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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.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Infinities



As a teenager the concept 
of limitless space 
amazed me.  To think 
that, if I pointed skyward, 
an invisible line 
extended from my finger 
would never end!

Skipping stones across 
some quiet cove 
I would imagine that, 
with enough power 
behind the throw, 
skip distance would eventually 
diminish to infinity.

As, through the cycle of our years,
infinity grows much closer,
our spirits weave 
a glowing thread
that reaches
to forever.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Leeward Shore



Just a lonely point on a rocky shore
where I can hear the ocean’s roar;
just a little grove of small jack-pines,
and a humble home that I’d call mine,
on a leeward shore.

A garden green where children play;
with kin and neighbours just down the way,
and a lovely country girl, my wife,
we would lead a happy life
on a leeward shore.

Just a quiet room where I could brood,
and watch the reach’s changing mood.
With a few friends living down the beach,
contentment could be within my reach
on a leeward shore.

***

But I must roam the globe around:
I’m not content with what I’ve found.
There are countries that I’ve yet to see,
with blue lagoon and tall palm tree.
There are dark-eyed faces and tropic nights;
Norwegian fjords and northern lights;
Italian hills and Spanish plains;
Arctic blizzards and Brazilian rains;
and a strong west wind to fill my sail,
and when I’m gone I’ll leave no trail
but a home on the leeward shore.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A Random Act of Violence



Chimeric wisps
of anger
filter through
the fog of being.
Chance encounters,
choreographed
by Chaos,
put spark
to tinder-dry emotions
shaped by paranoia’s
hopelessness.

The sudden, explosive,
culmination
of a wasted life,
irrevocably,
irretrievably,
changes the lives of Innocents.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Crossing



His mind was fresh, his ideals high:
he entered the crowd without knowing why.

He was struck by the panic, the need, and the fear:
the searching and craving, the refusing to hear.
He spoke out in anger, which melted to tears
as he cried in frustration, and aged many years.

So he merged with the mob in its frantic race,
as his conscience screamed with remorse and disgrace.
They laughed, and they pointed, and said he was mad:
and they pulled him still lower:   he thought he was glad.

   And they spoke without listening:
   and they saw, yet were blind:
   they cried, false tears glistening:
   they sought ne’er to find.

Then he crawled from the gutter, and pulled himself out.
He doubted his senses, wildly glancing about,
for the crowd had gone, seeking darker ways.
He stood in the sunlight, beyond murky haze.

His mind was a void: his morals were corrupt.
He had nowhere to go, nowhere but up.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Child and the Dragon



I cannot see the distant path 
On which your feet must tread: 
I only sense shadows deep 
That fill my heart with dread.

I know that right will persevere, 
That truth will arm you well. 
May the light that shines about you 
Banish dark where dragons dwell.

To protect you through your journey 
On roads where I have passed 
You must wisely use your magic 
To deflect the dragon's blast.

I give you now this talisman 
To keep within your breast: 
The talisman is love, my child, 
Its magic father-blessed. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Career Paths



Mother wanted me to be
a nurse,
and help people
in their dotage;
I thought perhaps a Mountie,
or a public intellectual;
at the very least
a poet, or a sage.

In the cement mixer of life
all aspects, and aspirations,
get tossed around:
dishwasher,
night watchman,
fisherman,
miner,
sailor,
radio operator,
teletype operator,
crypto custodian,
archivist,
computer guy,
senior systems administrator,
retiree.

Looking back
down the path,
I understand now
that it is not the name
or nature of the job,
but the completion, 
the satisfaction,
that it brings;
and the song
that life sings
in your saga.

Caution: Contents Under Pressure



Labels can be useful things
to warn, advise or list,
preventing tragic accidents
from allergens you may have missed.
Labels can tell you
what is real, and what is fake,
so you don’t use chemical carcinogens
when flavouring your cake.

In the toxic global scramble
for resources, cash, and perks,
why are economic, or military adventurism
the only tools in the works?

Labels can be useful things
to demonise one’s opponents:
alt-right, alt-left, 
neo-this, neo-that,
sjw, loopy left, 
anti-intellectual,
communist hack.
Our hatred of others is such
that it poisons all we touch.

Why can’t we drop the labels
and communicate instead?
Even our so-called enemies
have truths that must be said.

Let us discard all such labels;
let’s start talking face to face,
and proudly wear, together,
the label, “Human Race.”


Friday, 31 March 2017

Complaints



I once thought with musing mind,
what if one should suddenly find
(I chuckle when I think of it!)
oneself a snake, in a mongoose pit?
And would it not make people think,
and rant, and make a frightful stink,
and take stock of their senses while they squirm,
if transformed into a worm?
Perhaps they’d not be so bigot,
if changed into an ocelot.
Would they retain their hate and greed,
as a patch of motley brown seaweed?

If rocks and trees and dogs,
and elephants and hogs,
and even a rotting leaf,
complain not of their grief,
then why should mortal man, as such,
make of so little, so damned much?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Teacher



Another when,
and he ruled his Eng Lit classes
from the comforts 
of tweeds well worn.

Today, though,
stumps of pencils, flags of paper,
were now secreted willy-nilly
deep in the rags
that called him home.

Teaching when and where he could,
urchin and ancient alike
found benefit
from his memory of a life
before his fall.
A name spelled here,
welfare application there,
laboured reading 
of gutter-trapped headlines;
the street seemed less ugly
for his students.

Shorn heads and hard booted,
the Furies fell upon him
one cold night
for possession of his half bottle
of fortified wine.

Surrounded by his small blank bits of paper,
and short, sharpened stubs of pencils,
he resembled nothing so much
as an incomplete jigsaw puzzle,
its meaning not quite clear.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Butterflies



Thinking of you 
this afternoon,
the vision of butterflies
came to mind.

Multitudes of colour:
a summer mosaic
enhancing the perfection
of the meadow.

Your love does the same
for the uniformity of my days.
An ever-varied blend of emotions:
Laughter, love, tears, sharing.
Together.

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

Peace

"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