Sunday August 18, 2019
Cato The Younger
Julie says that you’re all about family
that it’s my job to make sure
you’re close to your people
feel the tether to the roots
to the blood to the source
“Don’t put her in daycare if you can help it
Have Grandma or Grandpa there”
Neptune transits coming around for all three of us
and I’m wondering about right now
What are the planets saying
What are the stars shouting to us
across shine and bright
A beauty has settled in the space
where the day broke
Down to the bone we go
Into the marrow we crawl
Julie says that your Sun needs to be present
needs to be physically close needs to touch you
We both do
Sun and Moon
Your arm touching my arm
Your toe touching his belly
these things that we try to lean on
house of cards
Sunday June 30, 2019
Summer in my skin like the Mediterranean is whispering my name
Olive oil drenched and happy
Sun kissed and laughing
Whiskey on my lips the way
the good lord intended
Sweet rope and burn down my throat where the heat knows its home
I’m not coughing
I’m not sad
Gimme a shot and I’ll dance you moonlight, open my mouth wide
and I’ll house the whole sky
Use the Big Dipper to swallow the Milky Way and we’ll be living this
easy until the end of it
Whenever it comes
The second hand singing the chorus with the wind
Wednesday May 8, 2019
I have felt the ground under my two feet without shoes on
and I go bumbling around some days with shoes on
but on days where the sun pokes his tired head out of the clouds
and bathes the room in a light that I did not know I needed until it returned,
the earth feels harder to land on
I do not know how this works or if some dreams hold tighter to the
sleep left in my bones, keeping me locked in a bed that isn’t
moving me forward
I do not know if the sun is in cahoots with my calendar or the
internal clock that has been set to Someday Soon but Not Today
I have intertwined my toes in grass blades so thick I could
swear the whole field was trying to keep me forever
Why is this day, dressed in all the right orange, sounding worse
in my mind, a suggestion I could very well do without?
Is it the dream then, likely accomplice, that wants me more
than a Wednesday ever could?
Is it the fall from structure or schedule or grace?
Is it all in the moments before I rise again, where I must
decide to keep getting up?
Sunday March 17, 2019
The Lovely Bones
Maybe he’s a magician. He knew which cure I needed.
I said, I won’t be leaving the house today and he opened all the windows. Slowly he nudged
me out of one.
He threw down my tiny backpack after me with a row of Oreos wrapped neatly in the front pocket.
I didn’t thank him then because I still hated him for making me leave.
My body ached from the elephant standing on all my bones.
She was heavy but I didn’t want to be rude so I let her plant her home in me.
The first set of steps set off the fire alarm or the something alarm: Somebody save me or kill me please.
I kept moving, thinking of his wand or special drink. Whatever he used to work his magic on me to get me out.
I walked and walked with a slowness that might suggest a destination was out of the question.
Then I found my feet on the dirty sand filled with broken shells and cigarette butts.
The ball of sun told me where to put myself and I listened to him too.
I closed my eyes and sat there, staring directly into a hot face. I said to myself, Oh. So this is what he meant.
Monday January 14, 2019
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration
Woman beside me: red nails that match her red boots. Noticed a red scarf and sweater too. All red. All showing.
Man beside her: grey coat, grey slacks, grey beard. He’s looking at her.
She’s provbaly reading this.
It was so foggy today the sun turned into a ball of white, outlined as if with crayon. You can drift into road on days like this. You can find yourself dissappearing without trying.
I can’t say I’m doing my best to be seen.
I think everyone in my life is sad right now and only some of them know to include me in that.
Monday December 24, 2018
The Swiss Family Robinson
We bathed in the sun of the afternoon
calling licorice to our tongues
And on the heels of I’ll-see-you-soon,
we dreamt of tomorrow’s hunt
The sky opened up and licked us both-quiet and wet serene with it
We raced through time loops with a quake in our jump, a hop in our stretch
The only thing stopping us from hitting high was the high we felt from feeling it
Those golden shades that painted the night, that painted your skin, we swore by them
as cures to the ails inside of us that we did not stop long enough to notice
I was being reversed by timelessness
And you were alongside the great ravine crossing
My bravest day’s obsession
would lift the platform up a level
We threw our heads back
Saturday August 4, 2018
Here Room Sleeps
She’s the colour of the sky
You’d think I meant blue but
I mean lime green
It’s that line that hovers in between the pink and the purple
It does a good job of loving me there
Oh I’m the sunset then I guess
And sometimes she’s the whole sky
And sometimes she’s the sun too
I don’t know what colour I am to her but she is the lime green to me because she is the in-between
The always centred
The glowing line of equilibrium
She is subtle and yet she makes the whole picture sing
When she’s not the whole sky she is the reason the whole sky wakes up
She is the sun and the lime green and the sky and I am happy she is above me and she is above me
That’s where she should stay
Monday July 30, 2018
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram
It’s raining somewhere that isn’t here.
Somewhere deep and mysterious and easy
to get to but not here because here it
is not raining. Some us of are praying
for rain, and some of us are praying at
the alter of the sun god shining, staying
up, warming our bones, illuminating all
the things we might rather go on not
seeing. And isn’t that a risk in of itself?
And yet some of us are worshiping. Some of
us really like the truth. It is a day of
reckoning when all is lit up like a beacon
of hope or desire or loud. It is a Monday
for lovers of the light and lovers of the
afternoon. I am happy loving this seminal
summer from the inside out. Hazy sky and
all, blurred lines and everything. The
colour of my new skin would tell you that.
I am out there chewing ice cubes, singing
thank you through my teeth
Friday July 27, 2018
She types on a tickity tickity keyboard
in a square office
in a tall building
on a busy street
The sun shines in through her window
lucky she has one
she tells herself
She wonders about dirt under her fingernails
what that might feel like
she chews a hangnail
and thinks about planting seeds
she remembers how peas grow
clinging to anything they can
holding eachother up
Her garden on the balcony
of her apartment
gets so thirsty she can’t keep up
At the farmer’s market
she touches peaches and plums
radishes and chantrelles
like her children
like her beauties
like her friends
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Waiting for the Barbarians
On days like these I rise heavy, rub the sleep heavy
from my eyes heavy, and nod off on the hot bus.
I carry the heavy thing I’ve borrowed in the heavy sun.
I carry all of it pressed in the furrow of my brow-
the one that confuses people, Is she okay? Is she mad?
This morning’s sun burnt a hole in my head and reminded
me of it every second after it. I could have moved my
face but I was smitten there, sitting there, luxuriating
in the imminent ache. I might say I know better but on days
like these I don’t know what I know, if anything. The heavy
is only heavy until you put it down. I could put it down
and catch my breath for a minute, write a song, say hello
to the man with no teeth, nodding at me from the passenger
seat of the helping van. Later, I will watch the sun set
inch by inch to prove that even this shall pass. When the
sun stops, I take off my pack and rest.
Tuesday July 17, 2018
from a Banyen Books bookmark
Let’s separate morning from night
with a stretch of time that breezy and blue
Let’s name a child Noon and call to her
when the grass is hot
when the sun is high
when the pavement is a griddle for tip toes
Age is the goal in this world
how much of it you can have and
how much of it you can’t share
I’ll love you to sleep
from now until eternity
no matter how much you gut me
Across this world
a caravan of hope
Saturday April 7, 2018
Megan Fennya Jones
I have always been in love
with life. That is a truth
as sure as laugh lines,
as sure as chapped lips,
as sure as your voice singing,
as sure as the horse’s grey mane,
and the rising sun,
as sure as magnolia blossoms,
as sure as my mother’s knowing.
Even when I’ve lost faith
like a bus pass,
like an irreplaceable ring,
like a lover in another city,
like the name of someone
who I’ve met once in passing,
like the sound of the crickets
in the woods at Knowlton Lake,
like the tune to a song I wrote
as a teenager,
Even when I’ve lost faith,
I’ve always known that
is the practise.
Monday August 21, 2017
from an email
My head wants to cry and my eyes won’t let it happen. The woman beside me smells like cupcakes. The light is too bright, the windows are too open, and the woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is describing the dream she had about the big house and the sunroom. I do not picture big comfy chairs where my skin can sink. I see a pool warm enough for these cold August nights. I see a kiss on the temples where the pain likes to sit. The woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is gone and I am thinking about her dirty skirt and how terry cloth clothing always feels like the wrong kind of summer.
My head wants to pour out. Wants my eyes to get a bath. Maybe that’s what it will feel like from now on. Maybe that’s what happens after you stare directly at the sun taking the only break she ever gets.
Thursday March 16, 2017
Age Of Bronze Betrayal
Hold me like the sun is going down for the last time–
like the nights are long
like the mornings are extinct.
Keep me alive under a dead moon–
under a baren sky
under a hurt wing.
With one hundred hands you will know enough
how to close the door without waking me
how to prepare a tea without asking me
how to teach my skin what it’s worth.
With one hundred hands can you memorize my scars–
how the thick one reeks of curiosity,
how the raised one is a reward for the brave?
Sunday February 19, 2017
If it maybes then it shouldn’t
If it musts then maybe it should
I must do a lot of things
like the octopus must
like the sun
I must love you when it strikes me
I must see you when I do not want to be seen
Rain must live here
Ocean must roar sometimes
I maybe shouldn’t need to remind myself
like this, on text and tablet
And still I must remind myself because I maybe need you
I must need you
you must need me
if the sun must
Sunday February 5, 2017
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway
I’ve been drawing daily self portraits
the mirror’s been lying again and
besides I want
to document my waxing and waning.
Yesterday I had a sun face
and my teeth were wide as open arms.
I don’t know anything about poetry
except that it feels like the only
I was never good at my time’s tables
always needed to count on my fingers
under my desk.
Today I’m a small black dot.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
overheard on the street
compare her to the sky and she’ll melt before your eyes
with a softness in her curl
a smile unbeknownst to her
Draw her like the sea and she’ll grow until she’s free
with a calmness in her song
wisdom there all along
Dance her like the sun and she’ll be your warmest one
with a lightness in her face
shining in the world’s embrace
Love her like the night and she’ll always hold you tight
with a mystery in her touch
radiant gold-speckled hush
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I’ve seen the sun, he was locked away, hiding.
I whispered to him often, reminding him to take his time.
I said hello to him every morning, and I bowed my head down deep.
He didn’t want to come out.
He didn’t want to be my guide.
Sometimes facing the day is hard for everyone.
But he was there and I could tell that he needed to set himself free.
I knew because I had lived that way before.
I knew because revealing feels bad before it feels good.
I knew because in the shadows no one can see your smile, or the one you think you’re wearing.
Then after all my meditations and salutations and exaltations, I asked him quietly if I should go.
I leaned in close to catch it: he didn’t want to be left alone.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
Jonette had her long chestnut waves draping down her body so only her breasts were perfectly covered. She looked like a pre raphaelite painting. She looked like she had just stolen the ease of the sun. She was laying across the couch as if she just always did this. She could have had a book, or a magazine. She could have had a bowl of angel hair pasta dripping in olive oil and parmigiana.
Thursday May 28, 2015
Overheard at Lansdowne Station
We say our work is nothing more than what it is
Be here now
Bask in the sunlight
When the mud’s in season
Quartz on the soles of our shoes
Calypso on the radio
Deep in work
We still get up and dance
The mint is taking over the whole garden
We add it to breakfast, lunch and dinner
You make the bed this morning
Tucking a wish under my pillow
We finally start to plan our wedding
Peonies and bare feet
Offering howls of love and future
to the August moon
Wednesday May 27, 2015
The animals leave the shores
They pack their things and go
To where nobody knows
But they follow the pull
And when the night falls down
And blankets the day
Wraps it up in a starry shield
Protects it from going away
With the little ones in the armpit of the elders’
With the little ones curled up tight in the heart of the pack
They don’t hold back
From giving them everything that they need
The animals they move along
Trying to chase the sun
Don’t expect anything from anyone
They know they’ll soon be done
documented in the flesh of the earth
are paintings Mother Nature hangs up in her living room
Thursday May 21, 2015
And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh
Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
The Midwich Cuckoos
Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
from the Sun Wikipedia page
And we lay there in the grass, picking bushels of it out of the earth to sniff them, or to play them like flutes in the middle of the night. We waited for the sun to pop up again. We were waiting on its predictable rotation. The way we wait for a mother’s call, a friend’s best wishes when we’re near the death of someone close. We wait in the stillness gazing up at the sky, wishing for the night to retire gracefully to its bed so we could watch the warming of the sky take over. And we lay there in the grass, picking moments to kiss each others’ hands and necks and lips. We played those moments over and over again in our heads, recognizing the opportune times to touch one another not out of obligation but out of necessity. The orange was peeking up from beneath a distant hill as we wished.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
TTC subway poster
Sometimes she becomes a sloth
Warm computer on her thighs
Cup of lukewarm tea on the windowsill behind her
And she travels
To places she might not get to before she wins the lottery
Mostly other women’s kitchens
Mostly women with children and nice cameras and gardens with fresh herbs
She’s embracing her sloth-dom
She used to fight it
With the “rush” epidemic
With the “yes” curse
She used to fight it
Today she rubs her sloth-body
She slow roasts tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
She let’s the darkness of the setting sun
Pull the brightness from the room where she sits
Where she’s sat
And she let’s the couch hold her
Like a friend
She let’s the screen take her
to islands and mountains and risotto and dragonfruit
Tuesday January 7, 2014
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
I’ll be here with you
I’ll be standing by your side
Close enough that you can sense me
Far enough that your independence not be compromised
I’ll be there
Hands in my pockets
Heart tilting towards the Sun
High in the sky
Tickling the snow
Teasing the darkness of this time of year
I’ll be here when you’ve lost your directions to the place you were hoping to go.
I’ll be here with you
Closing my eyes when you don’t want to miss a second and refuse to blink
When you say,
I will always say,
Friday November 8, 2013
overheard from a customer at Sambuca Grill
I’ve been to the moon and back! The moon and BACK! I’ve settled for a million white lies painting my bedroom a colour I could stand looking at. I’ve been to the MOON. I’ve dreamed in shapes and numbers and it made sense to me. I’ve found my way through your brain while you’re sleeping and mumbling something about pink hot pants. I went there. I went there and I came back, and every time I come back to whatever back is, it’s different. So I’ve been to a lot of places. I’m from a lot of places, really. I’ve been to the sun and back! The SUN! THE SUN! I’ve filled my belly with worry and words and perfectly dewed grass blades in a park, in a backyard, in a green house. I’ve let my mind wander to find the key to the secret dwellings of the universe. I wouldn’t have gone by myself. I’ve taken good trips and bad trips and told everyone around me that I was going to stay there. They wouldn’t understand but they’d think it was a good idea if I seemed so hell-bent on it. I’ve been to hell and back, to heaven on earth, and heaven in heaven, which though similar, are very different things. I’ve been to here and there, and I’m from everywhere. From the moon, from the sun.
Friday May 3, 2013
I saw the polar bear swim the most beautiful breast-stroke
Eyelashes with gold sparkles
Purple high heels on his front paws
Flippers on his back
I decided to jump on his back
I had to hold on
I wasn’t afraid
I saw the red oak tree stretching
Trying to be taller
By Summer she’ll smile
I saw the dolphins doing Stand-up
They all bombed
But no one cared
The polar bear asked my name
I said it was ZOE
I wish it was ZOE
He believed me though
Why shouldn’t he
He called me by that simple angel name
He called me over and over until I remembered to answer
He asked where I’m from
“The ravine” I said
He looked unimpressed
He looked tired
“Let’s rest” I said
He swam us to shore
We dried ourselves in the sun
The sun like the moon but more outrageous
I hadn’t seen the polar bears guitar
It must’ve been borrowed
We sang Dylan, Springsteen and Joan Baez
Until the stars joined the sun
The sun said goodnight
The stars clapped along
Monday, April 29, 2013 at R Squared Cafe
Caitlin’s warmup prompt
Where you’re from you don’t know anger. You don’t know I’m sorry and you don’t know Go to bed without dinner. You don’t know a songless table, Christmas Eve, or a sageless closet, bathroom, etcetera. You don’t know the leather slipper and all its rage. You don’t know perfectly folded laundry that smells like the mountains and nothing else. You don’t know lasagna for dessert, breakfast, and midnight snack. You don’t know spicy salami hanging on a string, cut thick and eaten with ciabatta before your parents come up for their morning espresso. Where you’re from you have yours. All the wounded pride that anyone else would have. All the snails collected in a mason jar that has the concord grape sticker peeled off. You have the sun telling you to stretch out. You have the moon thanking your mother for a good night. You have the rocky screen door and better windchimes than I could ever hope for. You have the silence of not knowing, the calm of preparation, and you know not the fear of panicking for no reason.