Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drawing Lines

He took a pen and he drew a line
above one number, under another
He said 'ten years from this time
not a soul will fall asunder'

That was twenty years ago
Now four children play on swings
A fifth has no where to go
and no energy to bring

Welcome to the bottom of the poverty line
Watch those bombs fall on TV
Each could pay rent 3,000 times
They make apathy look easy

It's lonely at the top too
Welcome to the working poor
You won't suffer too little to do
12-hour shift to finish your chores

Café latte at table eight
Smile pretty for the ladies in prime
Work for welfare don't be late
Strangers watch your kids all the time

Welcome to the top of the poverty line
Not poor enough for subsidies
Dropped bomb pays rent just 2,000 times
Their apathy is still a breeze

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Sunday, July 27, 2008


"Like a personal trainer with a penchant for fat women, I got secrets," he said. "I hold them for the protection of those around me."

I looked straight into his pale eyes, smirked, and challenged him to reveal some shade of truth.

He looked back at me. His face revealed nothing in those lingering seconds until he said:

"You don't wanna know the depths of my shoes, and that mirror you're holding so over-confidently is one place you don't want me to look.

"You think you can warm this statue, wash it clean of centuries of bird-shit and lovingly peel away the thousand layers of cold hard stone, reveal a lederhosen-clad rich boy smiling at the rain, who will hug you, relieved to have found a safe new home.

"You can scrub all you want. You can cut and slice but you underestimate the skill and the bitter obsessive determination of this stone mason self-sculptor."

I reached for him and then stopped short. He was long gone.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend Animals

" really just another screen to deflect our attention away from the arduous yet delightful, joyous though painful process of allowing ourselves the stillness to remember what we feel and to begin assuming responsibility for our lives." --Derrick Jensen

Roadkill always makes me sad. All these lives taken for what? So we can ramble on down the road, recreate elsewhere, traversing the highway scars over the vast land, smack through the middle of someone else's home. All manner of forest creatures doing the same, rambling around and suddenly their goals, their destinations, their lives are no more.

On the way to Cape Breton a bird flew straight into our tires on a downward trajectory. Maybe it saw a mouse and, not knowing the creature's already doomed fate, went after it, joined it with a sickening thud.

We frowned at death. "That's the first time I ever did that - hit anything," she said.

I told her about the other time a bird flew into the side of my car. "We stopped and got out, walked toward it. It was just sitting there and we weren't sure it was dead. When we got close it flew away."

"Maybe this one did that too," she smiled hopelessly. We remembered the thud.

Roadkill is an understated tragedy of civilization. Another of our centuries long list of assaults on God and Gaia.


We were in an inflatable canvas canoe. Looking up into the tree at the end of the little island we saw an eagles' nest, 2.5 metres across. There were two jeuvenile eagles standing up on the edge of the nest.

What amazed me about those young eagles was that they just stood there, glancing around at the wide world, as we sat watching them.

They completely lacked ambition. They had no desire to work toward any dream. They felt no nagging guilt that they weren't labouring on the manuscript or the business plan. They didn't need to organize, tidy, or clean anything. They weren't dying to escape their one-horse town and see Paris or Bombay. They didn't even have a television to pass the hours until their parents returned. They just stood there, looking around, without anxiety or concern.

No one would judge them for their inaction; no one could hurt them.

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