The Ontario Poetry Society
- The Ted Plantos Memorial Award Winner for 2006 -

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Members' Poetry


Ted Plantos






The Ontario Poetry Society Presents:

John Aylsworth Ide

The Ted Plantos Memorial Award Winner for 2006

About the Author:

A former visual artist, John's poetry has been published in quality literary journals, including Dandelion Magazine and Surface and Symbol, where his poem "As I Walk" received an Honourable Mention award in April, 2005.  His work has also been featured in many of T.O.P.S.' pubications, including The Writes of Freeedom anthology, Unlocking the Muse anthology, and in several issues of Verse Afire.

For Mona 

I like the way trees strive forever upwards, and the way birds
flicker sunlight with their wings.  I like the way wind swings,
the way time passes in the womb.  I like the way a father shines,
a new-born in his arms, the way a baby smiles just before
taking that first momentous step.  I like the way old men stoop
to get their morning papers, the way tea tastes
in the middle of the afternoon.  I like the way clouds move,
the way they billow up and roll around.  I like a harvest moon,
the way grass grows, the way snow falls upon a barking dog.  I
like the way it chases sticks, wags its tail, the way a mouser
licks each kitten in her litter.  I like the way dawn breaks,
and how your ashes shone, white blossoms
on the water.

in the old days,
you know - when there were knights,
         real queens -
they used to decorate the commons
with severed heads on poles
and dead bodies draped
through trees
as warnings, they say,
(historians, I mean),
for thieving and/or
devotion to the wrong religion.
And, so, darling,
(may I call you darling?)
why is it so shocking that helicopters
fly back and forth above us,
that far away bombs drop
so we can shop
on eBay?
And There You Were 

And there you were, falling on your knees,
the desert's dust red hot and blowing,
        old hymns and prayers,
And later, I held your shawl, the wind
flying it in the moonlight as you sat,
laughing on the shadow.  And how we laughed
when Babicar drank up all the coffee,
the fire dying, our laughter,
and the moon.
You Said

You said, looking at my fingertips,
touching them:
       There's where memory is,
       your skin,
       your hair...
My bones? I said, laughing.
       The marrow, you said, turning.
Cool air touched my fingers, traced
my skin.  And now, remembering,
my arms are bat's wings, wrapped around me.
How like cuneiform memories are,
how like clay tablets,
dust to dust, unless
there's fire.
Birds Flew

Birds flew as he lay dying, flocks across
the sky, and through his bones, shadows
dark against his blood as he lay softly
breathing.  Death was like the birds, a blessing come
at last to free him of himself, his memories,
sins.  Women drew the curtains, washed him,
dressed him, buried him (singing sweetly)
in the temple, Earth.