Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wanted men over Athabasca River

Where tar sands explode as fire
Where oil spills are black tears
Into my river stretching far
It matters much to me

Where the forest birds tarry slow
Where bison graze & die
There's my boreal forest, my sky
It matters much to me

This land beats with grandfathers' blood
Water for brewing food
Thick oil for our birch canoes
Animals for kinship

My lantern's light is fading low
I raise my voice to wind
Is it too late, too late, I cry?
Death is noisy machine

Sucking each velvet stone to dust
Laying pipelines & belts
Contaminating air with sulfur
Trampling down aged trees

Twilight comes with heavy yoke
Choking every wildlife 
With poison, we drink our stench
Money is new sun 

Browning our pelts & copper pots
Minting palms with gold grit
Where are the watchmen? 
Where are they?





 Photo by  JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS  
The Athabasca river, highway construction and suburbs seen from a helicopter in Fort McMurray, Alta., in July 2012.

I have been reading the Atkinson Series:  Shifting Sands, Examining the Costs of Oil Sands Bargain.   The Athabasca River originates from a glacier in Jasper National Park, located in the Rocky Mountains. It is the longest river in Alberta, and runs past the oil sands. Organizations like the Pembina Institute have long been asking for strict rules for oil sands developers and processors to protect the river.

For additional reading and to hear TED Talk video about Alberta Tar Sands Project, click here.


Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics:  What does the Watchman See?  



Thanks for the visit ~

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Self-Portrait


                                                                        Artist in his Studio by Rembrandt


In the light, your face is half moon
Etched on canvas, unfurling
Shadows of restless sea, I see

Jagged lines, brittle as sand dunes
Browning hues, lush as autumn's swirling  
In the light, your face is half moon

Silver-lidded, a mirage of June's perfect skies 
But August's unflinchingly death stares
Bestow shadows of restless sea, I see

Your singular passion, your wounds
Glint of secret core, raw as unrefined salt
No light nor half moon can dim, a face

Inked in velvet-red strokes, a darkening to swoon
A master boldly unrepentant as eagle swooping its prey
There are shadows,  restless as sea, I see  

Deep despair from love's lost
Grieving hands from burying a child
In the light, your face is half moon

Celebrated by many, your signature is known
But you breathe on cliff's edge, a yearning 
to live amidst shadows, restless as the sea, I 

Look for your bones under church's tombstone
Marked for men, broken and poor     
In the dying light, your face pivots a full moon
throwing shadows to restless sea, I see.....         me


Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Ekphrasis - Hosted by Bjorn Rudberg
and Poets United - This started as a villanelle but I added more lines & didn't follow the rhyming scheme.    Thanks for your visits ~

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Northern Lights

The sky is sea-nymph

drumming the night with star dust

The clouds are flare-hatchers

rolling, roaring, ricocheting

whiplash colors fleeting madly  

bleeding in dramatic reverberation

A curtain wildly unfolding & sweeping 

broad brushstrokes

lavish pigments of universe's womb

a glimpse of mystery totally

magnetic, thrilling every pore of our skin

Then you are gone quickly- 

ballerina's fluid air-leap, grand jete 





Aurora over South South Saskatchewan River, Canada, August 18, 2015
Video by vimeo is here


Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Hosted by Bjorn Rudberg

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The body's clock


Photo - Douglas Salisbury

"Look, the trees are turning their own bodies into pillars  of light"
In Blackwater Woods - Mary Oliver



his body knew not
seasons nor time's tempest 
but only its own heartbeat
slower than low tide 
on long summer's day

outside the sun beckons
orange pink light,
a mirror of new day    
but his bones are heavy
silted with mysterious roots   
curling stiff as purple-red autumn leaf 
he sinks into sleep
steeped with clouds
ever wandering with wind




Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads- Play It Again, Inspired by Kerry's William Carlos Williams, and Susie's Bits of Inspiration, The Photography of Douglas Salisbury
and Poets United.   This is based on meeting someone who has irregular & mysterious sleep patterns. Thanks for the visit ~

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Echoes

late summer-
your face is a candle, fading
in echoes of raindrops 



Narcissus & Echo - by John William Waterhouse


Upon pool of water, I gaze 
Daze
Your face, a perfect moon
Swoon
Swaddled of brightest starlight 
Light

Enchanted, I say, Hello?
           Woe
I swear to your beauty, delicate as snow
           No
I will bestow  
           No
All my strength and devotion
           Delusion 
Why do you shun my presence?
           Vengeance
Are not my smiles charming?
           Boring
Are not my words persuasive?
           Repulsive 
Please let me stay here
           Where?
At your feet, where my devotion lies 
           Lies 
You are my muse, your name echoes
           Gallows
Within me, dulcet
           Horseshit
Until I know that you love
           Rust 
Me, I will deeply grieve    
           Freeze
Do you believe me?
           Leave me
You are breaking me, I will die.  
           Bye.



Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight Hosted by Bjorn
& Late entry for Echo Verse hosted by Mary

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

After the storm wrecked our school

I write a poem under the tree
Buzzing with insects & blooming fruits
Each word a whirlwind on my knees

As I try to make it rhyme with bees
Half-listening to teacher's voice on rules & feuds
I write a poem under the tree

Scribbling in long strokes, black as tea
I ignore birds calling our secret names, hued  
Like buzzing insects and fruits blooming   

I count bleating of nearby goat herd
While sun mercilessly dry our throats
As I write a poem about this tree

Gnarled with thick torso like manatee  
Unbowed by storm, this tree's our school (a hoot)
Buzzing with insects & falling fruits

Chucking our heads, when our eyes flee 
To distant train puffs & sky goosed by jet's clouds
This poem is written under our tree
Buzzing with insects & blooming fruits





Picture credit:   here


Posted for:   D'verse Poets Pub - Hosted by Gabriella ~ I took a different approach to "going back to school" specially for poorer countries ~  Thanks for your visit ~

Sunday, August 16, 2015

When time is a mirror of the past


Crawford Lake, Milton, Ontario
by Grace@ Everyday Amazing


Not a breath of wind nor cawing of  black birds can rustle the lake's deep deep sleep.  It cradles time on its belly, pregnant of memories of the first people and creatures who once lived beside it.   By the lake's end, a garbled cedar tree watches over the lake, marbled in blue mystery. It is estimated that the lake is 10,000 years in the making and the remnant of the last ice age.

Summer breeze
is a gentle tap on my shoulder-
I stir not, nor lift
my giant hands from bed
filled with bones of my lost children 




Posted for Imaginary Garden for Real Toads - Poetry Time, Hosted by Karin
Poets United - We visited this lake yesterday and toured some conservation parks as weather was summer perfect.  

Notes:  A 1971 study revealed Crawford Lake to be meromictic –  because the lake’s basin is deeper than it’s surface area, the lowest levels of water are very rarely, if ever, disturbed by wind or temperature changes. Without an annual turnover of water, there is little oxygen present in its depths and minimal bacterial breakdown, which preserves the layers of sediment that have built up over time. This build up provides an accurate record of the human and natural history of the lake and its surroundings. Studies of this sediment revealed the agricultural history of the Iroquoian people, and the presence of a pre-contact village. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The beauty of the woman


The heart of the woman is wide-mouthed sea
Carrying child's lusty cries before dawn
On her swollen breasts nestle a tribe
On her broad shoulders ride warriors
Her bloodline is red as fiery volcano

The hands of the woman is baked brown by sun
Sweaty & dirty by toiling soil & tending chores 
She moves with a purpose, planting her roots
so her children will know her, of her
Her words are grain, spreading field to field-

The face of the woman is marked by every lash
Of windstorm, every tear of thundering clouds
Yet her demeanor is calm, murmuring of rain drops
On her body, round & laden as sudden flurry
of March spring blooms, beautifully astonishing- 




                                Henry Moore - Figure lying (Canada, Ottawa, 1930)


Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Muses from History - Hosted by Abhra ~ I was inspired by Henry Moore sculptures when I went to our Art Galley of Toronto ~
And Poets United - Beauty hosted by Sumana

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tropical summer

                                                                 Atis


The street vendor fries the wrapped plaintain bananas with slice of langka (jackfruit) and brown sugar in hot pan.   The turon sizzles to crispy amber under the humid afternoon sun.   We wait, not with bottled cold water, but with buko (young coconut).   My shirt has a bit of stain from spitting out black seeds of atis (sugar apple) under the neighbor's guava tree.   My friend is munching on santol (wild mangosteen) with salt.     Bittersweet and rough, he is squirming with its sourness, while becoming ecstatic with each bite of the pitted fruit. He makes a lot of faces as sweat rolls off his neck.   All I can think of is playing hide & seek in the cool shaded park.   


sudden summer rain
crashes the roof at night,
drowning the tuko's cries



*tuko lizards (or small geckos)






Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics:  Dog Days ~  I am incorporating my hot summers (April to May) in the Philippines, where I grew up.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The trespasser

When city slips into night beat
And streets are near-empty
of cars 
He comes out
marking back alleys
With his signature 
eccentricity

With pitted cheeks  
He struts
like he owns all street
corners 
yellow-pissed by homeless 
beggars
whores, pimps
drunkards 
gypsies with tarot 
And all the nobodies 

stencil-blued 
by moon
perfectly round
above split-level condominiums  




Graffiti Alley, Toronto City @Grace




Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - 55 Words - Trespasser
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~