A shrinking space


You’ve left me with a square-ish space

These four walls and hours baked

With horns, insults, demands pounding through.

The drywall can’t hold back the swell

So my space shrinks and time retells

The same stories of trippy, sleepless, broken nights.

Squished and squished and cut down some more

To fit your size, should I go out the door

Not daring to protect my face, my heart,

My lungs that cry to breathe apart

From the taunts that follow masks or medicine.

God forbid that we should be free

To live in peace or quiet or safety

That we should learn from what has kept us whole so far –

So scream and pollute and tear from me

My flags, my stoop, my grocery

And call it your freedom, duly crowned.

More of you


I want to give more than I can

All those years without you

The baked grass of my childhood

And the nights in red and black

It comes with wanting more of you

The yous that I can never meet

Samson hair and fresh-eyed grin

You as you are now

With all you were then

Cecil Walden


When we step into time again

Memory is slow to show

The truth of discontinuity

And the silence that has grown

What time has left, what we have lost

A spectre blooming overblown

Conversations we still carry on

With the ones we used to know

If the unspoken can be a legacy

If disbelief can make life so

We can forget what has been changing

And the silence that still grows

https://ottawacitizen.remembering.ca/obituary/michael-ip-1082083615

What I am missing


You told me I was missing Monster

And until I saw the insides of

Doki Doki Literature Club

I would be incomplete

But I am always looking

Away from darkness, unless

Mundane worries lurk

Or there is the perfect niche

To hide my messes away

I believe you even though

I will never watch or play them

And if you were here, I’d gladly hear

You saying it all again

https://ottawacitizen.remembering.ca/obituary/michael-ip-1082083615

The trouble with melons


Bobby Werther, at a luncheon

Partook of melon medley sorbet

And then reacted so badly, he

Was laid up the next four days

So he called for an appointment

And two years later, duly went

To be plastered with little patches

Of potent allergens

“This is the fruit sampler?” he asked

To which, “Oh yes,” the nurses said

So Bobby went home and itched

The next week and a bit

Then he returned to the clinic

With its exhorbitant parking rate

Unshowered, as instructed

Since his last appointment date

That day, the doctor appeared

And seeing him, declared

“You are quite allergic to shelfish,

And that is all I see – take care!”

“But what about the melons?”

Bobby asked as she rose to go

“Well, we didn’t have all the samples,”

She said. “They’re a hassle to get, you know.

So you may be allergic to a melon

And it may be prudent to abstain,

But its the shellfish and the crayfish

That would surely fry your brains.”

“Oh, but that I knew,” said Bobby

“I always avoid crustaceans

Had I known about those patches

I’d have asked to skip them.”

But the doctor was long gone

Nurses hustling in her wake

So Bobby shrugged and got his coat

And went to pay the parking rate