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Retired from 10 years in the Canadian Navy, and 28 years in the Canadian Diplomatic Service, with postings in Beijing, Mexico City, Sri Lanka, Romania, Abu Dhabi, Guyana, Ireland, Trinidad, and, last but not least, India.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

My Children, I Have Failed You

My children, I have failed you,
as I did not comprehend
the future that would greet you
at your childhood’s end.

I had tried to prepare you well
with visions that served me true;
but those dreams have been broken,
and they cannot work for you.

A paradigm shift fully unforeseen,
foils societal advance;
we are mired deep in a midden
of hate and ignorance.

Like Pandora I should like to release
some Hope upon our state,
but feel that much harm has been done,
and it may be too late.

My children, I have failed you,
for I did not clearly see
the effects that stupidity in others
would have on you and me.

Gird yourselves with personal strength,
and keep your loved ones near:
seek out kindred spirits.
Forge your vision bright and clear.

My children, I have failed you,
and if this all should cease,
it is because we embraced the hate,
and abandoned love, and peace.

Monday, 15 January 2018


A cornerstone of collective psyche
is the sense of “just passing through”;
and, folksy aphorisms notwithstanding,
we understand that this is true.

This weight of intuitive knowledge
comes with great emotional cost,
as we tend to lament “might-have-been”
and dwell on a past that is lost.

We traditionally build our gods
to offer salvation from life’s fray,
focussing on a heaven tomorrow
rather than building one here, today.

Our short lives are but a flicker,
a brief flash of intense light,
by which we must illuminate the Now
that precedes our cosmic night.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Walking My Dog On A Country Road

Used baby diapers, cigarette butts,
coffee cups,
a thousand incarnations of styrofoam.
Bubble pack and plastic blisters,
Tim’s cups and lids.
Gas cans, oil cans, beer cans by the dozen,
plastic and glass alcohol bottles.
Throwaway food containers of every stripe,
plastic bags galore.
The odd lost glove, and several roaches,
an old car stereo deck.
Hub caps, broken glass
and plastic from ancient collisions.
Skeletons from roadkill, decaying in the dust.
Plastic frames that hold an inch of dental floss,
as though the effort of using fingers with the floss
was too intellectually taxing.
Cigar and cigarillo stubs seeping poison
to a patient soil.
Plastic straws, plastic straws,
and plastic straws again.
Bits of wood, and metal constructs
that bear no trace of function.
Dozens of cotton swabs,
and endless soiled tissues.

A sad commentary on our times,
and our disposable mentality:
tragic epitaph of our species.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The Silence at the End of Time

Note: Leibniz and Kant postulate that time is part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events.  Without humanity there is no time.

No ranting pastors preaching hate,
and exclusion without Jesus.
All quiet from the imams teaching
religious violence frees us.

Black Friday long has passed,
we’ve consumed it all away:
our depleted planet barren
in the light of a sadder day.

The one percenters’ struggle
to have it all has failed,
and society’s poor can no longer see
injustice against which they railed.

There is no birdsong spreading joy,
in this orb so bleak and sere:
and no inuksuk now remains
to say that we were here.

Corporate and military adventurists
crumbled into karmic dust;
as policies of greed, and depletion,
untempered by empathy must.

We refuse to plan for tomorrow;
instead we wallow in our waste and grime:
our arrogance ensures our species shan’t hear
the silence at the end of time.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

It Must Be Me

Surely the headlines every day,
and the carnage that we see,
are fictitious misinformation:
     or it could just be me.

So much anger, betrayal of trust,
dislocation, war, calamity,
with no sign of social enlightenment:
     but that could just be me.

Politicians telling lies,
messages saying we are free,
just shop until you drop, and take your pills:
     then perhaps it is just me.

Flags flying, heroes, martial music plays,
while we sip our coffee, drink our tea.
Military adventurism rules:
     or is it all just me?

Has the mountain of evolved society
shattered into tribal skree?
Are we capable of making a better world,
     or does it only bother me?

So I shall continue to hope for the best,
and see what tomorrow may be.
We could make our world a paradise,
     if we stop thinking “me.”

Friday, 10 November 2017

Against the Wall


The crypt coldness 
of the alley walls 
always bothered her 
even more than
the bad breath 
of her furtive clients.
Her thin shoulders 
were bruised and scraped 
by the bricks, 
as the speed of fiscal passion 
abraded foreplay.

Her working clothes 
were a hentai fantasy; 
short, with slits 
and scoop;
and a mile of leg 
into leather micro. 
Her eyes held that look 
of reflective knowledge 
found only in the better work 
of a few Dutch Masters.

The mind-place 
she visited while working 
was an old friend 
from a lost childhood:
a place to which 
she continued to be drawn, 
even after learning 
her test was positive.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

On the Passing of a Friend

We all have our moments
when, perusing the past,
we chronicle our lives;
sorting events and changes
from first to last:
our friends, our mistakes, and our drives.

We all have our moments,
when a friend has been lost,
to reflect on what we could have said;
perhaps to have given more of ourselves
not counting the time nor the cost:
now that friend, like that moment, has fled.

We all have our moments,
when tears have been shed,
with regrets and remorse tucked away.
We can smile in remembrance
of things done or said,
and be with him then, each day.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Liturgy for Social Media

Ignore ignorance.
Do not become depressed
by the lack of societal empathy
reflected here.

Do not be sucked into the morass of false news.
Forgive stupidity, and do not respond to it.
Avoid the slimy vortex of hate posts.
This is a product of conditioning,
and is used by governments/corporations to mould
the audience that they would enslave.

Do not be drawn into policy statements:
your opinion will never change the ethos of a closed mind.
Do not invest anything of yourself.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Air Vent Requiem

His muttered dialogue with Jesus
was apologetic and respectful,
politely drawing that Deity’s attention
to cosmic oversights.

The supermarket cart,
full of strange lumps and extrusions,
seemed a natural extension of self.
His eyes never viewed
a potential acquisition directly:
they fluttered, like children’s wishes,
skirting the object of desire,
until, overcome by belief,
he would pounce.

The temperature drop,
that negated the meagre warmth
of the hot air vent that was his home,
temporarily interrupted
his celestial conversation.

In the thin morning light,
the cart stands guard
over the still and huddled body,
like some alien monument
commemorating a battle
few have known.

Monday, 23 October 2017

October Changes

Waking this morning, I felt
that all my nerves
were dangling,
like the last leaves
of some ancient autumnal oak,
awaiting the quick
breath of a north wind.

Later this morning, I felt
that all my senses
were growing
like the first buds
of some young and vernal oak,
quickening in the warm
winds of spring.

Extrapolating this afternoon,
good humour recovered,
at my germinating metaphor
on the oak of life:
my brain an acorn green,
but still to grow.

The Ancient Hippie

The Ancient Hippie
Natraj dances with us all.

Welcome, and Namaste

Greetings fellow travellers,

For you American friends visiting, you will notice that this old Canadian uses Canadian English in this blog: kindly bear with me. As I blog primarily on subjects that are vitally interesting to me, I appreciate all feedback.

As I tend to be a bit of a language usage freak, I will, as required, edit obscenity and rude comments. That said, I welcome your opinions and discussion.

May your Dharma be clear


"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumb'red here,
While these visions did appear."

Puck’s epilogue to A Midsummer Night’s Dream