Off Kilter

Another day of living

off kilter

dangerously

courageously

counting the cracks as they appear

beneath our feet

tectonic shifting plate people

once upon every time

to run would lay all to waste

slipping further out

and down

into the startled eyes of some sham divinity

where we crawl along on words and razor blades

cutthroat angry lies

spires of weeds

we take the usual punches in the face

all puffy and rearranged

in truth and things that permeate

through thin skin and fear

we are the shout that lives

inside the hollow of a sigh

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Span

Screaming into life and breath

The banshees have got nothing on you

all days numbered linear and in a neat row

each year a milestone if you care to appreciate the depreciation of it all

a prison of comfort for some or chamber of horrors for some seasons of meaning

no guarantee of anything but the minute you ride in on burdened with woe and fear

holding fast to the fixation of each new dawn fending off the reaper and the gatekeeper

until one day the vessel breaks, the heart stops, the flooding sweeps away the breath caught in your throat

and the windpipe dreamer splits open revealing the grain of sand for each life lived

Life is indeed beach

Result

You can retain the purity of a flame

when you know your universal place

you did not put this air here

that you breathe

that sustains all life

both good an evil

that will leave you just as mysteriously as it once filled your newborn lungs

and all you will take with you

at the conclusion of your life

to the void of self and be

is you

you

you

you

and every single deed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rez Dog

He was cold

when I found him

shivering underneath the moss covered floorboards

of an abandoned shack

situated beside the shack

where my baby and I had shelter

He was hungry and afraid

with welts from being beaten on the left side of his belly

a whimper when I approached

brown eyes milky from malnutrition

I lured him with smoked salmon

the tribe had left for us

We’d been eating it steady for two weeks now with just water and some stale bread

but we shared with this border collie

my daughter named ‘Pepper’

because of his black and white fur

missing in places from the ravages of hunger and the elements

we loved him back to health

slept with him

and in time he returned the favour

by keeping the coyotes away

his loyalty and devotion were never in question

and it comes to me to wonder

if I saved him

or if he saved me

I think it may have been both

Power and equality in Society

Two days ago I read a fascinating blog post by Lourdes Acevedo, a talented feminist writer. Her piece was inspired by this book: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  The gist of Lourdes’ blog post was the exploration of the seeming contradiction within feminism as it relates to professional women who employ domestic workers to care for their homes and children while they fight for equal pay and build careers for themselves in white collar professions. The disparity in pay and many times working conditions alone made this a fascinating situation to discuss and consider not least because Lourdes posed a very important question mid way through her post: It makes me wonder, is feminism only for the privileged few?

Is it? Or is this simply a perception we have based on outmoded models of what power and equality actually is. Do we as a society view people only through the narrow lens of our own economic and social class; judging them based on our personal level of achievement? Whether we are feminists or not appears to be becoming increasingly irrelevant now in this era of the plugged in global village when we are discussing the state of our social and moral health. Every gender, faith, race and age is an active participant  in the events of a world that is regressing socially, in the form of rioting, looting, flash mob violence and an epidemic of abuse against children. Perhaps it is time to look beyond simply our feminist perspective now, to evolve that ideology into something more embracing of all, to a higher level that will address the most persistent human flaw which is the twisted root of everything destructive:  selfishness.  We need to do it soon because the chasm between the rich and poor, the safe and the violated or more specifically, those with power and equality and those without is widening at an accelerated rate.

Obviously, Lourdes‘  thought provoking post was a catalyst for  me to insert the notion of power and equality into the greater framework of poverty and violence and the unfair distribution of wealth on this planet, particularly in light of the economic crisis that has laid to waste  many social programs that assist women, children, the disabled and the elderly. Economic hardship and the resultant behavior of the populace, makes a mockery of the political rhetoric that claims compassion and the care of our most vulnerable citizens as the cornerstone of our western society.  There is nowhere to hide in this media saturated world, from the incontrovertible truth that this is a preposterous social lie designed to make us feel better about not doing the right thing for each other. It is easier to live in denial than share the wealth when it is our own. We do not demand that CEO’s end the greed because we indulge our own avarice by shopping for more food, clothing, vacations, jewelry, computers and appliances than we will ever use or need. We are swathed in guilt that feeds this mass indifference, a denial that is only being penetrated by the thoughtful discussion and problem solving that is happening in one sector of society: Feminists. This very nicely brings us back to the origin of this post,  to the question Lourdes posed: It makes me wonder, is feminism only for the privileged few?  The fact that a feminist is asking this question supports a notion I have, no, more than a notion; a probability that it will be the women, not science, religion or politics which will end the social and moral decline of the human race. It will be mothers, daughters and sisters, the life givers of this planet that in the end will save it. Why? Because it is a natural and yes, maternal urge that is without question the most potent force on this earth.  To quote a line spoken by Jeff Goldbloom’s  character in Jurassic Park: “Life will find a way.” Indeed, and who better to tell you this than women?

It’s Cold Outside…

and the snow is falling.  Every year when winter descends I think about hockey games when Dave and I sat freezing our asses off, a belly full of the worst coffee you ever swallowed and ignited by the most powerful flame in Canada, hockey.  We were rink rats for the local minor league team and sometimes I’d take sly side long glances at him while he watched the players whoosh past in silver bladed fury.   In those moments I could see the kid he used to be, the one who wanted to grow up and play for the Leafs.  Some Sundays he’d play shinny up at the rink with anyone who showed up for a game and he always came home full of the hockey glow, regaling me with stories of saves and excellent stick handling.  He was a phenomenal skater and a good right wing when he was in house league.

One year, his hockey hero, #4 Bobby Orr was making a personal appearance at our local mall.  When Dave got to the front of the line, his lip was trembling from nerves as he said hello to a man he’d idolized since childhood.  When we walked away, he was giddy and spellbound by the experience of shaking hands with a hockey master legend.

Below is a song about a boy who loved hockey as much as Dave but who tragically didn’t live to see his bright future realized.   When this song was released Dave bought it immediately and somehow we both knew, as we listened to it together, that like the young man in the song, he wouldn’t live long either.  If you have someone you love, hold them close to your heart and tell them as often as you can, just how very much they mean to you.

Once

Once…

the solitary in profile

caught by sight

somewhere in the sleep of night

eye to eye

all in an instant

and all things felt

climbing out of skin and bone

to see the speaking of the mind

temple to temple

iris to iris

and in the end

you are you

I am me

but together

who are we?

And will our finding set us free?