Where we last vacationed


Photo wallpaper items, furnished, attic, Light in the Attic

They had come for the morphology

Of an old-new city down to its heart

For the light intensity and ground temperature

For the bass of urban noise and art

The attic rooms that I had chosen,

Their pictures aspiring to a hotel

Had pleased in price only to disappoint

Age gathering on sills

But I leave them to their complaints

On the other side of these thin walls

Mixed with debate as to where to dine

While I listened for your footfalls

They had come for the engineering

Of life and speed intertwined

But I came hoping to see your ghost

And sit together like old times

*

Image source

On Earth


She laid her head upon my breast

And interrogated the concept

Of Infinity

Atoms nor stars had the right

As if they were born to show us our

Frailty and scant drops of eons’ seas

The least her mitochondria could do

Would be to marry her more deeply to

Mirrored lives unfolding, compact

If brief and imaginary

Because the stars and atoms’ stubbornness

Would never see them move, she said

We should dismiss them for stars made instead

On Earth, in Finity

Granville Island Winter Ale


The bar is all cement floors, its patio wood-paneled. But they are inside at the moment, and this place with its faux-American name is playing swing music, or music that you can swing to, she does not know the difference.

He is French, slim like her, and the crown of his head but an inch or two above her own, always in chinos and hand-stitched shoes. She has never properly danced with someone before. But old books had her convinced that this must be fun; when he asks her she leaps at the chance, and she is not disappointed.

She finds that she can follow him and he has no compunctions about how close they should be.

At the table, earlier, newly-minted friends testing each other’s waters over chocolate-coloured pints, someone had asked her if she was in love with her absent boyfriend. Several faces turned to look at her and they were intimate, serious; they had dredged up school scandals and dead parents, now it was her turn to share. She certainly loved her boyfriend, but with the intensity behind that question, the turn of the voice on in and the sense of being measured for all time, how could she know for sure at 22 years of age? How could she match the nakedness of that question? Why were they asking her such a thing?

She was nonplussed, embarrassed, tipsy. She didn’t have any prepared lies. Her skin prickled under all the stares and she answered with what first came to mind.

It is only as she is trying her first steps of swing dancing with her classmate, movement becoming delight becoming laughter, that she realizes honesty can amount to disloyalty.

And it is much, much later before she realizes that her boyfriend, who proves indifferent to her love of dancing, is the sort who does not like his girlfriend to dance with anyone else, even if he has no intention of dancing with her.

On Early Shores


Image result for wallpaper rocky seashore

Were you not that primrose light

That followed me every morn

And lit my path among the rocks

That spanned from shore to shore

I might have forgotten, darling

Your lithe and lilting form

What curves of cheek and ankle

Threads of perfume through a storm

But even now you are before me

And the promise within your eye

Carries me from ship to harbor

While the rocks lie far behind

Heaven Once Lost


Image result for sunbreak

I was shut out of heaven

Always searching for

Something as blithe as sweet

Just as crisp as ripe

And as smooth as breathing

I cast off uneasy roads

And travelled for the light

Never thinking I was circling

Back to a steep and craggy rise

From early in my journey

Up rose an alabaster stair, aglow

As I had not recalled

Goodness, not severity

Succor rather than burdens

And love in lieu of need

Then I felt a pang, as touching

That once-patient stair

Steps lengthened into vapour

A closed and ever-farther shore

That I had scorned to sail

I was shut out of heaven

And I remain, remembering

The worthy paths I left unwalked

The blessings poorly counted

And all that I could have been

Fool’s Gold


Few years taken that are not now caught

Beneath a moonsheen’ melancholy

And affrighted sunspots wherever smiles

Might be remembered

The heavens spun insensate and time

Was frittered away as light as dew

As if it too might come again

With every sunset

Yet red skies from the belfry sounded loss

And renewal came only in tales

Falling from pocket worlds

Offering escape