Ted Plantos Dedication
left the land of sun
abandoned the blue skies and pebbled beaches
blocked the whispers of the waves
try to forget the swollen breast of sea
the foamy crests
the white seagulls in their erratic fly
surrounded by grey and brown porous snow
caressed by cold wind
cradled by lingering winter
i arrived home
where i belong
desires of pulsing hearts
ready for voyages to Mars, guests of infinity,
future is now, creating fresh definitions of 'home'
on streaking space ships in flight from time.
Buck Rogers my epic hero in grade three
flew his crew beyond clustered stars
exploding constellations, winning wars.
Where can you find 'home sweet homes',
'homes over distant horizons'?
we discovered home is where the heart
can yearn in secrecy, if need be, alone!
imagine trickles of homesickness claiming
emotional minds of men and women near
Mars' orbit, close to voluptuous Saturn's rings.
There'd be no returning to Mother Earth!
Today families already balanced precariously
give guidance to children facing chaotic worlds,
hanging in there, steering the family ship
away from hostile rocks in turbulent times.
For us, born
in 1920's jazz age
time's radiance, living light of youthful lives,
showered bounty, struggle, loss, discovery, optimism.
Reminiscing today brings guilt. Curious kids ask,
Who will stop the menacing grotesques?
Those Old Songs
behind the scenes,
behind the limelight,
my heart beats rhythm
like a metronome.
fully automatic system
performs all those old songs
Inuit Hunters, Kayaks, Sled Dogs
satellite's photographic mapping
lens of God's eyes over his shrinking
kingdom floating across the top
watery world's icescapes 30 feet thick
years of vast ice fields grinding pack ice
living sculptures chiseled by frigid winds,
work by any standard ?
picturing the white fastness welded together
wind-chills -95'F merciless tundra
hunting, fishing on shriveling ice pans,
likely to succeed in widening coastal leads
kayaks over hidden bruising narrow gaps,
way to skidoos cruising snow-packed village trails
cubs and kids for polar bears, seals, narwhal,
Arctic char, polar cod fish
sheets of sea ice, ice packs breaking up,
mammoth glaciers calving iceberg art
into southern shipping lanes
ice masses circle the Pole
thaw melts earlier
passage reveals itself
, freer in solitude...
When a detox
centre passed me by
I thought, how nice, how very nice
to be detoxified.
How splendid it must be
to hide behind A A's anonymity.
the detox centre
for those who don't do drugs,
whose substance is the stuff of life,
who still must have their fix?
Where's the detox centre
for 'Man's inhumanity to Man,'
for crimes against humanity
that seem bred in the very bone?
churches and confessionals
to exorcise our vices,
with a ten per cent donation
for their meth.
But there are no detox centres
for Twittering or sex,
these are left to self control.
Yet these every day addictions
are countenanced by all.
Milkweed Birds,published 2012
at the drowsy city
as an ambulance chases a silent stalker
that lies in ambush in the dark passageways
connecting the body's many dwellings
to the extremities of the heart.
A victim choking
in the killer's hold
is snatched from certain death at zero hour
and delivered to emergency. The attack
is registered, compressed into dates and data,
the patient poked, probed and injected.
refuses to surrender
his vital statistics, but medication
puts him in his place, and his intended victim
takes heart as he is wheeled to a ward
for the surgeon's inquest and sentence.
The long dark
tunnel from emergency
is chilly and foreboding. Fear creeps
into the mind's folds. The heart, worn
from the burdens of living, falters:
will it rally to beat the odds in the morning?
the ceiling of each ward
to run curtains round the solitude
of those in pain. Little of what is left
of their pride huddles in hives of hope
where tiny flames strobe-light the will to live.
and pulled in wheelchairs
or on hospital gurneys between labs, surgery
and their cubicles, mostly men, mostly old,
semi-private, semi-conscious, semi-alive
and semi-dead, their manhood diminished
their patience goes limp. And I
grow weary of waiting among the promises
of well-meaning doctors and the solicitations
of smiling nurses. I know the killer bides his time
in the blood and the heart cannot be institutionalized.
a grey blanket damp against the window.
I hear the winter wind whistle a dirge in the streets below,
blowing flurries of snow horizontally across the cold light.
Five storeys above the just awakening Ottawa traffic
I feel my years like a heavy weight in my flesh and bones.
at the centre of my anxiety,
between drab hospital walls and insipid meals,
an explosion of blood-red petals - an amaryllis!
Nine blossoms succulent as passion, a gift of love
feeding the flames in one of my nine lives.
on sturdy green legs hour by hour
from the first day of my confinement
unfolded till they towered above the ailing
wannabe living forever and a day -
a cluster of floral flesh and blood
like a circle
of dancers suspended in mid-air,
mouths wide open, all lips and loving,
anthers tonguing the clinical air,
their crimson petals velvet skirts flaring -
a tableau to trump mortality for another day.
were silent when I went home,
the blood once more coursing freely
through the re-enforced tunnels in the flesh,
an amaryllis singing a Renaissance glee
to the tune of a newly enchanted heart.
my heart pounds
of pride filled energy
a successful performance
I stand here
spiked into the ice
for an unseen crowd
in a forum of applause
my mind and
melt into the soul
of glass smooth ice
warmer to the next venue
is a test of pride
and dedication to perfection
under blinding lights
will test my heart