who took the stepladder


i see myself pale and delicate as a chicken sucked clean of meat
the steps to where i might want to go, missing, and too the genes
to make it easy to exercise. why did my sister get the long lean legs.

still this need to go there, climb somewhere, use any ladder nearby
but my own, built mainly out of air and dream is gone. is it a
psychopath’s trait then, along with lack of conscience about stealing

a certain poet’s line, and having (at the moment) no sense of humour
and zero human empathy as far as ladder thieves are concerned. why
have I come to look at the world as if it had an unhealthy

whiff of concrete and polyester about it, nothing more, no center.

(The above lines are from an exercise set by Barry Dempster in a Tree workshop. We were to write a poem based on his prompts and include the Rothko painting he specifically chose for each of us. He could not have known my favorite colour was blue, nor that ‘light blue, dark blue, rah, rah, rah! was my high school cheer. And only today, coming across the painting again, do I see that I didn’t think then, of the high school connection. It probably would have been a completely different poem…)

lost 11, scilla liberally

opening a new bar of soap for a hot bath I don’t know let’s start with this. by the hoarfrosted bridge feeling as good about life as as a dodo as a suitcase as the snowdrops and the scilla; liberally though the gap between slats, a cracked shell gazing at infinity. some critters are much much, ever so much much, so muchly much much more unlucky than you. not the right toilet paper. he buys it because it looks like… do you have enough stars do you have enough feathers. why didn’t you say you came out of a suitcase. scilla liberally over the graves. crash of falling wave/their long withdrawing. choose to be rich by making your wants few. sprinkled black as raven’s shadow, rain-mottled petals bearing the sky in a suitcase.

With thanks to Dr. Seuss!

Yesterday two poetry events, both absorbing. George Murray and Roo Borson captivated at The Manx, and Pearl Pirie led readings at the last Slowest evening (Bridgehead Coffee House) a funder for The Guatemala Stove Project, at which Sandra Stephenson, Shai, Grant Savage and Monty Reid made it a worthy celebration of the Slowest series. Earlier Sandra, her partner Brendan, and I had gone to the Poet’s Walk at Beechwood Cemetery (a poetry month project of Sandra’s) and she and Brendan spoke some random acts of poetry there.  We spent a couple of enjoyable hours looking for poets’ graves and found none… but it was a perfect thing to do yesterday.


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