I Was Kept so in the Dark

Looking out the window
Below I see the sign
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
My interest piqued
Imagine
………………………………………………..
The gays from all the small villages in Ontario
Were making their way by bus, train,
And car to Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

The posher gays from the city were showing up in Ubers.
It was turning out to be a promising night.
The bar was lit with bulbs of primary colours from the eighties.
And Erasure was playing Take A Chance on Me from Abba on the turntable.

Most striking was Dalephanie
Over in the corner
Sporting the best set of blue lycra pants I’d ever seen.
With matching eyes that could swallow a ship.
The shadow had to be from the Jeffree Star collection.
The Beauty Killer or Thirsty Palette.

I can not tell you about the nails, fashioned long, and lingering
Around the moist glass of a Cosmopolitan cocktail.
They were the colour of a very wild Ghana Keoladeo Peacock, from India.
My senses were being given an exquisite opportunity for indulgence.

I was way out of my league.
The only thing I have ever know about gay culture,
Was the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the late seventies,
Even then I can’t say I understood any of it.

……………………………………………………
Queer
Isn’t it
I was kept
So in the dark.
Artistically rigorous alternative theatre
I’m going to enjoy this.


Hickling’s Garden

Sneaking out
Brown bare feet and
Toes
Ambling through
Damp green grass
Crawling
Around the garden
Edge
To the carrot tops and
Pulling.
Dirty orange
Juicy grit dripping and
Delicious.
We stole from
The Hickling’s
Garden.


Precocious

“It is wounded!”
Pecking
At his head
Holding
The bird
Blood dripping
Human not avian
He rescues
He mends
The broken wing
It flies away days later
Under Mother’s delicate care
He goes off again
Throwing rocks
At the Anglican Church’s
Receiving vault
Across the road
“It is broken!”
The window
Doing chores
Paying and
Praying for
A boys’ precociousness.

The Miracle of Dad’s Art

Called an A-frame
The pony barn is
Home to Candy
Neither
Tame nor wild
Feisty
Old overturned steel tub
Gives us the boost we need
To climb onto his back
Holding the mane
He bucks
Or nips at our toes
Always barefoot
He came one day down the road
A gift
A trade
A painting for a pony
Cool
We thought
Dad’s art could produce miracles
Sugar cubes
Like us he loved
Hence his name
But
Often nasty
Always running away to
Hickling’s garden
Through Packard’s grapevines
Eating Walter’s flowers
Not popular
But a riot of a rock star to us
Running through our neighbourhood
Calling after him
Till one day
Sitting on our rock eating Fun Dip
We see Candy
Walking away with a stranger
Gone to a farm
Suddenly disillusioned
About the miracle of Dad’s art.

Fireflies in a Jar or Covid-19

Fading
Distant voices
of
Elders
Carry away
History
of
Struggles and
Our
Creation.
Capture now
Their songs of
Life
Learning
Laughter.

Fireflies in
A Jar

Passing
Out of sight
Touches
Smiles
Scent
Shampoo
Shaving Soap.
Lingering on
Skin
Soft as tissue
Caducous
Falling away
Our flowers
Still in bloom.

Fireflies in
A Jar

Dissolving
Dreams of
More time
Lashing out at
A sightless
Soundless
Colourless
Wisdom snatcher.
Silent
Telling eyes
Thundering
Broken Hearts
Alone
Humanity
Hurt.

Fireflies in
A Jar

My Little Sherpas

The weight of fifty
Bears down on
My Little Sherpas

Thankful for their daily labour
I wonder why they are giving out now
Flat, swollen, painful

Numbing toes the
Little piggy that went to market
And the little one that stayed home

Painted nails on these digits
Once helped me count to ten
And have been stubbed once too often

Pride of walking around
Toes folded under
To oohs and aahs

Balancing at the pool’s edge
The last splash swimming
Is the flip of the foot on the water

Landing back on earth
My feet are the first to touch down
After skydiving

I honour these pieds
My Little Sherpas
To the end of the earth with me, they will go.

Poetry

Nothing is more beautiful than the printed word
An abstract of symbols that in collection reveal wonders beyond imagination
Cuneiform
Thank you
Sumer in Mesopotamia for Before Christ peoples understood this marvel of time.

Contemplation gives rise to expression
Creative curiosity; the rise and fall of civilizations
Said on paper by Religious Scholars, Philosophers, Plato, Marx
Expressed in word often before deed
Yet, the purest of all forms is the poet’s prose.

Her tease or despair bring grown men to their knees, women stop dead in their tracks with his wit, or crass
Yeats, Angelou, Wilde, Attwood
Never before, never again, always unique, translating moments and boundaries
Into form, humanity – giving voice to the human condition
Elevating or deflating the soul.

Calligraphy, Oriental brushed inks
Hybrid stylizations of written language
Packaging up deliveries of creative visions with unmatched superiority
Rivalling none
Embracing all.