Monthly Archives: February 2016

TRANSMITTAL

TRANSMITTAL

They talk about degrees of separation

With apologies to Kevin Bacon
I like to think in degrees of connection

This week
when I helped Madeline Albright
down from that one tricky step
it was also everyone at the UN
and anyone who was anyone
in politics and power for thirty years

President Ford was a nice man
with a football players hand
that had shaken more than a few

And when the Queen Mother in her 90s
was our guest in the Saskatchewan Hotel
I held her hand in both of mine, a little
longer than called for in the book of protocol

I wanted to make sure that Churchill got through

SITTING BY THE POOL IN HOUSTON

SITTING BY THE POOL IN HOUSTON

Today I didn’t go jogging
or send a check to any needy cause
do anything much to my teeth or hair
that the product sellers said I should

or any of the million things
I’m told I need to do to be a better me

There is a man
In the high mountains of India
who sits beside a waterfall all day

and says to God

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
good work, good work, good work

In had a few moments of that

HOW MANY PINS ON THE HEAD OF AN ANGEL

HOW MANY PINS ON THE HEAD OF AN ANGEL

Twenty after midnight and up alone
sharing every Christmas past
with the angel of Austin present
alight on the well lit tree

Telling her of the first thin pine
strung with popcorn and candles clipped
back on the ranch before the power

Every crackle of every log
every crinkle of tissue torn
every child’s first Christmas
and every parent’s last
and every cousin and uncle and aunt
no longer as they say extant

Praying her to spread
her wings and wonder wide
that we may gather them all by dawn

SWEET MEMORIES

SWEET MEMORIES

My mother’s mother
lost a leg in the sugar wars

We dragged our butts across town to see her
she dragged hers across the house to serve us

You would think that each visit
might have served as a caution

But, as young minds
may twist and stay twisted

I took away instead
and infinite ability to ignore the obvious

and a taste for milk and ginger cookies

MEMORY LANES

MEMORY LANES

Once again in summer
where prairie blacktop ribbons
over Saskatchewan’s slow rolling hills
past grazing cow and half grown grain

driving on the road I helped to build
back when I was eighteen teen
five hundred years and yesterday ago
hauling asphalt to the spreader
in a truck hot dirty and mean
and eating steak for breakfast
with men of tar and grit

Still with a smile
each time we pass
a road crew at their work

The odor, odious
to you and almost all,
as sweet to me as youth
and lilac in the wind