Purple

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Purple

I pen poems
in emerald ink
but I prefer
the violence of evening’s
bruised violets

wind-beaten clouds
add dark depths
to a rainbow

a glow of satisfaction
flutters northern lights

the setting sun
hums low notes
to cello
and double bass

Comment: I like this, but I prefer the re-write. If you wish to express your preference, I would be glad to receive it. This is the third revision. Click here to read the first posted version of Purple. Any comments on the evolution of the poem would also be welcomed.

Purple

violent
evening’s
bruised violets

wind-beaten clouds
move through dark depths
a rainbow arcs
an iris curve

northern lights
flicker organ music
fugues of color
sound into light

low notes hum
bring tears to the eye
cello and double bass
serenade a setting sun

 

Migrants

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Migrants

Think natural disasters. Think famine,
wars, violence, plague. How our world changes
when refugees arrive, blend, contribute,
offer so much, their languages, cultures.

Yet we still exploit them, stealing subtle
things, their identities, their energy,
their ability to adapt, to give
so much and really to take so little.

Who would want to build a wall,
to reject them, to deny entry?
Maybe a million Indigenous people
can actually claim the right

to belong here. Most are immigrants,
late-comers in one way or another.
To accept, to grow together in peace,
to establish a nation where people

need not fear imminent expulsion
for the color of their skin, their language,
their religion, their political thoughts,
the fact they may not even vote for us.

Starry Night

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Starry Night
(1889 & 2019)

last night I saw stars
never thought to see them again
first time in years
a riot of bright lights
no dark spots floating
nor black holes barring
vision’s edge

just layer upon layer
star fields like buttercups
littering the sky
I had forgotten their names
forgotten how many existed
smiling frowning down
immortalized in myth
celebrated in song

daylight broke waves
an ocean of sunshine
untying dreams’ night-knots
sharp black and white memories
shifting to corkscrews of color

two refreshing rain drops
four times a day
a never-to-be-forgotten face
seen once again in close up
Fundy fogs clearing
mist un-threading between salt
laden pine roots gripping
splitting fragile rocks

complicated emotions
woven in simple words
no arm-waving propaganda
nor chanted simplicities
spat out to fool proper geese

Joy & Love

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Joy & Love
(1936 – 1969 AD)

sunbathers sunbathe
swimmers don’t swim
except for one silly fool
in a clear patch of water
swept clean by the current
towed under by the undertow

swimmer fights back
goes against the flow
tires so swiftly
raises his arms
throws up goes under
comes up throws up

a beach ball thrown
misses the target
kicked with more accuracy
a soccer ball heavier
lands by his side
he grasps it hangs on
kicking more slowly

sun-bathers sprint
across sand to the shore
linked hands a life-line
reaching out through the waves
to rescue the swimmer
no longer fighting back

summer-sun kisses
resuscitation
sun-bathers victorious
this great chain of being
restoring humanity
sweet victory of man

Macadam: Before & After

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Macadam: Before & After

Yesterday, I traveled to Macadam Railway Station to spend a day with two of my friends, Geoff Slater (artist) and Jessi Green (writer). Geoff is painting a mural for the historic building. It depicts an incident from WWI in which Canadian Railway Engineers and troops rebuilt a railway bridge in Northern France that had been destroyed by the enemy. When I arrived in Macadam, Geoff took Jessi and I to see the then current state of his painting (as shown above, Before). After lunch, Jessi and I would discuss sundry writing topics, including when, ho, and what to revise, as well as our various writing  projects while Geoff continued with his painting.

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On the wall opposite the mural hangs a plaque dedicated to the memory of those Canadian Railway Engineers, probably the best in the world at the time, who made such reconstruction possible. The juxtaposition of mural and plaque make a fitting tribute to the role of the railway in WWI. The Macadam Railway Station is a protected historical site and a work of art in itself . What a pleasure it was to visit there as an invited guest.

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This is the dining room and immediately below you will see photos of the beautiful working bureau, over a hundred years old, and the grandmother clock that hangs on the wall beside the bureau.

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During the afternoon, we were blessed by the arrival of a train. In many ways, it was a ghost train, hauling with it so many memories of the past when railways ruled and train travel was ubiquitous.

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Before leaving, we paid our respects to Geoff’s painting. He had been busy on the top right corner of the mural and had completed the insertion of the military personnel who were working on the new trestle bridge built to replace the one that had been destroyed. All in all, this was a fabulous day in which art, photography, memory, writing, planning all played a part. Some photos to end with: first of all, a selfie entitled Selfie with Coal Scuttle and wow, did that bring back some childhood memories; and then a close up of Geoff’s work for that afternoon Men on the Bridge. I will end by saying that Macadam Railway Station is a ‘must-see’ visit for all train enthusiasts as well as for the train generation who wish to maintain their links with that past.

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Night Light

 

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Night Light
(1578 -1591 AD)

quiet now the house
staircase winds up
that wooden hill
to Bedfordshire
down to drop
into darkness
wait in peace
starlight will break
its light-waves
over your eyes
into your heart

owls in the gloom
round eyes gleaming
a who-knows-what
what watches
a godsend now
this light house light
its lightning lightening
enlightening

sudden comfort
this hand on my shoulder
these fingers in my hair
this midnight witch
bewitching

By Any Other Name

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By Any Other Name
hortus conclusus
(1430-1432 AD)

don’t let them know
your origins your secrets
hide who and what you are
unholy ghosts will prowl
wild dogs will howl

sister-spouse
a garden enclosed
walled behind whose house
anonymous flowers
roses in abundance
set amongst thorns

sealed-up this fountain now
its well run dry
dead leaves in the bowl
shrunken petals
echoes of children’s voices
their faces hidden
among last year’s leaves

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