When I was a little lad
I can remember quite vividly
How I’d run around in wool:
Jackets, mittens, and a toque.
Rosy cheeks would rush between
Piles of raked leaves
Exploding as a shaggy dog may
Tongue half way to the ground.
I remember putting my nose
Pressed right to the ground,
Smelling dirt and grass
And observing in minute detail
Leaves turning from green to brown
Crackle them along veins
Once so vibrant, so alive, fresh
Now so similar to the dirt
Squished between my fingers.
Busy in the dizzying mirth
Of all such decay.
Here, I would stay,
Madly fascinated with stacked flower pots
Textures of clay now everywhere!
From where did they come?
Every Autumn was fun,
Chopped logs and canning jars,
Hockey sticks and Halloween,
Snow banks and toboggan pulls.
I can remember the dying sun.
When I was a little lad
It was late, early as the birds wake. The sun making it’s trajectory project through blind slits that tickled my nose and ruffled pure white sheets that smelled of everything I had ever dreamed. I wished I had worn my own button up so she could wear it, cotton thoughts underneath the purest thoughts I could believe, her ear lobe dangerously close to my sanity I buried deep into the sleepy eyes she wiped away.
She was business and I was coffee on Sunday morning. Her ancient wooden bowls with carved and stained mosaics sat on bare shelves between three curiously new vinyl records I had yet to identify or spin, so my bare feet sadly ripped spaces beside this cocoon to leave invisible heat scores on a treasure hunt around pieces of clothing that each had still alive memories attached, each a little puddle of our reserve that began as we stepped towards our island.
As the needle scratched dangerously towards the first note, it was the crackling that trumped even her cigarette into casual, I spotted her pinstripe skirt, now draped across the wicker chair underneath a baby blue Fender Telecaster she had plugged into a tiny hand held amplifier to show me what she knew of blues.
I propped myself up with her pillow and through the patio window I saw she was looking at me.
A cloud pulled at my ear lobes
And took my tingling nose
To an open pasture –
Exposed and sunken into slumber –
Tip-tapped drearily by menacing trinkets
And coo’ed at softly from a shallow hallow
Where an owl waited for midnight’s feast
With an impatient air.
To breathe the first breath of ocean air
Deep into my starving lungs
As sun dips down to half past seven
I realize the tide’s becoming.
Even with my toes exposed
I find salt refreshingly tickling my nose,
Seagulls cry in celebration
And driftwood leads me forever on.
I roll my pants to half mast
And whistle to a little snail
Who’s slowly off to go out sailing
And I, my eye, to the clear blue sky.
Why are people so beautiful?
Some days the ruin of my heart
Lingers upon my tongue
And touches my nose with the faintest scent
Of midsummer’s rain.
I cannot handle this pain
In the easiest of ways,
Waiting for my touch to return
And senses to die down.
For I am only a man,
Saddened by a never ending toil of life
To which I patch holes
With beautiful people in my heart.
Remember my delicacy
A tip-toe on the tip of your nose
I worked a thread
As it came bare
Into my arcing back.
I sang a song with misery,
It was my comfort bare,
It left a tail upon my thought
And there it wags
As the sun kisses my face
Your blossoms shall kiss my nose –
Fill my eyes with butterflies
And leave me singing songs.
And when I walk up to my shins
Amongst your thriving throng,
My toes shall catch your hearty stems
My fingertips you’ll reach to kiss,
And leave me lost in harmony
Like I’ve once felt before
On a sunny day out at sea
Where my mind remains happy, forevermore.
I watch a line slowly trace a sidewalk
Up a wide street called Hastings.
Glitter trash slipping off
Into fuzzy life lessons in a tracksuit.
I plug my nose because last nights urine party
Leaves a sour taste that makes me uneasy.
But I like the back alleys
Where life is avoided and you avoid eye contact.
Alley walls make me think.
I look at them wondering how many years it’s been
Since the last painting was applied.
How much more graffiti can be tolerated
Before a shop owner thinks they have a more alluring color.
I stay clear of crowds gathering at bus stops.
They loiter and litter,
And ask bus drivers for free fares,
Assuming they’re sober enough to acknowledge
The annoyed union worker.
I’m not afraid to lock my bike here though.
I know the game enough to know when to be walking
Hand in hand with a lover who’s [not] scared.
I know my way home and I’ve got the good places marked.