How?

How azul the pool,
how vermelha the vinho,
how frisky the wind in the trees,
how blinding the sun-blasted sea.

How deftly the swallows
wet bellies and beaks,
lift and swing in the breeze,
how swiftly they whisk past me.

How, of nine who recline,
I alone stare not at my phone,
how I applaud the acrobats
who whirl by me.

The pool in Portugal

 

Dear Billy Collins

By now, I expect Billy Collins’ agent in California has received my fan letter. In another week, the letter and accompanying poem could be in Mr. Collins’ hands. Or perhaps it will drop into the former US poet laureate’s email as a scanned attachment with a message from the agent: “Another crack-pot fan letter for you.” Continue reading

Surprise Visitor

Past the snow-covered fallow fields, I drove towards home carrying the last Christmas present for a family member on the seat beside me. The curve of slate-coloured Hunt Club Road twined with the white fields under a spilled milk sky.

It was 9:30 in the morning and not many vehicles were on the road yet. A car length ahead in the lane beside me rolled a huge shiny black truck with gleaming silver hubcaps. The driver was lost in its vast cab except for a bright yellow watch cap hugging his head. Passing a load of judgement, I grumbled to the dashboard. Continue reading

What Can I Say?

Menage

I’ve struggled trying to think of something to talk about here, with you. Maybe you haven’t noticed my silent self sitting in your living room at the end of your sofa with a pillow tucked behind my achy back listening to your stories. You’re always so fascinating. I start to open my mouth and then clamp it shut suddenly shy and reluctant to share. Even a full-bodied glass of red wine can’t coax me to speak. Continue reading

My Bouncing Boy

goldenguy

The Sé Cathedral of Evora, Portugal

 

Your stride is a rubber ball bouncing down the street.
You ribbed, “Scientists studied my feet to improve
rocket launchers, and they said my feet hear
heat and that’s why there’s air beneath my heels.”

On Gower Street that rotten urchin, Andy,
called you “Springs”. I expect he’s dead now,
little shit, or living in the Goulds with the missus,
his Lazy-boy recliner stick rubbed shiny,

the carpet farting mouldy biscuit and white bread
aroma from 40 years of spilled Black Horse lager.
Womp womp. But you – thank you! – bounced us
out of there.

“You’ll find your soul mate too late,” wasn’t true.
I knew the deal when I saw your naked feet, not
bionic or battery operated at all, just wide, muscles
at ease. They smelled like sweat and antifungal

cream. You exceeded the dream I never had and
after all these years you still bounce like that boy,
your head bob-bobbing above the rest, your
eternal spring our crow’s nest.

**

Written for d’Verse‘s prompt “thankfulness” and posted in open link night. Lovely work to be read there. Pop over and discover poets and poetry to suit all tastes.

 

Culture Encounter

We buckled ourselves into a small electric vehicle that looked like a motorized pedi-cab parked outside our Lisbon hotel. Joel, our driver and guide, expertly pulled into the traffic while our companions on the tour, Eric and Heidi – fellow Canadians – introduced themselves.

“We’re from T’rono. I’m a sports guy,” Eric said. “I go to Buffalo, New York regularly to see the Leafs play. Games are always sold out in Toronto. I travel all over the States following my favourite sports teams.”

The heavy traffic made it challenging to talk, for which I was grateful. I didn’t want to hear Eric list how many cities he’d been to on his tour de NHL/NFL/NBA*. I wanted to listen to Joel. But Eric and Heidi’s presence gave weight to a curious feeling I sometimes have when traveling – that of bouncing along in a tourist bubble where I know I’m in a foreign country but there are frequent reminders of home. Joel’s flawless English added to that sense. Was I really in Lisbon or was this a Disneyland ride? Maybe the tuk-tuk’s clear roof also contributed to my impression of floating through Lisbon, in the city but removed at the same time. Continue reading

Guilt Grout

Murphy's_Point_Sunrise

Morning at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park

“When did we ever lock our tent?” said my husband as we unrolled our sleeping bags on the sturdy pine bed.

True, I thought, but our tent didn’t have a door with a latch and the yurt we’d rented at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park did.

“Doors should be locked,” my city-girl brain reasoned, but I nodded.

We had returned alone to this campground after 14 years absence. The last time, our daughters were with us, then 6, 9 and 12 years old. That outing ended at dinner time in rain with a sputtering campfire and stone-cold, tinfoil wrapped potatoes. Continue reading

Disappearing Act

I want to be one of those shimmering
stick figures framed in my bedroom window
under glass as they meander to the point,
quivering in the glitter of sun on waves.

Their dog trots forward to the high and dry
marker buoy while the other two straggle,
appear, disappear, appear in the play of light.

They turn shoreward and I lose sight of them.
I pull on shoes still gritty from yesterday’s walk,
head for wave-shaped rocks, pick
through barnacle spotted tide pools,
around boulders covered in kelp hair,
gulping Fundy’s perfume – gull shit,
sun-roasted dulse, tidal mud –
crunch sand, crush shells.

Behind me today’s footprints
will soon wash away
in the rising tide. I scan
the shoreline for the
window and hail
myself, sparkled,
splintered, a
tidal creature
a piece
of it all.

Written in response to dVerse prompt: Descriptive Detail

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