Mill on the Lakeside

   on the side 
      of this lake
where still waters 
      run deep,

and small birds 
      still sing
   in the trees,

we wonder if fish 
swim unharmed,

      past the 
stinking mess,

   or choke on the
rotting tree bark.

heaven knows
      what's best.

the mill on the lake
is an awful mistake,
the lake's not pristeen
      any more.

      those fish, 
   you can keep.
those won't want 
to eat,
poison beside
   the foreshore.






Red Chairs

a little sunshine
lights things up.
chairs wait for
restless bottoms.

not many years
have passed since 
the red paint
was fresh and wet.

now, it is springtime;
nearby the river
is at flood;
the water's rising.

rushing waters
carry no message
for our ears or eyes.


anyways we listen,
sitting if possible,

listening to silence,
ideal for thinking,

listening to all the 
almost-whispers in 
our quieted minds.


the red chairs 
look good for 
that easy purpose.

sunshine on
wet laundry,
hung out to dry,

ripples on 
a small river,
only hundreds 
of miles long.


red chairs by 
a river bank.

so many 
beautiful silences
in springtime




Bed of Daisies

Bed of Daisies

then we should
not forget that

life can be a 
bed of daisies.


even when it seems
that everywhere
there are weeds.

life can be a
bed of daisies.


my sick friends
concern me
every day,
but i know well,

life can be a
bed of daisies.


a little pain can
teach us what 
we should not do.

life can be a
bed of daisies.


then we should
not forget that

life can be a 
bed of daisies.

Caribbean Dream

Caribbean Dream


some day soon
i hope to go back
to where waves end.

or where they start,
i can't say which,


some days seem
a lot better
than all the rest.

i can't say which 
i like the best.


(a safe and warm 
place like one 
where i'd like to go)

a place like that? 
i do not even know.

storms will come
from secret places 
we can't guess, 

at unguessed times 
we don't suspect.

(there is no safe place.)


gentle waves are
breaking on a shore;

it seems so calm,
but can be 
so much more.

some day soon
i hope to go back
to where waves end.

or where they start,
i can't say which,


on that spare thought 
you can depend. 

Not So Flashy

brilliant yellow
blossoms surround
a quiet elegant lily,

not a drab flower
in the bunch!

we'll see beauty
isn't brightness,
when understanding 
elegance,

something lovely
with muted tones.


so many yellow
flowers in a bunch,

a little greenery
is compulsory,
it seems,

making a pleasing
background
to highlight colour .


our lives seem
comfortable when
we drift blandly

saving exciting
colours and flavours
for special events,

as if a bouquet of
all-yellow blossoms
becomes uniform
and regular,

nothing standing out.


One Nice Day

waves smashed on
the eastern shore,

for years i can't count
even in my imagination.


as hard as rocks,
incessant waves will
wear eventually,

until such rocks
are worn down to
sharp black sand.


friday today,
and the sun is up,
over the mountain,

shining down
on our morning.
backlighting 
spring leaves on 
a manitoba maple.


we dream of days
as beautiful,

and mark time
in minutes, weeks
and years.

the waves and rocks
do not understand or know 
the time that passes.


we can only see a
certain scale,
all else vanishes.

one hundred million 
years ago,
we were nothing,
not even yet possible.

yet here we are,
possible in the present.

we can look back,
but not go there,
at least not yet.


Signs of Springtime

now the sun rides
higher in the skies,
days get longer 
and warmer.

leaves sprout on 
bare branches.
grass begins to 
green and grow,


flower departments,
have summer flowers,
as if to show us 
what to expect.

we attended a
two-year old's 
birthday party.

ice cream all over
his face, loving it!


then his first bicycle.


legs too short to 
reach the ground,
so his dad had to
push the bike.

a tired dad stopped
pushing, and a young 
voice chirped "again!"

signs of springtime!

Murano Side Street

near Venice is 
this island

(i'm pleased that
we could go)


glass masters
sell small treasures
in busy storefronts.

an alert salesman
invited us to a
hidden gallery.

murano's secret wonders,
which we loved,

and something about
our appreciation
of these treasures
fed something in him,
and made him happy.


this sidestreet seemed 
to welcome and i had
to stop and look.

and i saw nothing
that was beautiful,
unless i tilted my 
head a certain way.

do as i did,
and tilt your head.
it was so worth it.
just tilt your head.


Behind St Marks

seen from a different angle, 
things will not look the same. 

differences grow on you, 
they are interesting.
 
you might not 
recognise the place, 

though it has been here 
for hundreds of years, 
just like this.

if we don't learn to see 
things as if they are fresh, 
we'll just feel stale, 
like the world 
is a boring place.

but it isn't a boring place. 
if we have our eyes open, 
moving forward, 
uncertain what that means 
or where we'll get to.

someplace might be 
famous or infamous,

we might never know
especially if we don't 
recognize somebody 
else's point of view. 

Something Bright

Something Bright

i think i would not try
to eat something so
unfamiliar, maybe
toxic, maybe lethal,

unless i saw 
something else
(preferably someone)
eat it first,
and walk away
unharmed.


but don't they
look so good?

maybe you'd like
to try some and
maybe i could
watch you not die.


we could rethink
and have a
second thought.

how would i know
what you died from?
probably not from 
milk and cookies.


some days, it seems,
we have a little 
too much excitement.

if that's not enough, 
we can make 
something up.