Saturday, February 28, 2015

Once there was a bus driver who would not kill. He braked for rabbits and squirrels anything squiggly and small. He sideswiped cement trucks avoiding barking dogs. At one point he was taken out of service after driving into oncoming traffic on McLeod Trail to avoid a swarm of mosquitoes swooping down on his windshield. Over the median he went through a red light, clipping a motorcycle policeman who had just switched his siren on.

After the bus driver got out of intensive care and was able to walk, Calgary Transit gave him another chance. His world began to clear. He became one of the star drivers of the service, obsessive about timetables and procedure. And he never lost control of his bus again. When small creatures fell into the path of his bus he went out of his way to stick to the painted lines and avoid the curbs.

There were some of regular passengers who noted the change. A smile they said would creep across his face below his mirrored shades and he would give a satisfied squeeze of the horn when the bus would bump over squirrels and kittens, rabbits and whining dogs, never wavering from his duty.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

                            The Street. A ghostly bit of footprint. It's the salt in the sidewalk and the snow
                             8th Avenue and 7th Street. Calgary, Alberta.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A splash of morning
without rain
the last of summer light
slipping south
lets in the dark
a tree fort
of childhood enemies

the afternoon grows short and chilly
the planet holds a roundness of logic
moves in with cooler tones
lifts a finger to stingy lips
bruises the feeling
we hunger for
drinking cold red wine in August
ready to disappear
after coffee and dessert

as police arrive in tight uniforms
under the rippling trees
an old woman leans in to address the curb
repeats every sentence ever spoken, all at once
a dog chases a candy wrapper into a drain
big trucks clear their throats, marauding on

an accordion player lingers
shyly ignites the blaze of autumn
inspires a sabbatical on my drinking career
thirty years of a bad thing
with the right woman for someone else

the light holds the grey in your eyes
let down on ropes to the floor of the world
you spill into my hands
and the sense of us
who dance without looking down

be as dark as you want to be
as a poet, find your own treacherous way
the wine goes thin and sour
the promise
you offer to the earth

your slender dark
shoulders against me
draws close
to the blue and necessary sky
the essence of arid make-believe
a note the blackbird carries to the languid waterways at dusk
by a bramble-shadowed stream
grey rock turning black, in a sudden field of snow

your distance I wonder at
holds tightly up against the music you didn't ask for
the first minute I see you
is the last minute I think about her
you leave a wine glass out, to collect the rain

your smile intact, after decades of bad weather
applauds the corkscrew
so I drink your wine
remember how you played the guitar
until wishing had enough

the best sex you never had gets you in trouble
stabs at the piano in the dark
lightning runs and stops 
at your feet 
the taste of winter on your breath

crossing the street to your house
you sway against me
but still, 
figures like you shape the music
blend colours without me

we do just fine
and yet
describe in detail, a hemisphere 
locked in snow