Tag Archives: Poetry

An Austro-Canadian in Italy

Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to join a group of Austrian blacksmiths on their journey to the world blacksmithing championship in Stia, Italy. This poem is a sort of culmination of the various interesting experiences I had there – from hole-in-the-floor bathrooms, to five-course meals, they sure had it all.

We drive into a game of Minecraft
pass anti-terrorist stations without a bother
(The bar lifts, no need for passports)
drive on, drive on through a European Philippines

Public enemy: public bathrooms
without seats, without that northern need to pay
no fifty-cent charge, no landlocked terrain
Order pasta without a word of Italian
like a multi-cultural sage stricken mute

Up, up, up the mountains
passing Lego cars, tiny as the collective imagination
The buildings all brick; the rock all sedimentary
Layers upon layers follow us into no-man’s-land

Dinner that day is traditional
Serve me once, shame on you
Serve me twice, shame on me
Serve me three times –
where did all these courses come from?
Serve me five times, we’re in Italy

Back and forth like the ‘scape
Hammers ring and people mime like pros
Before we know it the bus is loaded
beers before midday, Austrian cheers
prayers sung at mealtime, prost
the works

We drive back out of that Minecraft game
into the familiar expanse of Terraria

M.
Sept 1-16/17

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20 Feet/5300 Miles

Ascent: to rise and see your cares below
laid out like buds in blossom growing tall
no longer trapped by ice, yet blooming slow
those cares turn warm in summer, lost in fall

To Fall: descending from that highest perch
to muddling ground, where peaceful stories lie
they bask in fading sunlight, sometimes search
for answers to the seasons fading by

These Stories: in a word, more than a word
I tell them, though their purpose fades so soon
they clamor with the seasons to be heard
to rise and fall in cycles, wilt and bloom

so summer shrinks and fall begins to swell
our stories change; but do we change as well?

M.
Jun 29/17

The Music

The night, soon late, begs we return on home,
and voices on my ears bequeath a sound
that makes me feel like I am here alone
– so loud those fell cacophonies resound.

My heartbeat turns to drums, my skin to chord.
My eyes strobe light, my fingers string the notes:
this knowledge that the friends I’d ne’er afford
yet chose to have me join their open throats.

Though peace is far from this reverbing beat,
and soon annoyance washes out each word,
the music we lay down on this dark street
sings on inside my heart, in silence heard.

This tune becomes the body of my soul
and memory of a love I can’t control.

M.
June 12/17

The Crow

I recently was lent a copy of The Diamond Age, a novel by Neal Stephenson which explores a fantasy-like future in which nanotechnology and cultural constructs reign supreme. It was in this unlikely (and thoroughly enjoyable) bundle of pages that I found an intriguing poem – “The Raven” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom I had studied in my grade twelve Literature class.

As you can likely tell by the title of this post, the poem struck a chord with me. The following composition is based on Coleridge’s “The Raven”, with my own ideas thrown in for good measure.

Underneath a stout walnut tree
There was of swine a great company.
They grunted as they crunched the wood,
Which, not long after, no longer stood. Continue reading The Crow

Williams Park

Thoughts on how friendships change with the passing seasons and years.

I.
I remember that summer as
both cold and hot we
waded through the ashes of
my mother dying strapped our
tears to leafy branches watched them
float down with the current defined
by movies watched from the bed
of a truck your head on mine we swam
as far away as Hope stuck together
like five petals on a summer rose Continue reading Williams Park

Just Friends

[Inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast]

I watch you,
ten rows down at
two-and-a-half-feet a row
Space
enough for friendship

Courting indifference
– uncertainty, adventure,
due diligence, rebellion –
whatever sugar we’re coating it in
these days
I feel lost in a world where
blue and gold
turn grey

Just friends
until somebody takes a chance
like I did
bending to a plucked rose,
still yellow
but fraying red

Torn between
thoughts and feelings
– neither being rational –
but pretending, all the same
that the mess makes
some sort of
Sense

Senselessness,
as in, unfeeling
pricked by a thorn
outward perceptions and
melodramatic music, TV shows,
movies you care nothing for
and beauty found
in people
smaller than their
circumstances

I am smaller, too
than I ought to be
Uncertain
of that same space,
frozen, locked away

And all I want
is to turn the key
poised precariously
ashen lock – torn, yellow curtain
longing
for freedom

M.
Mar 18/17
Picture: mild steel hibiscus blossom