Tobermory

Water so clear you see feet.
Night so clear you see stars.
Stars are the feet of solar systems.
Night is water if the light’s sky.
It’s getting light where most people live.
Most people—it’s time to get out of bed.

I’m in bed now—what do I know of people?
Most people get what’s light and clear, like
the night sky without stars equals fear, but with
means pride (on your soles, fine speck of system!).
The stars themselves so clearly have meaning
you nearly fall off your feet in the drink.

~

My partner and I had the pleasure and privilege of escaping to Tobermory, Ontario, this summer for a couple nights alone. It’s really the most beautiful place I’ve been to in Ontario. Last night she prompted me to write about that gorgeous water that fills Georgian Bay.

Image source: Outdoor Photo Journey.

To become a metaphor

Half way up Everest you find a bag of weed.
You stash in it in your sleeve so no one else sees it
and so you feel it crinkle in your symmetry.

Three-fifths up the exit polls arrive with the victorious:
“We saw it on the horizon—the sloths won.”
Lights out, you spark a J from a hand-wash-only tag.

Two-thirds up it’s obvious, and your crew insist
share or leave. It’s Jonestown or no foul play

Seven-tenths up you’re all coughing, or was it
four-sevenths, you’re waving down the upcoming

The wholly-sober survivors return home to learn
there was no signal—the sloths never left office.
Leadership stick the climbers up their sleeves, brag

“I got this for being a human being.”
Someone pries your coat free because
someone they love is freezing. They are a moment

weightless, dreamy. “Why’d nigh thinka that
–damn tag been buggin since we set out.”

~

Special thanks to Amanda Besserer for prompting my partner to prompt me about Everest.

This poem again

Some ask how could we bring a babe into this time
when the North Pole’s a puddle in the dark
but I ask: what will you do with your cat?

The indoor toms and queens; shall they be released?
When the splash pad’s parched and the fountain’s stripped
will you spend a ration for your familiar, or

shall you calculate their age, deem them roughly adult
and set them free? No, I know you like I know me.
We need to make eyes with someone helpless we can help.

~

The prompt was cats. We have two cats. Our neighbours have two cats. My sister and her husband, three doors down, have a cat. Ours will be the coziest settlement amidst the fallout.

Our home got stuck in a trash collector

Pull the spare mattress from under my parents’ bed
comforter under my arm. Leave it. Retrieve
my pillows and Can you try sleeping in your bed?

Could insist I have been, dreamt I died
everyone I love died, and I saw it all
from within the devourer’s maw.

Moments to convince them. Lie down.
Say nothing. They relent but I imagine
them and the trash collector dream of clear floors.

Our home got stuck in the head of a trash collector.
Dream-possible, we are ever up the road.
We march out with stuff and in and out again.

He raps on the truck to signal it forward.
We come with hardwood. We come with gift bags.
The cab necks ahead but the trailer extends as an angler’s jaw.

We shovel up from the cellar. Neighbours sneak more.
Junk mail carriers and paperboys are routed here.
Milkmen resurrect to soak it all.

Butcher pulls up and gestures, “Hey you
—I’m a kill you when you’re here.

~

This one was the product of two possible prompts: helplessness, and the coziest memory I have. Thanks as always to my parter Kate Maxfield for making me think.