Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Am Your Christmas Present

And I hope that all your Christmas wishes will come true.
I am your Christmas present and I’m coming home to you.

I am the Christmas present for your loved ones far away
I am the fall of snow that arrives on Christmas day
I am the socks, the box of chocs, the tie you give to Dad
I am the Christmas joke that cheers you up if you feel sad
I am the chestnuts roasting around an open fire
I am the DVD Super-deluxe edition of The Wire

I am Mr Tesco keeping Christmas dreams alive
I am the grocer on the High Street hoping that he can survive
You may say I’m mass consumerism, but I’m only having fun
I am the future because IT’S ONLY JUST BEGUN
I am ten thousand Kindle books travelling by post
I’m the letter up the chimney, the X-box you want the most

I’m expensive silver wrapping paper covered in gold stars
I’m the CO2 emissions from six hundred million cars
Right now I am a turkey, but soon I will be meat
I am a child in the slums, I am a beggar in the street
I’m your credit card, the debt you know you cannot pay
I’m a baby in a manger and I just won’t go away

I’m the Minister for War learning someone else’s lines
I’m the money spent on missiles, spent on guns and spent on mines
I am the bullet heading for a young man’s head
I’m a message to his mother. I’m afraid your son is dead.

And I hope that all your Christmas wishes will come true.
I am your Christmas present and I’m coming home to you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Visitor

Guess who’s coming on Christmas Eve?
His beard is snowy white.
We’ve got to get the house all ready.
It will be a pretty sight.

He’s my very favourite person
It was a shame he robbed a bank
But now he’s out of prison
It’s my favourite Uncle Frank

Monday, December 17, 2012

Half Finished

Presents never sent
In the bottom of the wardrobe
Addressed envelopes for unwritten letters
Notes on the back of photographs

Few laughs. A feeling of dread
As the illness approaches
Someone you love tied to the railway track
And you are helpless
But why am I tied to the track, you ask

Shaken like the welcome mat
And all your memories
Scatter like the silver stars on my eighth birthday

Silver turns grey.
At night you worry – is the door locked?
Crossword puzzles become confusing, are left
Half finished, along with half-knitted hats

Sure everyone is old, but you don’t know why
You are in the home.
It’s not your home
And you cry. You don’t ask for much
You’re perplexed and puzzled.
Why have you been abandoned
By your family?

And we take you to the sea, to Sheerness
And it’s beautiful, you say, looking over the marsh
For you’ve forgotten about the oncoming train

And the grey rain turns to fog
Dad, he walked out, you think
When he died – your joy was gone
Your life was half finished
And now you must finish it alone

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sleeping Giants

Sleeping Giant
Thunder Bay
Rock Formation


Sleeping Giant
Red Lake
Piles of dead mattresses


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Power Plays

Hydro-electric lines march across
The railway-scarred landscape
Of St Thomas
Its Station reinvented as a museum

And a stone apologises to the First Nation
For breaking a treaty
And drowning their land and livelihood
At the Ear Falls Dam

Monday, December 10, 2012


When I’m writing a poem
I laugh

What I’ve written
Actually makes me laugh!

But lately
When I’m writing
I find myself crying

It’s been a challenge
Trying to find those happy places

As if I've lost my clown’s shoes
The ones with the happy laces

Friday, December 07, 2012


When the bear is at its blackest
And the night has lost its moon
When the wind is at its keenest
And the ice has lost its tune

When you wake up in the darkest place
To the touch of winter’s breath
Then the spirit of the mine has passed
And its calling card is death

Monday, December 03, 2012

The Pope's Visit

When the Pope
Visited Fort Edmonton
He travelled in a white, glass Cadillac
Not unlike the donkey
Jesus rode*

*but with heavier security

Saturday, December 01, 2012


Pray tell,
how many spirits
of the First Nation
are still hanging around
The Forks, Winnipeg,
these days,
Great White Owl?