Monthly Archives: December 2013


21 December 1963

 To John & Gail Ward on their 50th Anniversary




In the wedding photograph you stand side by side on a stair


The bride’s left arm does not quite reach about

the slender waisted groom

& your right hand clenches – are they flowers you held?


This ordinary couple on the stair took possession on that day

Not only of each other but of their lives


Behind you the pillar may have been made of bronze

Or papier mache, yet behind your future

It predicts the noble exercise of intelligence, the humility of justice.


The bridal gown ripples at its base – for the tide was coming in.


The dark Toronto winter is lightened by a bronze pillar,

The stark whiteness of the gown, a flower blazing in the buttonhole.


Your translucent veil sparkles around your head

– you stare, direct & defiant, through the camera into the future –

While the groom is delighted to interrogate a shivering world


The weather forecast for 21st December 2013 in Toronto

Is for 1- 2 degrees Fahrenheit with the possibility of a major ice storm

Late in the afternoon – but in Sydney it a heatwave breaks


What do these numbers mean to the breathing earth?


It is early summer & the maple tree in our front yard is alight

With golden leaves









last night's drunken promises

last night’s drunken promises



At this time in summer ?

Utter madness.

                         But the kids nag us

with last night’s drunken promises.

                              The dam : a stinking muddy jungle

                                   of rotten branchs & forest scum.

                              The creek a desperate trickle.

                              A few tiny hopeless “pools”.

                                          A hole-filled net & bucket.

                              Miraculously we find one.

                                              A barely-shelled tiddler.

                              Too small : we tell the kids.

                              Let it live & grow bigger.

                              They’re disappointed but see reason

                                        in that so gently place it back.

                              God knows how long it’ll last.

                              We trudge home grubby sweaty

                                           but tired kids are happy.

                              Our total attention their real catch.

                              Women grateful for the break

                                           so I guess it was a success.

                              The boys do boisterous boy-things

                                     but the pubescent girl is silent.

                              I can see what she’s thinking.

                              Too young.            Let it live.

                              A fleeting glimpse into what God is.

                              She at least caught something big.

Mama drab in her greyness

Mama drab in her greyness

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