Sit like a Ruler

You must sit like a ruler, the instructor says.

So I do. Back ramrod straight.

What are you doing? the instructor asks.

Sitting like a ruler, I reply. A steel ruler.

No, not that kind of ruler, he says. Like someone in control. A king or commander.

Like Genghis Khan? I say.

I hear a few rogue giggles.

No. More like the Dalai llama. Posture is important in yoga.

I relax a little.

It would be very tiring, after all, to go through life in the presence of others, back stiff as a steel ruler.

[pic courtesy of wikipedia]

Love on the Wing

When I was a kid I used to wander down the park and watch dragonflies flitter over the pond like tiny, restless angels.

Later I wanted to write poems about them the way Monet would go down to his garden at Giverny to paint water lilies.

The only difference is that water lilies stay still. They don’t dash and dart about the pond at 100 ks an hour. Even when they have sex they’re on the go, coupling like planes fuelling mid- flight.

I almost got one once when a dragonfly dawdled on the front doorknob one drowsy afternoon, after summer rains, then saw me and took off, its gossamer wings flashing rainbows.

Perhaps I should turn like Monet to waterlilies. He got 250 paintings out of them. I haven’t got one poem though I reckon I’ve made 250 trips. [ pic by loriedarlin on pinterest ]

On Covers

This song comes on the radio.

It’s one I know but they’ve done something to it

it’s softer, whiter, drained of passion and angst, its southern origins.

It’s a cover of Lodi, the Creedence song.

They’re singing the lyrics but they’re not singing the song.

The chunky guitars are gone and it has a clarinet and acoustic guitar backing..

Come on.

There are good covers.

Think Ry Cooder’s cover of Elvis’s ‘Little Sister’,

the Soup Dragons cover of the Stones’ ‘I’m Free’

Amy Winehouse’s cover of the Zutons ‘Valerie’

but this cover’s a travesty.

Look what they’ve done to my song, mama.

Why would anyone bother?

This guy’s stuck in Lodi. He’s desperate but he’s given up.

He’s drained. It’s like the Eagles’ ‘Hotel California’,

Billy Joel’s Piano Man but you wouldn’t know it

hearing this pallid, weasel kneed version.

I know I shouldn’t get worked up. Hey, it’s only a song

but I’ve loved songs all my life; it’s my passion, more than poetry

but Hey! a good song is poetry

so I’m playing Creedence’s ‘Lodi’ to get me out of this funk.





*what are some of your favourite covers?

pic courtesy of Pinterest

Three Nights

Three nights of frazzled sleep

crammed into four hours on the couch

mellowed by malbec, merlot, mataro

an afternoon of tasting platters & wine samplings

at Penny’s Hill where black-faced sheep slumbered

under the oak; now you slumber so gently:

sweet Lethe has taken your troubles over the border;

you will awaken and forget

All My Christmases

Today on my front doorstep a bundle,

tied in coloured string, wrapped in cellophane,

5 New Yorkers, a Paris Review and

two School Magazines with my poems in,

the Covid backlog I thought would never come.

It felt like all my Xmases had come at once,

enough binge reading to last me till the Big Day.

On Cue

The fat crow caws

from the top

of the peppercorn tree

kraak kraak kraak

loud, loutish, laconic

& the bloke next door calls out

to his wife

what’s that, dear?

what’s that?

A New Path to Enlightenment


Matt has been hired by a plumbing company to sell toilets.  His old man who works for the same company got him the job. What could Matt do but accept? He was good at nothing else.
Larry, a hotshot salesman goes out with him one day and lays it on the line: “I don’t tolerate laziness. It’s a form of treason,” he says.
Matt says it’s not his fault he’s not pulling in big figures. He has no sales experience and no one is willing to train him.
Larry shoots back, “Baptism by fire.”
But Matt whines and says it’s been over a year and he still has no idea what he’s doing.
Then Larry comes back with this: “Your job is to go out there every day and get your face kicked in. It’s the only path to Enlightenment.”



 I don’t know if Larry and the Buddha were talking about the same kind of Enlightenment and if they were would the Buddha have agreed with Larry’s method?
Is Larry right? Or can’t you find Enlightenment through the toilet trade?
Are some trades/professions more inimical to Enlightenment than others? Can a politician find Enlightenment? would it help him in his job?