April 2011

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The industrialist

All the I anger I ever knew
caught fire in those years,
there in the politics of
old Victorian Canada where
the great gaunt man
was rarely seen,
except at church on Sunday.
He holed up mostly
in his mansion on the hill,
staring out forever
at the hard gray city and
the grime of Paradise Row
and the skittering ants
who did his bidding,
seeing not but his
great ships in the harbour,
his trucks and buses belching
along his thoroughfares,
and his newspapers,
there to keep the news at bay,
and his television station and
dry docks fat with contracts
from the public purse,
and his oil refinery
and that sickening pulp mill,
reeking for decades, shitting
itself continuously into
the ‘famous’ reversing falls
where the impotent tides
pushed his mighty filth upriver
twice each day and pulled
the whole mess back again,
- the crumbs he gave
for the loaves he took,
and the fear of his disfavour -
all the citizens in a trance
muttering his holy mantra,
Ah, the smell of money!

© 2011

When I no more

When I no more
am prisoner of my mind
and reason does not
rush with such insistence
to fill each space with
the sounding brass
and tinkling cymbals
of this earth, I will
step into the silence
of the sky and slip into
the void behind all words
and hear the unheard sound
that dies forever on the
tongues of men and angels
and sinks without a trace
beneath all prophecy
and mystery to identical
shades of nothingness
and I will know at last
the face of charity,
and that charity
was how I loved earth
and knew it not at all.

© 2011

The procession

All the limousines move
in unison over winter roads
to Parliament Hill, ants
advancing in dark procession
across the shaven skin of day.
Power flows without
resistance to its place and
has no eyes for passersby
or fools who snap its picture.
It presses like a scalpel
through the snowbanks
bearing men in suits
with one way eyes and
no other god before them.
They pass unseen with
briefcase schemes
like chocolates in a box.

© 2011