In April, I’m delighted to celebrate National Poetry Month through the League of Canadian Poets.
National Poetry Month‘s topic this year is, very appropriately, FOOD!
Five Poems For Food… and National Poetry Month!
I would eat local food only were it not for temptation.
A green invitation of open avocado in emerald halves.
An alluring variety of mango hot to eye, cool to tongue.
The seduction of dark chocolate.
The slurped fulfilment in oyster.
The simple necessity of rice.
Otherwise, I would be content with my yard’s fall produce.
But having tasted the world’s fare, how to return unjaded
to simple pleasures that this ground offers? Beans.
Corn. Squash. Corn. Beans. The three sisters thrive.
Yes, I will eat local food mostly. Except for. Except for…
When The Bare Naked Ladies sing “Snack Time”, not one of the stars
they record choose celery sticks. No-one claims carrots for their own.
O banana. O chocolate. Chicory can never compare to café au lait.
On to political rant: our food too cheap, our farmers ruined.
Our eyes closed, we rest easy, spoiled ripe fruit in the docks,
turning sleepy to sun-rotten. Given so much, we reach for more
even when over full. And poems break off as the lunch bell rings.
Luminous Entrance: a sound opera for climate change action
www.calgaryspokenwordfestival.com, program http://thecartierstreetreview.blogspot.com/
Photo: Gavin Stairs
HYMN TO HORMONE
I eat nut chocolate instead of carrots. I drink
caffeine straight from the bean. I don’t care
if my senses rot, cavities root in my mouth,
gnaw at my brain. I nod a refrain to be
wicked, to be wild at the expense of ordinary
sanity. The expanse of external wisdom
mounts as paper wrappers, candy wrappers,
oh sweet sweet the caress of chocolate.
While I don’t care if the sun turns
my uncoloured skin ultra-violet, the long
and the short of it is the spectrum
unannounced of the daily. In living we
are realized, we are being flushed out
of hiding our response by this reddening
cheek, the drenching of the brow in sudden
cartoon frenzies of sweat, the character is
worried. She is fretting. She is sunk.
Let the light in, please. Open
the blinds to see that shadow
lies where light does not fall.
Where there is no shadow,
there can be no fear. Where
there is no fear, all is light.
Let light penetrate all
our permeable membrane
of skin. Let it illuminate
dark corridors of blood
and vein. Let light fill
our whole body till cells
dance like dust motes.
Let the sun beam light
through our pores till
we glow luminous and
as the day’s eye.
Let us eat light like
plants. Let us chew
the bright air till we can
swallow light like
fire-eaters. Let us
assimilate light till
we are light, just that
from Dream Sequins, Lyricalmyrical Press
Judy Rebick & I at table
Bass On The Grass
We have been fluid mercury
in a mess of water weed
We know to elude the net,
a web’s small intricacy.
The line we avoid
until a play
of sun on water constellates as
Wary, we approach and bite
the trick of flattery. Bright
searing metal is our last whim.
We are lifted high, swimming
astonished into air. Caught
by diviners. Frantic, we fall through
streams of light, swirling blind and
gasping. The line holds.
What will sustain us after eons
of pooled silence? What service awaits?
We scry so little, under water or on this
unnatural resting place where up and down
dissolves. Long lines no longer connect us.
Weeds around us flower and are still.
from The Lunar Plexus, cd. Pendas Productions
An earlier version appeared in Binding Twine, Ragweed Press
Tender, the moment when a lion
licks its caught prey in the face
cupped between soft paws.
Long tongue on zebra hide.
A kind of indolent yawn
after the swirl of dust, the flailing hoof.
This moment looks like love
to the safe observer bedded down
as the film rolls. The zebra seems
steeped in peace, adrenaline
overload just before its eyes
glaze over. Give over. For ever
as if time could hold. If it could last
before the first bite. The blood.
letting. Go. The lion on cue lolls,
renders fierce intent
to savour first juice.
from The Lunar Plexus, cd. Pendas Productions
Photo of Jake and me: Gavin Stairs
Ode to Tim Two Bitswhopper
Ah, Tim, how far you have fallen from
fine hockey star on quicksilver skates
to purveyor of sludge and sugar and
starch even without any golden arch.
O Tim, if you’d lived you’d be fat by now,
rich on food faster than you ever flew.
You discovered the secret— free enterprise.
Hire cheery faces at minimum wage.
Make ’em watch eight hours’ video
extolling Horton history. A myth in
the making, all in marketing learned
so well from Amurican owners, those
grown-up Wendy’s to your Peter Pan.
And we know how that worked out for
you. Now you’re willing to marry again,
moving up the ranks to rank Burger King:
“The triumph of hope over experience.”
For you can never age nor decay, Tim.
You’ll franchise and fry, immortal in lard
pans or steaming as old-fashioned soma.
Place yourself on every main drag or mall
so tourists can ride from rest stop to rest
expecting their fare everywhere exactly
the same. Why travel for variety when comfort
is here? Drive through. Drive on to the next town.
Familiarity never flags when we’re in a rush.
Forget the fuss of old fogies who lament passing
home cookin’ for simulacra substitution. They’ll
die off with the trees as you lay waste your cups.
Strew your containers and spread your name far!
Overflowing fame translates into dollars, a paean
to plastic and paper debris. Ex-pan, expand and
never explain. Throw out your day-olds, don’t let
customers buy them cheap, sans tax. You have a
Canadian reputation to keep fresh. O Tim, Do-nut
Deity, your name lives in bits, in bites on Saturday
nights, 24/7. We’d bow to you if we could still bend.
Fast fueled, we promo you, we expand with you, O
Sweet Special! O Rush! Think doughnut-emburger’d.
And you’re already for all night bagel breakfast!
Photo: Stan Burfield
On April Fool’s Day, I was delighted to celebrate National Poetry Month through the League of Canadian Poets at London Open Mic Poetry Series. Introduced by Joan Clayton.
WHERE: The Mykonos Restaurant at 572 Adelaide St. North, London, Ontario.
THE FEATURED POET:S John Nyman, followed by Penn Kemp, opened the poetry reading at 7:00, followed by a Q&A.