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Lift out

These days begin in darkness and wet.


We live in multiple layers of clothing against the cold damp of constant seeping rain, walk under umbrellas, and peek out from under shelter until some blue sky appears.


Then we breathe the blue and the coloured leaves, and roll in the damp ones underfoot.  We go to the flashing streams, the roaring falls, the pounding waves and we exult

..until the rain and the cloud and the pounding wind bring us under and in again.


These times.  Pressured, heavy, challenged, shifting.  Some of us don’t have dancing feet.  Some have not learned to swim.


Two days ago in Ottawa a man died on Parliament hill.  He suffered from serious mental illness  – serious enough that he found himself a gun and  shot another man who worked as a soldier there.  I grieve for both men, whom we, in our culture, have failed to see clearly.

Poem for Michael Zehaf-BibeauMichael Zehaf-Bibeau, for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a reservist, and for every single one of us who struggles with addiction and mental illness, in sorrow for this:

Broken Voice
September 24: studio

Thought can re-write history, she says
Meditative thought influences the order of things
Orders them more neatly so there’s less damage done.
and there’s the
small voice the difficulty
the closed throat mid-
sentence, the little
alarms shot with adrenaline
the subtle gagging that
no one notices but
There’s no problem. Who

…said there was a
problem?  Mental Illness is only
addiction is only
another form of terrorism-
We just need more Security and

I think I caught something in
the subway – just a virus it
comes and goes it’s

…something about bare feet, walking
about not leaving prints behind,
and if you do your feet print

I’m looking at them now,
the prints
but I can’t read
I’m not sure what happened.  Or how…?

I just want to drink an ocean of alcohol
passive-watch movies that siphon rage
go to classical concerts full of fury, listen to poets
who have found something
to let somebody else do the darkness
the refined, articulate hurt that they’ve managed to
filter through all of their exhausted bewilderment how
can I

Impotent. Invisible. I just want to sleep. only sleep.
it’s taking every ounce of my strength
to resist the rampage,
The terrible roar in me.

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thrust & glow & drink & feel & push & ache & hope & yearn...

Is this annual? Does this sense of URGENT URGENT RUN FIX LISTEN SAY DO NOW NOW NOW happen every year around this time? Anybody?

Maybe I’m just noticing it this time around – an old old cycle of violent push-through-the-dead-stuff growth. It’s equally possible that this is part of global climate change, and nothing will every be predictable, ever again.

Case in point: it’s April 17th in Owen Sound, and it’s been snowing and blowing all day long.

Sorry, no picture. Instead, I give you the poor cold, hungry bluejay….

loud, blue, agressively famished

I look around me with human eyes, and I feel it rising within – the urge to attack the piles of useless stuff anonymously left outside last fall. The undeniable inner growl that signals certain death to any thing, thought or habit that no longer serves forward movement. It’s more than a bit scary. See squirrel:

ready. to give anyone shit for anything.

It’s enough to make me aware that I shouldn’t spend too much time in public without supervision this weekend- I would most definitely offend (and then there would be the explanation, the apology, the clean-up – none of which I have any patience for, in my current state).

So if it is snowing in April, then let me be a snowplough, equal to the clearing of old, stagnant, dirty crap. Permit me to direct my springtime rage to good effect, so ground may be cleared for the garlic, the peas, the onions, the lettuce and the cilantro, which will only fulfill their full promise if the way is properly set. For it is rage as good as any irate squirrel will direct at you, if interfered with. Joyful unbounding rage as strong as a river freed from months of ice-bound paralysis, as it sweeps everything last-year-dead before it over the waterfall, into the gorge, into the river, into the bay.

If I could, I would forego sleep, and just work and move and listen and smell and watch and see…. until the pea-plants push through the soil, singing.