Tobermorry – for Kelly

i sleep
in the bone passage of time
where an elk
blows in my ear
waking me inside a tent
pulling my mind out of dream
to look into darkness
and realize it is not elk
nor bear
but a racoon letting me
know this land
is still his
and what i have belongs
to him

the wind circles around the four points
travels up northward
this ontario highway six
a federal park where canada is
rented for a few days at a

wind is cold
and mindful or forgetful
that these are
summer months
as we walk the trails inwards
to small lakes where
the sand sings about nothing
and the beaches exist
only as miles of rock
wildlife pond gives
way to the shocking
look of a sea
that is
not a sea
or a great lake
but fools us in photographs
that it could
be the ocean
or a tropical place
lost in the blue lime of
clear waves and
again – not –
an ocean floor

from the bluffs around
fir and pine
poplar moans in the
wind as rain
while we purchase bags of
dried birch or
construction piss elm
and understand
seeing is more than
you must touch and feel
the cold to understand
that while it may be
it is a summer month in
northern ontario
in a year where rains takes
away the heat and
gives in to humidity
for only a few days at a time


what we
see below
trying to make us believe
is a warm italian
grotto haven
is still here
in our own native land
and the water
is equally dangerous
equally beautiful

pulling our coats tighter
we step back
from the bluffs
listen to the waves continuing
to call for us on the rocks
and walk the cared
for trails


to the campsite
to the captured fire in
a metal oven on
and crawl back into
tents where
night has given way to dawn
and mid day circles
back to evening
before once
more stars above our
nylon roofs

where once again

i will dream inside the bone passage of time
open my eyes quizzically to
any sounds moving in the darkness
and pull the sleeping bag
tighter over head


for morning
and prepare sadly
yet gladly
for the drive back



About Crazy Irishman

Touted as a working man's poet, Martin Durkin has been writing professionally for the last 12 years. He has appeared in over twenty anthologies across North America, including, "And left a place to stand on", a collection of poems and essays about the late great Al Purdy. Durkin has also published two collections of poetry, "Hypnotic Childhood", and "The Sound of Quish". Over the past 4 years, Durkin has been on hiatus for the most part but has recently come back to the poetry scene creating a poetry site called, where in the past year he has written over 100 poems and created a cross over page on where he gives a story behind each of the pieces written. View all posts by Crazy Irishman

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