digging in

lets call it like it is
-digging in rather than relevant discussion
hate speech vs free speech.

let's call it like it is
-quoting Vice instead of Kinsella
rational education vs a feeling for sale.

lets call it like it is
-pitting party against party
not humanity united in spirit.

let's call it like it is
-good journalism combating a label
radio headline discussion without the research to understand

let's call it like it is
- let's? lets?

Unable to find Sudbury

The river drops Fall through the mountain
while paint brushes from the vos
shoot swimming women of sperm
-onto the canvas the Canadian nothingness appears
painting while seated on the stone seat
wondering how to stop the sun.

The river is a solid mass
moving only when closely viewed
-calm as a virgin before her wedding
spilling then over the hillside
great barrels screaming in warrior form.

The brush strokes are evenly scattered
abstract after the first pencil sketching
-thumb to the clouds counting backwards their movement
choosing yesterdays mood 
until the past is correctly satisfied.

Save today for another day
-Duchesnay Falls can wait until Summer finally dries
and in the Fall we will climb her cedar hills
sit on the stone seat and remember our wedding vows
the courage to make it here
knowing the strength it takes
to still climb back down.

God places his thumb over the canvas
smirks at the passage of time
the nothingness half second which calculates
-the bulk mass of a mountain
this river from a dry bed
one corner of a small Ontario - unable to find Sudbury.



why do little girls scream when they play?
ear splitting happiness -
little boys roar 
warriors not knowing their era -
when do they learn to swear?
they're first word -
when do we lose our innocence?

first thoughts of texture tested?
that snake that questions each of us -
at what age do we give in?
spend our lives not knowing - or perhaps?
knowing -

always knocking at the gates
Eden past the velvet ropes -

each our own atheists in wonder
knowing that God - is
not knowing - what - God - is
and leaving the argument behind
just when the questions are becoming interesting

too disturbing to change
that lost innocence -
that snake whispering again....

* knowing that God is/ not knowing what God is
  leaving the argument when questions become interesting - paraphrased questions made by Bishop Barron in his YouTube series



Dodge the pellets
pull hard – left
-wings drop under blue
sink into a nose dive
and pepper your opponent.

Wake up from dream
listen to the Deseronto Bay
sit up and look out
gaze high
-the sputtering of crate paper
(you’re next)
for 5 hour lesson.

Mom and Dad don’t know
they’re in Mississauga
believing I took work
and traveled maybe as
far as Cornwall
-but I stopped 2 hours short
asked for a uniform….

I’m Ready To Become a Hero


I never knew my borther
9 kids
me – the last by almost
-he was the oldest
2nd brother so he became a mentor

there’s a picture found in the closet
I’m 70 and it’s the first
I’ve seen it.

My 2 oldest brothers
standing together in Texas?
in uniform?

Picture titled
1st day in U.S from Ontario….missing Rathbun…


In the background a local
tells me
he has struts from a plane
which crashed on his
-had propellers as well
but was eventually stolen.

His father saw it
well – heard the crash
and saw the plane upside
down from a nose dive.
put out the fire
and pulled a victm from
the wreckage
-RFC came and cleaned it all up
well…..most of it.

Local says
he wasn’t born yet
didn’t know the fliers name
-no record.

…I think about my brother


I’m trained now
had a meal in the cafeteria
-looks like a converted tractor
heading out now to
then off to where
the action is.

I’ll say one thing
I won’t miss pushing these
damn planes in the snow
Texas is sounding pretty good
in December…

I will miss Christmas with
the folks tho.
sent them a letter in
the mail
-told them the truth.


Got a letter from my
younger brother.
Ma + Pa flipped.
-I figured they were already upset
I may as well join too
before they returned to their


Received a letter from my
older brother
he’s in his 90’s.
says that pic in Texas
was taken on his first day
-big brother shipping out for the
-last photo of them together.
he didn’t say much else in
the letter
other than…..

they were damn (proud) fools


I brought down some artifacts.
all the stuff I found in closets.
cleaned them up and put them in
proper frames.
going to show them at an
RFC festival at the arena.
-maybe someone can tell me more
-maybe I can tell this story to
the next generation.
-maybe I won’t feel so old
or lost.
-maybe I’ll see my brothers
in the eyes of another family
telling a story of their

Dear Johnny
Dear Tommy

You Damn Fools. Damn Brave Fools


Give me scissors
to cut the tulip
humid Sunday of July 1 –
Confederation you say

where the lawn takes a day of sun
ready for another week of rain
where dogs don’t want to shit
for fear of being pelted by dropping clouds
(and cats)
stay inside while mice rustle in the brush
breathing relief.

The tulips are ready
bring them inside for warmth
the wild roses are corner ways and
drown themselves in the sorrow
of an eavestrough tired from 30 days straight labour.

I am in love with you
but you have moved 500 kilometres north
and why do they call it North bay they ask?
because it north from Toronto
and Nipissing doesn’t roll off the tongue
(is harder to spell)
Miss iss ipp i.

We run ourselves in circles
trying to discover a medium
a middle ground
fence line where we can tie off the horses
and set down a blanket
read Thomson to one another
the braille in the paint work
while his body floats lifeless from bad

give me the scissors
the tulips are ready
the roses need time
you and i
have a month of separation
before the rains stop
and shows us the way

You are the nude Algonquin

You are the nude Algonquin
and I chase the light
leaving Huntsville
the all of you that can never be explored

understood – yellow autumn tamarack

You peek around the bend
and I chase you over to the Falls
wash you beyond all the fur of hibernation
(you offer to take me home)

north Bay – Nipissing

I will love you Algonquin
but I will never fully understand you
or see everything beyond the light
that deeper meaning

those changes in – quick storm

My woman
let me follow you
further in
run the granite top
walls of highway 11

winter digs in – and we search for shelter
I won’t conquer you
But I will love you
My Algonquin mystery
Woman of fantasy

To a Poet Going North by Darren Moore

I’ve written many a poem about other ppl and those whom I admire, never have I had one written about me…..to Darren Moore, my poetic brother (in arms) …..thankyou
There he is, with his trademark cap
Underneath, those Irish eyes always
Like his words,
Weighing up the scene
Pondering the palette and
Choosing colours
Same as any artist.
And you can be Purdy sure
He’ll say the names too
Come out just audible enough
From the dojo of Stage Grumble
And dusty country roads.
Where the maple syrup flows
And pilgrims journey
Past beaten down barns
And the whole weight of pioneer history
Up to the Tweedsmuir
Musing first Tuesdays,
Washing over, with hand-picked words
The dank scene,
The varied audience
Just a long lost member
Of the group of seven.
Just a skater born too late
For the Leafs of ’67.
Just a young guy in an old man’s A-frame
Where he doesn’t belong,
Which means he does.
And off he goes now
Away from the corduroy roads
Of Downie’s Sunday drives,
And southern Ontario
Must live with a little less poetry;
One of her sons
And let’s be honest,
One of her translators
Has left.
May the black spruce, cold waters, and clear night skies
Prepare themselves
They will be necessary and brilliant.
And way up there
A good long drive up highway eleven
Sink a shovel, turn some sod,
Find a place to plant your pen
Maybe a stage
Or page
For its produce
Hell, even some paper plates.
‘Cause up there on the bevel of the Canadian Shield
It takes a special kind of poet…
And there he goes, with that trademark cap
A trail of breadcrumb words on the highway
Not to find his way home,
But so it can follow him.
And Hastings and Prince Edward
And fellow Musers;
An empty glass somewhere in Trenton
A tired pub in Tweed
They’ll miss that trademark cap
And his rich, ripe words;
They’ll miss Martin Durkin.

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