Monthly Archives: March 1999



I have ridden the fence line
without believing in fences

I have been one with the movement of horse
the strength and speed of horse
the grace of horse and the
soul of horse

I have been one with the wind
and the high rolling hills
and the sky

I have stepped down
with my hands filled with staples and pliers

For the welfare of cattle and neighbours
who still have need of believing
in fences



Aborigines on an Austin stage
Dancing the dreaming

But something’s wrong

They dance in stage lines not sacred circles
Men and women dancing together
Even I know that’s not how they did it

My Aussie friend points out that they have
no scars of initiation

Drug store cowboys
in five and dime dream time

The phoniness bothers me for quite a while
They are not really doing the sacred songs
They probably don’t even know the sacred songs

Of course if they did they wouldn’t be singing
them for us

On a Texas stage
in five and dime dream time

And yet there is something happening
below the surface
that starts to pull me in

The didgeree-do is made from a real tree
The circular breathing to blow it is there
strong and free

Something real is rising through it all
Something I don’t understand
Something they don’t even understand

If you listen real close you can hear it
below and through and beyond it all

Fifty thousand years of DNA singing



It was a Sunday afternoon about a year ago today
I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand I just knew I couldn’t stay

So I took off for Toronto fifteen hundred miles away

Two days of boring meetings,
couldn’t stand to have one more
didn’t know where I needed to be
but it wasn’t here I knew for sure

So I grabbed a train to Windsor
and Detroit which lies next door

Outside spring was springing and calling more and more
and I’d get to see some country that I’d never seen before

Oh, the sheep were soft upon the land
and there was magic in the day
as I sipped my rum and cola
and rhymed couplets all the way

Checked in on Wednesday, wondering what to do
maybe I could try to call a good old friend or two

There was a man I’d met in Banff
just three weeks before
a man of love and wisdom
that I’d like to see once more

And a lady of my poems
that I’d seen just twice before
thirty minutes in an airport
and two hours on the shore

He was busy in a meeting she answered on first try
she had booked off work without knowing why

And when I told her that I was in her town
she said “I’ve got a story and I’ll be right down”

It seems that her grand dad
who had raised her as a child
had died not long ago
and the grief had drove her wild

The family all were fighting for the pennies on his eyes
and there was no one there to hear her heartfelt cries

So she ran from that hospital not knowing what to do
and stood on the highest hill alone in a sky of blue

And loudly called my name
“Please come, please, I need you”

When I asked had she made this cry
and had I come real soon

“Oh it wasn’t very long ago
just Sunday afternoon”



Two thousand pounds of power
thunders toward one hundred of slim youth

No picadors to wound and slow
No red caped cowardice to step aside

They meet straight on
Bull head down, youth’s held high

Horns grasped, the head snaps up
in anger and surprise

They flip in beauty over a broad back
Converting and transforming
twenty to one ratio
power into



In a town of six or seven hundred
you get a cross section of the country

One classmate’s father’s suicide with shotgun
splattered walls

One boy my age, drowned
in an upturned truck in a muddy ditch

One with leukemia, white as the snow

One redhead, Leslie French, as beautiful and
mysterious as the language

One blonde, Shirley Long, to long for

She’s only interested in grade 9 boys

One bruised heart

Not yet hard enough to be broken



Within the greater urge
of man to soar and fly

It is not uncommon
that some may try and die

Salmon must return to spawn
birds must south and northward fly

The Buddha and the Christ
give focus to the martyr’s eye

The fault lies not
in these unalterable things

But in the material
with which he built the wings