of nature’s perfection

The prompt of well-formed limbs

The prompt of beautiful bodies

Of youthful smooth bodies

And wrinkled old bodies

Of broken tortured bodies

And shitting, shaking, sick bodies,

Of fucking, sucking, sensual bodies!

The prompt of life’s ending

The prompt of smiling death

The prompt of bodies stilled by death.


I wish I’d been young and free for longer

I wish I’d danced on moonlit rooftops in slummy New York neighbourhoods or in Toronto

Or smoked cigarettes while dawns wan light flowed up the street, in late night bars, with intellectuals.

I wish I’d met a real intellectual, or at least a poet.

I wish I’d taken LSD in the park with a young blonde haired woman whose eyes promised unabashed love and sexual ecstasy.

I wish I’d spent a summer living in the woods talking to mosquitos.

I wish I never saw a screen, or a sports-game, or a sports-game on a screen.

I wish I’d had a high school sweetheart and fumbled awkwardly at her bra clasp to have her later open it for me.

I wish that had been you.

I wish I’d gone to folk music festivals and not seen much music, MTV, napster, itunes

I wish I could talk to someone really excited about an idea

Or just a person that has ideas.

I wish I could go lie on the grass again, watch the sky and feel no other pull of responsibility.

I wish I’d run away at eighteen and never come back

I wish I’d come back and been different.

I wish I hadn’t had all the answers

And I wish I had any answers.

I wish I’d been in more fist-fights and tasted the metallic tinge of blood in mouth and had cut hands.

I wish I’d seen the best minds of my generation destroyed

Or even knew who they were, or where.

But nothing compares to the hand of a child held in mine, the wrap of little arms, small voices in sheer delight.

There is no way back to that wild tumultuous hopeful youthful life.

There is no way forward to the intended domestic bliss for which I forsook it.

And there is a woman, trapped, whose soul deserves freedom and happy summer care-free days.

But she is not with me

I wish I could wake in the morning and touch her body.

Let you be

When you smile, I see:

A thousand stolen moments

Of eyes meeting

And secret smiles

Pregnant with meaning

Over coffee on sunny mornings,

In the quiet moments that life brings.

When our eyes meet,

I am lost, in the echoing reverberations

Of other lives, when we are together

And happy.

When we danced, the world stopped

For just a moment, imperceptibly stilling,

While I felt whole and calm,

Even as life howled its hurricane indifference

All about me.

I want you to be happy

So I’ll let you be.

Words typed in haste.

Stale, unfeeling words.

They do not speak the longing

And pain they bring.

Is it simple nerve endings that carry

the realizations of happiness lost?

How does science explain the tearing emptiness

Of soul recognizing soul

While caged in the social trappings of prior commitments?

Is this a biological, evolutionary or cultural sickness?

I want you,

But I’ll let you be.

I need you,

But I’ll let you be.

I’ll long for you

And I’ll have to say



I woke in the night,

felt your absence,

remembered your body,

every inch of your body,

every mole of your body.

After all I am

not as freed of you

as you thought.

My arteries still clogged

of you,

Still choking on bile

of you,

Still the dirt of you

under my fingernails.

Thoughts of my beloved.

Think now of your beloved

of the eyes of your beloved

whoever is most beloved

he who held you hard in the dark

or she who washed her hair by the


whoever makes the heart pound

the blood pound.”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I think of you in each quiet moment of my life

I think of you in all the whirling, turbulent noise of life.

I think of you suddenly at parties when there’s noise and people talking, talking, talking about nothing and dancing to songs, saying nothing, meaning nothing; filling air and time with movement but no meaning.

I think of you and lose the mood, wax reflective, quiet, introverted, rude.

I think of you when there is no meaning and think I saw meaning in your eyes.

I think of you and the way questions sprung at your lips but would not be said for fear they could not be removed.

I think of you while I write and find that everything I write is you.

I think of you at night and wonder why I am without you.

I think of you and ask myself can this truly go to waste? Is love a lonely feeling that’s not going anyplace?

I think of you in the present, and the present and the present.

I think of you and open Instagram to gaze upon your face.

I think of you while reading poems by Ferlinghetti and listening to playlists with names like introspective hip hop.

I think of you after drinking and sit alone reading poems I wrote about you to an audience of none.

I think of you and tear hair, howl obscenities, punch cupboards, sit on floors and generally put on the suits of woe.

I think of you and feel that which passes show.

I think of you and watch it snow.

I think of , I think of you I can’t stop think of you think I can’t stop I think of you I think cause I can’t stop to think so I write it in ink on the inside of my forehead where none will ever see it and in this book which belongs only to me.

I think of you and it makes the heart pound it makes the blood pound.

I think of you and cannot act on what I think and I think of that.

I think of you looking back and then looking back and looking back again while I stared and ached.

I think of you a lot


Life is like

break-ups and loneliness

and in between

momentary happiness

But mostly duldrom,

which you miss

And turnings and returnings

and constant goings;

Saying in the shower

here I am again

Spilling semen

down the drain.

Life is

growing ups and growing aparts

and in between

there’s pain,

Punctuated by

the car won’t start


what was her name?

But really

you miss your wife

And your true love

whose not the same.

Life is

ten thousand thoughts

about one smile

and one million

over a dance

but not one

for the woman in your bed.