Homo Vegetarius

In my pint-sized distress
I’d often seek commiseration
in the doghouse,
sitting side by side
in the packing straw
with my best friend.

I’d share my wee woes
and would somehow feel better.

Bruno was such a good listener.

Children often know early on
that eating friends is not right
but they get talked out of it
by adults, previously talked out
of the same wisdom when they were kids.

Even if I sometimes give in
and eat anchovies, I know it’s wrong.
Even stealing the bee’s honey is wrong
but I’m no saint.

I used to think that when man
developped his compassion for other people,
humanity would grow compassionate
towards animals as well.

I’m beginning to think I got the sequence backwards.

We will, of course, end the livestock massacres
if only in our own interests – because
it uses up too much water – but
in our groping compassion these days
perhaps animals can remind us
who we really are…





Don’t look for stuff inside
I’m all on the outside
not for show, no
for givin’ away –
what you get
is what you see
if there’s more [inside]
it’s news to me!

A million things
I’d like to say –
or rather, I wish words
could salve the wounds –
but unless you face
your darkest demons
nothin’ rotten in this world
will ever be fixed
and this world
is all we got
whether you think so
or not

Sure, you can
warm your hands
[Even in twos or threes]
and marvel at the wonders
of H2O
[in clouds and snow]
and hey –
I’m just crazy about
daffodils and shit –
but sharing your epiphanies
won’t mend
a world that’s forgotten
even the meaning
of the word



Fleeting, nameless (collage #1)

A hyperclose-up
of pink tulips
one petal
as if to sweep
wainscotted corridor

and then
that scrap of newsprint
atop another bit
of paper. . .clouds
or creampuffs ?
a mint green barrow

the stuff of dreams. . .
perhaps, in a matchbox
a hint of Braque. . .
so little what it seems
and no such thing
as still life
no such thing
as turning back



Oh how I love SNOW

Agnostics, atheists, doubters,
free-thinkers, humanists, non-theists
and just people, you know, folks
who never even think about Fred
are all free to look at snow
and just marvel.

The wonderful is wonderful
the marvellous is marvellous.
Clouds and Snow are H2O
[wayta go!]

Nature is just nature too,
and if the reasonable and the rational
have the bad luck to get stuck on the road,
they may make jokes about The Fates
but they don’t really think some mean-spirited
supernatural beings have it in for them.

[In passing, as church attendance has been falling
all over Europe, so have many crime rates…
but that’s probably just due to better security systems]



Homage to John Muir

These sombre fingers of the earth’s dark hands –
indices – sometimes a pinkie, too –
rise, majestic, from once-blessèd lands
and point the way to celestial blue.
These Ash or Aspen, Maple, Pine and Beech;
these Oak, Sequoia, Redwood Lime or Birch:
I do believe in them – and prize their speech –
and see their trunks as pillars of one church.
So delicate their leaves in golds and green
applauding hymns to skylarks, softly gloved.
Palms cup my skull as I admire the scene
and dream this helpless planet is still loved –
although I fear the worst for all my trees
as none save modern men will hear my pleas.

[as first appeared in Earth Advocay News]


Wonder isn’t always born
of what is strange
or unfamiliar

Every day
I wonder at the sun
slipped over the roof
and onto the birches –
how they seem
to turn from grey
to white – and I never fail
to smile because it truly is
a wondrous sight.



Sweet Boy

Not even his mother would listen
You could see she was sore afraid
the wrong people might hear, she said
and surely they’d be betrayed
(fed to a lion, simply for tryin’)
Could it be any worse, he said
than the life we have here now?
They own the land; they own the seed.
What do we own, a plough?

His brother thought he was crazy,
laughed when the rants got intense
until one of this brother’s friends
said quit it, your brother has always made sense.
He left the game, went out back to talk
and those two became friends
in the space of a walk.

Then a guy where the brother’s friend worked
joined them both – and laughing, and just for fun –
the three of them took an oath.
A fourth invited the trio around for a beer
and a few more listened…
I tell ya, in less than a year
they were more than a playing team,
a crew, more than a band –
they were dozens of men from all over
men from the land and villages
some even joined from town
they’d meet mostly in twos and threes,
though, so plans wouldn’t get aroun’.

And the sweet boy
who by now was clear leader,
not some hangback general,
but a bit in a diamond drill,
finally led his rag tag unarmed army,
proud and fearless, to the crest of the hill
and they shot him –
they always have, they always will.



The Partaking

The coming legion, she said
{in radiant, radical optimism]
would convert the myriad pyramids
into one sphere – more
in keeping with our place here
in the universe

It would be a green party
with no pin or tailnipped beast
or blindfolds
just a colourful feast
and the music of birds in the trees
and the humming of a zillion bees
{all working for us!]
and the world would remember
how to partake – be generous
with fruits of field and vine.
None would screech It’s mine, It’s mine

in its soul means
for the many
not the few, she said
quoting that real Labour guy
[who was half-quoting Shelley!]
as had those New York garment ladies
one hundred years before.
Wherever you go, seems
leaders shake their fists
but the people? People everywhere
want peace not war. Peace
always tops their lists.

would resound, she said
like the the beating of swords
into ploughshares
the joyous sharing
of metaphoric milk and honey
more in keeping with our place
here in the galaxy

…and money? Money is only
a measure, a convenience, a tool
that can never replace clean air or water
and only a fool would fail
to see this.



[I told the sun] from Poems for Saülé

I told the sun
I could tell she was there
that those clouds were too thin
[I mean, this side of threadbare]
to hide such a GLORIOUS BEING
as Saülé [Flattery works sometimes
even on a metaphysical plane]

It’s winter I said, remember?
and it is unkind of you to hide
It’s not like back in September…

when we were so foolish
as to take you for granted…

It’s winter I said again
and Saülé should come out to play
at least a few minutes a day.



Solstician Ditty

My radio is blaring Tis the season to be jolly
I laugh to myself and think it’s always been the one
long before the Moses guy and Abrahamic folly
year-end has been feted since the cavemen tracked the sun

They noticed then the evening star
would dip for three days out of sight
and then return – hourrah ! hourrah !
and shrunken day’d then munch the night.

So here’s to all the pagans tying ribbons around boughs
and here’s to all the scowling faces arguing theology
People seem to tie themselves in slipknots anyhow
so please don’t expect from me a heart-felt apology

I’ll just wait for the radio and change a lyric here and there
and you may join me, if you like, in my humanistic air

We wish you a Merry Solstice
We wish you a Merry Solstice
We wish you a Merry Solstice
and a Happy New Year