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Arcanum Dei

Your voice is in the wind and the whine,
cries of a child, the silence of the mind.
Your feet on the road and in the dust,
unpaved paths taken, rails covered in rust.
You communicate in silence and sound,
pens on parchment, sandalled steps on the ground.
You revelate darkly and with clarity rare,
through hands shaky, mouths impaired.
Your fingerprints are somewhere in the texts and pages,
pursuit of a lover, story of the ages.
Your handwriting smeared on walls and hearts,
not in its fullness, only in parts.
You are not simple and definitive,
though maybe we are unimaginative,
searching for what we can grasp for certain,
turning you into our wizard behind the curtain.


Heart and Ground


We had a fight two nights past.
I called it a jester; you said she was a clown.
I stood up; you sat down.
You called it amber; I said it was brown.
When I walked out before the sun was high;
you said there was a rot in your gut.
It was the last thing said. Then the door shut,
and it was left to only god knew what.
The day passed in silence save for a text or two.
A piece of my jigsaw heart hanging out of place,
hanging by a thread, mirroring your face.
So many words created so much space.
I opened the door with empty hands laid flat, and said,
“She doesn’t have to be a jester, I can sit down.
It can be amber; I don’t need it to be brown,
but I always need you – my heart and my ground.”

Down the Line(s)

Version 2

We don’t have to be in lockstep;
side by side is mostly a metaphor
of how we want more.
More time, more smiles, more miles.
When you hurt, I want to hold your hand;
when you laugh, I want to clink your glass;
and when you ask –
I want to walk the journey toward that answer.
Except sometimes you tire me;
today, I’ll run ahead; you’re lagging behind,
looking for something I don’t want to find.
I don’t really want to wait.
You don’t want to wait?
That’s okay; I can relate.
You go ahead; like I said the other day,
sometimes we just don’t want to stay.
We don’t have to be in lockstep;
this journey isn’t a day march.
It’s time and smiles. Blood, sweat, tears,
and miles. Many. Many. Many miles.

White Dashes at the Crossroad

White Dashes.jpg

Your death was my crossroad.
I’d walked for-almost-ever watching the white dashes,
pleasantly ignorant of my surroundings,
the cohabitation of beauty and ashes.
Two decades ago we put you in the ground.
Twenty years ago my glass house shattered.
Too many more like you now live in the dirt,
and only some say that their lives matter(ed).
Two days ago your body buried a bullet.
For cash or dope, I’ll never know,
though I won’t be alone in my ignorance.
Your stories just don’t get told.
So when the hollerin’ and singing are over,
when the floor is cleaned from the splatters,
only too few will tell your story.
Because along the white dashes, your lives don’t matter.


I found the treasure hidden away
in the plain and the mundane.
I remember the shovel and the dirt
and the blood that stained my shirt.
I dug through the shit of promises piled high.
I took those failures and graded a garden at night
for those who might come behind
searching for satisfaction for their minds.
I dug through the glitter of glory packed hard
to find it only a thin veneer hiding something marred.
‘Twas the face of a Thought that ceased to grow,
turned ashen grey having lost its glow.
I dug with my hands through a layer of pride,
finding myself digging through my own insides.
With bloody hands and finger tips rent,
I did what I could until I was spent.
It was only when I stopped and surveyed the land,
when I put down the shovel to examine my hands,
that I saw that what I sought was not without but within.
And now that I found it, I’ll never dig again.

Reflection on Poverty

Poverty has a face. Dusty and dingy. Sad. Grey from last night’s 4 day binge. Tear streaked or sweat streaked. Sometimes both. Matted hair, oily hair, no hair, on furrowed brows over sleep depraved eyes. Poverty has a limp when she walks down the street in clothes too small for her too small body. Track marks in the bends of her arms and knees and toes. Cracked lips from too many dicks. And never just enough change for a fifty cent cigarette, rolled by a lady who rolled from used butts, a lady she can’t remember but bought from just yesterday. Poverty wears clothes handed down from hand me downs. He probably didn’t bus all the way to West Ed to buy that Jack and Jones dress shirt one size too large. Poverty lives in a van, McDonalds bags 2 months old covering the oil stained painted carpet. He listens to CBC before looking for work that barely pays enough to get gas to get home. Home being a new space tonight because ESSO on 106st drove him off when the morning shift came on. And he’s scared because Winter is coming, and his heater is busted, but the booze keep him warm. At least ’til he sleeps. Then wakes to snot frozen in his beard. But the shelter is too dangerous. And where to park his home? Poverty is clean shaven and joviality. He’s eight cups of coffee to keep him awake from the wakefulness of last night’s nightmares. He’s quiet only when he sees the nightmares come to life and he has to sit with the worker who fights with an impatient middle class crisis nurse who will be intentionally late because the nightmares happen every. single. day. Poverty is too many voices medicated by a needle that may or may not have come out of the grate or the street works van or the hand of the man who traded a moment of voiceless peace for a dirty orgasm in the back of an old white beater on the corner of 96st and 112 ave. Poverty is a wrong turn. A bad choice. One barrier then two then three. Then loneliness. Then you. Then me. Save for the prospect of our opportunities.

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