Friday, August 18, 2006

 

A Short Collection of Short Canadian Poems

A sampler platter of a dozen Canadian poets:

"The Gift"
by
P. K. Page

'Dried huckleberries,' you said.
'Cram them into your mouth by the handful.'

Like dried bees -- not quite stinging.
Rough and tart.
Chewy as a mouthful of springs.

My saliva releases
their ten small bony nutlets.

***

"Owl Pellet"
by
Tim Bowling

This is the only letter God will ever send you.
And if, opening it, you expect answers,
advice, condolences, you will find
a signature of bone. Otherwise,
a great hunched watchfulness
will leave your body, and perch
on the black branch between stars.

***

"Rain II"
by
Laura Lush

It rained last night --
and in the morning, the poppies
stem-broken, but not defeated,
stooping in the back garden.
Their red, the red of every woman's life.
I know now
it is better to be the rain.

***

"Application for a Driving Licence"
by
Michael Ondaatje

Two birds loved
in a flurry of red feathers
like a burst cottonball,
continuing while I drove over them.

I am a good driver, nothing shocks me.

***

"a little song"
for george bowering
by
bp Nichol

a
blake
lake

keats
eats

shelley
hell
he

et
rossetti

***

"Cucumbers"
by
Lorna Crozier

Cucumbers hide
in a leafy camouflage,
popping out
when you least expect
like flashers in the park.

The truth is,
they all have an anal
fixiation. Watch it
when you bend to pick them.

***

"A Prayer"
by
George Bowering

Lord God

if I have but one life to live,
I hope this aint it.

***

"The Six-Quart Basket"
by
Raymond Souster

The six-quart basket
one side gone
half the handle torn off

sits in the centre of the lawn
and slowly fills up
with the white fruits of the snow.

***

"The Great Blue Heron"
by
Don McKay

What I remember
about the Great Blue Heron that rose
like its name over the marsh
is touching and holding that small
manyveined
wrist
upon the gunwale, to signal silently --
look
The Great Blue Heron
(the birdboned wrist).

***

"God Sour the MIlk of the Knacking Wench"
by
Alden Nowlan

God sour the milk of the knacking wench
with razor and twine she comes
to stanchion our blond and bucking bull,
pluck out his lovely plumbs.

God shiver the prunes on her bark of chest,
who capons the prancing young.
Let maggots befoul her alive in bed,
and dibble thorns in her tongue.

***

"Octopus"
by
Pat Lowther

The octopus is beautifully
functional as an umbrella;
at rest a bag of rucked skin
sags like an empty scrotum
his jelled eyes sad and bored

but taking flight: look
how purposeful
in every part:
the jet vent smooth
as modern plumbing
the webbed pinwheel of tentacles
moving in perfect accord
like a machine dreamed
by Leonardo

***

"Misunderstanding"
by
Irving Layton

I placed
my hand
upon
her thigh.

By the way
she moved
away
I could see
her devotion
to literature
was not
perfect.

Comments:
I love Layton! Thanks for posting these.

Vicky
 
Thanks for the post.
I especially liked, "Application for a Driver's License," "a prayer", and "Misunderstanding." I needed a good laugh.
 
Nice spread Hedgie, a well timed selection of the kind of skewed poetic vision that I love to read.
 
Glad you all found things to like; thanks for stopping by.
 
Enjoyed all these little gems, Howard. Thanks for posting them.
 
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