Friday, December 6, 2013


The next time you stroll
a manicured beach, 
postcard perfect sand 
white on a topaz sea,

stop and take it all in
with the ease of breathing 
all you like and then
consider the contrary,

how Mandela spent years
in the middle of it all
with a stamped spoon, 
a blanket and conviction,

no sea view,  no camera, 
no way to know when
conviction would become
reality one happy day.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Recycled Poem For Autumn

Pine beneath my bare feet, a glass of Spanish red in hand,
Adréas Segovia plucking and fretting somewhere unseen
and a handful of receipts, ticket stubs and post-its
now sprawled across my lap like rune stones

are kind enough to spare the time to stare
out the window - every poet's pastime - and count
the leaves on the nearby trees which have already turned
their coats inside out and their collars up before leaping.

On the back of a hotel bill from August when
I could not have been further from responsibility,
I tell them how I recalled when they entered the world
and how much I enjoyed watching them grow up

over cups of morning coffee or beers in the evening
and how they never noticed me watching as they
danced like Gene Kelly in the rain as storms blew
spring away so the drier summer months settled in.

But most of all - as to not dishearten them
(you'd agree they have enough to deal with as it is) -
I tell them not to worry, that I will be here when they return,

a pen in one hand, my head in the other, a smile on my face.

Down the Drain

Down the drain,
the rain crawls on
its belly murmuring,
looking up at us
today, not tomorrow

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Grandmother Poem

Hello stranger,
it's been a while.
Too long, I know
you're busy.

Sit down,
stay a while.
Eat something,
just stay.

Put down your phone
or whatever that is.
Folks can't  stand
still anymore.

Now everything needs
a name, an angle
changing every
other minute.

Not like when I was
a young poem,
a rose, the moon,
even death would do.

Yes, I know,
you need to go.
Take one with you.
You never eat.

I'll just be here,
knitting time
'till you return
or not.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Challenges of Parenting

I was barelegged with you in a field this morning.
You couldn't have been a day past five. 
It was I who helped you navigate the long grass,
the dips in the soft, unseen turf,
you who found the ripe blackberries,
spread across your face like war paint.

Or was it your high school?
You walked off the grounds for the last time,
a sheet of paper pressed between leather 
under your arm as your  books always were,
I wore a simple floral top and black slacks,
a proud smile that just wouldn't come off.

I can’t recall. But no matter.

It's 4 o'clock , another sunny Monday, 
that day after Thursday,
when that kind young man
who looks so much like you
always brings warm apple pie
just the way I like it. 

He should smile more often.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

T'es Où?

That's all I heard for 10 minutes straight
one sautéed Brussels morning in the metro
with everyone, their brother, perhaps their dog
peeing on my leg, or at least, it felt that way,
sweat running down inside my trousers

and this one woman who refused to shut up,
pink phone clutched in glittery talons,
cheap earrings swaying in time with her hand
and three offspring exploring the car like raccoons
in my trash, threading through my legs, drooling.

"T'es Où?"
"Where are you?"
as they say in London

Who could say? Possibilities abound.
Prague is nice this time of year.
The local department store had an ad,
two-for-one socks, today only.
North Korea's not half bad.

"T'es Où?"

Not here, obviously, being brighter
and more fortunate than I, who is here,
who can hear you, who wishes he couldn't ,
who wishes North Korean visas
were easier to acquire.

"T'es Où?"

was the last thing I heard, her voice,
her odour, her brood, trailing out the door
into the baked street above, where she
may still be looking for that person's hiding spot,
her children sniffing trees in her wake.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Allure of Green Energy

From my spot across the celestial room, 
ever-crowding with yawning mouths, 
birds tweeting in obscure bird dialects, 
cars and neck ties in constant transit,

I wonder if she really loves me in the
way her smouldering gaze suggests
every morning while I plod to the metro
and another day in the white collar salt mine.

She does this 5 days a week,  never letting 
on how she really feels about us as
she leads me down the primrose path
to something out of "The Archipelago".

If she was more than a flirt,  surely she'd
lead me elsewhere - a sunned park bench, 
a line of white sand on a topaz sea,
a street corner with a bus stop - anywhere.

The worst is that I know I'll see her here 
a mere 10 hours from now and while
her head will be held lower then,  she'll
lead me home as if nothing happened. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

In My Tribe

In my tribe we prefer the touch of
Mother Earth on our bare feet to the
shackles of shoes or straight jacket socks.

In my tribe we eat simply beneath the clouds
bread in one hand, cheese in the other,
a bottle of wine between our knees.

In my tribe days are thirty hours long,
not because we wish to be more productive
but so we may ponder all we chose to ignore

with our backs against a worn tree trunk,
our eyes lost in some distant clump of cat tails,
drumming fingers keeping time with the sparrows.

In my tribe everything is precious,
gathered and kept with five year old glee
including the autumn sheddings of trees

which we cup and cast over the water's edge,
not out of remembrance or thanks but
simply because we wish to.

Shlameel, Shlamazel

I could have broken a row of mirrors,
running by with a stick straight out

or wandered behind Chinese restaurants blindly,
crossing black cats' paths like live wires

and then walked away whistling good fortune,
hands in pockets, safely away from all wood.

Instead, I farted caution into the coming breeze,
stuck a fork into the toaster of life

and went to work

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Loved by poets,
feared by hotels

I'm drawn to them,
the soft contrast
of jagged shadows

shivering on walls,
lives at the mercy
of any passing breeze,

themselves the candle's
negative, light without
light without lips,

leaving me to interpret
its gestures and demise,
possibly with a pen. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Project Management

Get your head around it
ears between thumbs
and forefingers
and pull
'till your pinkies touch
your cherry nose.

I'll just be over
staring at a yawning
screen needling my
acquired raison d'être
skewering my
getting a new
e-ink tattoo on
my soul.

Let me know if you get 
not that I expect
you to.
I just like
to watch.


It's another late afternoon, 
another baked boulevard 
in not so old Brussels, 
the heart of the business district

pumping commuters down the arterial 
crammed with Renaults and BMW's, 
clotted with office workers, neckties, 
free of most forms of thought.

I pause beneath a green lamp post, 
its arched spine seemingly
supporting the 5 o'clock sky, 
the sun dangling from its tip

like a million watt bulb
and I wonder who'd notice 
if I shimmied up there and
pocketed it for myself. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another Pointless Poem About Summer Nights

It may just be chemical in nature, 
the rough stew of daytime odors 
boiled long,  then cooled
in a three-sided cedar pot, 
stirred by drooping lavender stems
in a lazy breeze, limp-wristed,  silent.

It could just as easily hypnotic 
the way the geraniums bob
in small circles,  suggestively
while the crickets gradually find
their metronome voices amongst
the tall grass and the concert begins.

In the end,  it's likely what isn't there
which speaks to us most loudly 
like hibiscus megaphones in our ears, 
the lack of expectations and prying eyes, 
the eyes we turn on ourselves elsewhere
where the sun leave no stone unturned

Poetry Contests

She asked for my fears
but I shrank from her.

She requested tears,
I peeled an onion.

She asked for my dreams,

I gave someone’s.

She sought memories
I’ve since forgotten.

She wanted the truth
of course, I lied.

When asked for my soul,
I offered my heel.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wake Up Call

I prefer to look at the morning
- its round,  smudged shadows
draped over someone else's
artifacts like forgotten furniture -
before I open my eyes.

The shape of the morning dove's song,
angled,  ornate, refracting the first light,
the drooping weight of the hibiscus' breath
shortening as they fall asleep,
the sheen of shutter-filtered sunlight
like melted pastel in my palm.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shadow of Myself

Some take it badly
if they take it at all,
news that one and

one ran off the edge
of the screen together,
nothing in their wake

but an empty bottle,
a blank script, someone
else's candy wrapper.

Not me.

Not while I have a
willing wall for a stage
and the puppeteer's ear,

and recall without a sigh
how the script first read
when drafted.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Listening to Beatles Albums

We all do it, 
all of us with at least

five white hairs, 
three personalities,

one life to splurge 
on little pleasures,

on antiquities, 
dust-covered bars

enclosing greener fields
where content lovers

lay parallel in the shade
without a single sigh,

discussing what will be
when the sun goes down.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wild Kingdom

I saw giraffes in my garden
this morning and,  perhaps, 
last Sunday, I'm fairly sure
about the stride they held
prancing in the dry grass, 
their necks swayed as they 
crossed each others' paths, 
tangling gently whenever
they kissed.

A Post-It Poem

When I travel, I find that the poetry half of my brain tends to spark more often than when I don't get beyond my own 4 walls. And while on the road, I often end up writing on anything and everything (despite having a journal and more gizmos than you can shake a stick at!).

It's is an example of one such poem :-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


If it were two days earlier
it's safe to assume my wet
steps could be seen dragging
down the street, wrapping it
firmly to a cold, uncaring Earth.

Two days later would be something else,
entire stones going unstamped,
nameless faces in the crowd as I
sprint by rustling trees, commuters
and my own shadow, by then a mere footnote

from a book I would read on days like today,
in-between days in between places,
a day whose backwards steps can be traced
through the centuries, perhaps a taciturn penance
Gregorians thought little of from their damp, grey cells

Note: While Wednesday is commonly considered the third day of the week in the Gregorian calendar and subsequently in ISO standards, this is actually one day earlier than what it had been in older systems - such as the Mesopotamian calendar - which the Gregorian calendar came to replace in many parts of the world.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summer Storm

My garden weeps in the night
when it thinks no one's looking 

down their nose at it,  walking
all over it as they often do.

It doesn't know I lay awake 
listening to laboured breaths

rattle my single paned window, 
switching the lights on and off.

But the sun always leaves it exposed,
face down by the veranda door

its face still wet, hair dishevelled, 
just trying to act natural.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

La Vieille

She can talk to squirrels
with the same sense
of ease she addresses
everyone she encounters
in the grocery store
each and every morning,

the young mother she lectured
about how easy she had it,
the stock boy who scoured
shelves tirelessly for everlasting peas
or the gentleman half her age
who simply smiled while she insisted
they had once danced in 1958.

From a worn park bench the dialogue
continues to roll off her tongue,
occasionally curtained by her lips,
thin, quivering but mostly longing
for the time they garnered attention
and would only speak when spoken to.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


It's when Nature's plot thickens,
blossoms giving way to other blossoms
yellow to pink to red to mauve
opening,  closing,  crinkling,  opening

not unlike a million plastic folders,
binders and tattooed notebooks
in clammy hands beneath languid eyes
batting back and forth upon their pages.

Each morning exhales Baby's Breath
through boughs sponged a hundred greens,
far below the radar of young adults
matching luggage beneath their eyes and

coffee rotting on their dry tongues
while they beat their brains with both hands,
fashioning bowls large enough to contain
the entirety of Dutch grammar,  calculus or

something else someone in a worn
tweed jacket insists they know by heart,
no different from the swallow's song,
learned over weeks before leaving the nest.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Driving A Point

It was late afternoon and my thoughts were arid
when it struck me that I needed a new vehicle
to drive my thoughts far enough, fast enough
to the eyes and ears unknowingly awaiting them.

A meticulous consumer, I did my homework,
took my time, snapping reverse angle pictures
of me behind each and every wheel, feeling
the newness with each nostril and furrowed brow.

I tried out a traditional, up market Sonnet first
and – despite how many virginities had been
lost in its back seat – it still felt more like
my father’s than my own.

The Ode was no better, enveloping the driver in
thick clouds of vaulted purpose,
only came with AM radio and was impossible
to get parts and accessories for.

The 180° rotating side mirrors on the Sestina
were eye catching but seemed distracting
to the driver on today’s winding roads
and tempted oncoming traffic to admire itself.

And while the Dylan Thomas signature model Villanelle
looked like a joy to play with, I honestly didn’t know
what I’d do with it, was aghast by how much it consumed
and feared for its resale value.

Towards the back of the lot was an endless sea
of Haiku – three stroke wonders - which seemed cramped
and even the full-sized Tanka left me unconvinced
about how much leg room there really was.

With a blood orange evening tumbling ripe towards the Earth,
I bent to tie my shoes, scurried through a ditch
to Green Street and let the incandescent night fade in to
guide me, illuminating most of the street signs and

cheap hotels between "here" and wherever "there" was,
noting with interest one clapboard place where “No”
was blacked out on its sign vacancy sign, its steps crooked
with time, a saxophone sighing through its open door.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Another Hymn for Saint Christopher

Every road takes me further
from home,  from here,  from
there,  beneath the lazy willow
where I used to fish phantom

trout as large as my belly
or there,  the sterile high school 
I infected with my first kiss
amongst rows of grey lockers

or way over there where I stood 
stiff in the wind of two oceans
smooth stones at my feet,
Africa looking over my shoulder.

With each glance at the map
I declined to take with me and 
careful readings of the cracked 
compass I never understood,

each step which tattooed the Earth 
brought me to this place where
monkeys pluck strings all day 
to the delight of dancing dragons,

the night belonging to us.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A poem about corporate culture

The Company Man

Listen to me and
regurgitate slowly

                                 climbing your throat
                                 cracking your lips

practice makes
imperfect you perfect
                                 washes away what
                                 Nature couldn't

but we can
just make an effort

                                 let each syllable
                                 ring your grey bell

once for me
twice for us

                                 third time's for you, 
                                 whatever's left

This Isn't A Poem

Poets like to discuss the role of metaphor in poetry in order to examine specific subjects. But poems themselves are metaphors, too, as the following poem inspired by the work of Réné Magritte attempts to explain.
Be sure to check out this quick video to hear me reading it...not to be missed! :-)

This Isn't A Poem

It suddenly struck me as I sat in my familiar chair
towards the back of the white buzzing café,
a hazelnut terzetto staring up at me,

it struck me what Magritte was trying to tell us
when he painted “This Is Not A Pipe” below
the dark strokes of a brown bowl and black stem,

a slight glare the only sign of life beyond it.
He wasn’t pointing out what was real and not
with a wave of disdain to the perplexed viewer

but, rather, was underlining what most of us are
too frightened to admit, that everything is what
we make of it – or not – and objects have no

preference as to the labels spectators cook up.
And I will leave you with that slippery nugget,
close the spinach leaf I was scribbling in,

take a last sip of the faded photograph before me
and step out into the foggy rush hour bee hive,
this life vest slipped carefully into my coat pocket.

Flypaper Poetry Is Back!

After a prolonged absence do to other projects elsewhere, I have decided to put my nose to the grindstone and made Flypaper Poetry my single and centralize location for all of my poetry going forward. Over the comings days and weeks, I will migrate existing work from other sites (Hubpages, in particular) and - of course - any new work will be posted here directly. be sure to stop back often :-)  

Embracing the Deluge

This graphic poem can be found in my upcoming collection of illustrated poetry: "In Between Places", coming to a bookshelf near you SOON!