“Time spent with cats is never wasted”
Most of what Freud said was shite
But once in awhile he got it right.
Penis envy? There’s a joke
No betty wants to be a bloke!
True, there’s better wages paid
(He’ll never be a hotel maid)
But who would choose testosterone
When you could have progesterone
And estrogen for making babies?
Step right up! Embrace it Ladies!
Who but women claim sole right
To bearing every human life?
No machine is so inspired
To grow the DNA required
No man can conjure up a room
As perfect as a woman’s womb
We grow and carry, bear then feed
Providing for the every need
Of every child, who could deny?
A woman’s body is divine!
Man is mortal, Freud a fraud
Woman is the one true God
Worship, free from hateful taunts
That is what a woman wants.
My moth-eaten memory
surprises me on occasion
with flashes of the days
when we settled down
to farmhouse life
in Woodlands, Manitoba.
Must have been ’65 or ’66
I was pre-kindergarten.
Our neighbours, the Dorians
those country folk who
became our family,
welcomed the three of us
to their boxcar cabin
old black and white photos
of Grandpa’s regiment hung
proud upon wood panelling.
They walked us up weedy
tractor paths to rock strewn fields,
introduced us to
their fine Appaloosa stud
and their ancient mare
Goldie, my first true love.
Tea was always served
in old country roses teacups
dainties on worn matching plates,
teaspoons of sugar.
Uncle Jim, Sharon & Reuben,
Grandma’s gentle smile.
They loved us completely.
We sang “Beulah Land”
as we travelled prairie highways
all windows down, hair flying
back when life was only sweet
and summers drifted out with
the scent of burning leaves.
Our voices carried us
To wish for what once was
is a fool’s game I know
but those days gave us
our true north,
our best hope of belonging
to something simple
yet somehow grand.
Now our autumn is upon us
We look to the old photos,
We dream of those endless days
When we were saved
By the goodness of kind hearts and
Blessed by the trembling
blue and green panorama
of our prairie life.
My poor Memory, my rich Imagination and I
like to stroll together through the deep forest
of my mind most days. We compare notes
on how things were and how they are now.
We come up with versions of events
we can all live with.
The shadow of a Great Blue Heron
passes overhead, so close we hear the soft breath
of blue-grey wings soaring just above the tree line
yet below the worst of our ever-changing weather.
We each take turns speculating on
the varietals of blue birds, we conjure up
mixed media images of various species
and their feathered brethren, we thrill
at the thought of their migration routes,
try not to think of their declining numbers.
Imagination chimes in declaring it
some obscure occult practice:
ornithscopy of the highest order!
Memory is lost in reverie while Imagination
suggests we recreate a ritual that might align us
with the spirit of this mythical messenger
(then yammers on about what meaning
may be found in the timing of things).
Memory and I wander off in search of a grassy field
while Imagination drones on, happy with itself,
sounding like so many summer bumble bees.
What is normal anyway?
We return home to a glass of iced tea
and begin to tidy compulsively
but not without a modicum of satisfaction.
We think out loud, putter around
as we tend to when we are vexed
by some question beyond our ken.
Now that god is a poem and not a person
We find each moment even more astonishing
than the last, we’re downright giddy somedays,
awash in the great good fortune
of this lottery win called life, though now
we see no magical motifs in daily happenings.
We find no butterfly and opine it to be
a friend from a former life.
Still we find it hard not to fall
into the old, superstitious ways
so entrenched is it in us to
avoid stepping on the cracks.
We still pray inexplicably, when we’re
lost in the dark wood of our own making
and we despair quietly, regularly,
having lost the comfortable armchair
of reassuring notions of god.
Memory recalls some piercing pain from the past.
Imagination plans for some fond, hopeful future
and I pour myself a glass of red wine
then wander around the garden.
Our cat follows as far as the blueberry bushes,
finds the perfect spot to spy on us, then naps
in the amber drift of late afternoon sun.
Friends now say serious things that
are laughable, though once we would have
solemnly agreed with their magical thinking.
Memory serves only to fade and falter
when reaching back for the sensibility
we once shared while Imagination remains
preoccupied by delusions of grandeur and
just wants to sit quietly in a book-lined room
reading poems and writing down the crazy
while dogs sleep on the floor, dreaming
of faster rabbits and unsuspecting squirrels.
Please forgive us for not attending your
We no longer remember why we should go and
We can’t imagine why we would. It’s not your fault.
We no longer believe we met so we could
work something out karmically.
We no longer feel obligated to explain.
Memory lets us go and Imagination
waves goodbye, dreams of the day when
we’ll look back on all of this and laugh
(like we knew what it meant).
This day breaks early
With chickadees calling
With dogs sleuthing and
spent leaves falling
This world says welcome
With arms extended
Dreams are forgotten
now sleeping’s ended
This sky is now changing
With work that is waiting
The harvest is pending
and gardens are fading
This path is now sunlit
With spider threads glistening
With news of what’s coming
(for those who are listening…
This slug is enormous
By anyone’s standard
Tall as a Tree Frog
and long as a lanyard
This poem is digressing
A Stellar’s Jay cackles
in cheeky derision)
This dog’s face is laughing
Tongue panting and lolling
I’m back in the yard
with the chickadees calling.
The call of kissing waters cold
Is heard bird wise, above, below
In leaves of lyric, skip of stone
By glint of sea for all I know
In ancient eye, by flap of feather
Tidal pools perceive the weather
Witness oh! the shine of things;
It’s the how of the why the soul now sings.
This dream of trees take with them one
As they go gladly, ever on
Away from where we fall they are
Dancing elsewhere under stars
Beyond the here of every now
(who would hold on anyhow?)
They sound out beauty, simply sighing
And sing the when of who is dying.
Spring will come and ever so
To teach the new the old ones know
And dream the reach of mystery sweet
As clouds move on and stars retreat.
Mother Earth receives your bones
As we will wander on, alone
We’ll gather young ones now and then
To sing your season, hello again.
I creep crone-like, steady
through bracken and bushes
barren this time of year
I catch a scent in the silk of the air
and freeze, heart pounding, some
inner twig snapped. I now understand
what is required and I retreat slowly
where once I would have flown.
I love you
as much as anyone
stop sending me
petitions to sign
hashtags to copy
links to forward on.
asking me to
sign in with my
If you simply must
posting a wall of words
then for chrissakes
make a new paragraph
every once in awhile
so I can imagine
you as thoughtful
rather than ranting
obviously off your meds.
Manners matter mister.
Also, while you’re at it
can you figure out
some way to discourage
trolling on youtube?
without going even more
big brother on me
than you already are
by tailoring ads
to my latest search
It’s creeping me
By all means,
Send me pics of
pulling up carrots
from your summer garden
in her yellow sun dress
a gap-toothed grin on her
ice cream face.
Surely you know
I crave the innocence
of that calico kitten,
rescued from the shelter
with her tabby brother,
curled up together
on your bed
kneading the fresh,
I can hear their drowsy purr
from here and it helps
I’m prepared to forgive you
for the hateful rhetoric
you spew forth with
I’m ready to overlook
your incessant bad news
and all your mean-spirited
if you will just grant me
an heroic act here and
an ecological breakthrough
there and a kindness shown
to any living creature
anywhere at all.
I’ve given up a lot for you…
novels, spare time, self-respect.
The least you can do for me
is distract me from my losses
with your wonderful wikis
with audible pronunciations
of words I’ve never heard,
with potentially helpful directions
to wherever I need to go.
I had no idea you would
change my brain
when we first met
but you surely did.
Just like love.
Now I’m faced with
having to renegotiate
our terms of endearment
but don’t worry.
I’ll be seeing less of you
in the future
but I’ll miss you
when I’m gone.