Monday, October 24, 2011

The Last Warm Day of the Year

Sun beams came in through Jen’s window
I debated whether to walk or nap, I was finished
with reading and it was too quiet.

Jen napped, Russell read, and I left
for a walk around
the neighborhood, not unfamiliar
but no strong pictures
to punch at the sides of my torso.

It may have been the last warm day
in October, which probably meant
the last warm day of the year.

I thought about girls mostly,
moving down a short list
changing quickly. The leaves
were pink under a bright afternoon,
branches overhanging the street
made a tunnel.

I checked my watch, careful
not to be late for Church.

The sidewalk was straight.
The air was clean and clear,
I could see the mountains
that make Vancouver unbearably
dark in winter. Today they shined
happy above the city.

The park was crowded: a man
played Tequila on his saxophone,
the audience minded their cue.

The European Starling

Interesting fact: a flock of starlings is commonly referred to as a starling moot.

European Starlings are pests:
pushy-invasive-meddlesome gossips—
you should hear the things they say about you.

Robins tend to frame the story in soft-focus,
generous renditions, almost melodious. But
starlings see things in a different light.
They saw the whole thing, heard every word.
When they retell the story you come off clumsy at best,
the adjectives they use make me blush.

I don't listen to starlings often,
but they are songbirds too,
and today they sound beautiful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinosaurs in Ponchos

It wasn’t until the dinosaurs started wearing rain ponchos that the residents of Kalispell Montana realized that the Lord might be speaking to them. Fortunately, the local boy scouts (troops 157 and 86) were willing to decode the messages, which were sent in Morse Code through the leak in the roof of the Methodist Church. The messages were not about the dinosaurs, or the ponchos. They were surprisingly personal messages about the newly formed dating relationship that the assistant scoutmaster of troop 157 had formed with an out-of-work kindergarten teacher—this was indeed the girl he would marry. The residents of Kalispell wondered at these signs, and pondered them in their hearts.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Tar Sands

They were not attracted
by the handsome landscape.
Northern Alberta’s frozen flats
were mundane, forgettable.
Their interest was not in making
homes, raising families, or cultivation;
but the minerals locked-up
in the soil—fuel for an addiction
second nature; a way of life

Scientists were sent in, soil examined.
The companies developed intimate knowledge
of deep places. Ways of exploitation were invented.
Extraction began.

They shot super-heated water down into the earth,
until the resources could be pumped out. The wealth flowed
into cities miles away: cars were bought, sky-scrapers built,
and executives took vacations in warm places,
where they forgot Alberta even existed, they imagined
summer homes: hammocks and lazy days
entertaining grandchildren on pristine beaches.

When the land started to bleed toxic,
poisoning the families and homes
of the people who lived there,
change was not an option.
Disease was an acceptable consequence,
so long as it was distanced from them,
existing in depressed, dreary remoteness.
The wealthy do not change to accommodate the poor.

Extraction expanded;
companies began making eyes at Saskatchewan.