I have been spinning
my poor-me’s into gold
for all the days
I can recall.
And using that gold
to buy everything
that I can hold.
But there is more to spin
each night

I am standing in the rain
wondering when
you’re going to show up?
Cold, and soaked,
with all this gold
in my pocket.
And I am only going to wait
another hour
or two
then you can go
and get your gold
from some other soul.

To all you fools
who didn’t buy,
my outrage is screaming
from the tallest tower,
naked and bullied
and ashamed.

I’ve told you,
now you know my name.


From Chatterbox

photo credit FreeImages.com/Ear_Candy



My lips shall not speak a resolution this year.
Instead they will whisper a prayer
kiss a hand
press it to my cheek.
Bereft and longing
but I cannot resolve a path –
Will not resolve a path.

I pick my way through the orchard
stepping over ancient fallen branches
and rotting fruit corpses.
The sun
sinking into the horizon
blinds me, though there is a tree in the distance
a silhouette
black and invisible
and I am pulled forward
even as it disappears.
I say to Adam,
get out of my way,
you’re blocking my view.

I am mesmerized by that tree.

I hear my beating heart
a serpent hissing
a bird in laughter.
Trust that God does not mock us.

Turn over the hand
kiss the palm
let it happen
without resolution.



from Chatterbox

Baby Zombie







I am trapped
can’t escape
banished to the cellar steps
examining my shoes
through my tears.

Living in this house
moving room to room
singing behind the curtains
floating in the bath.

I am a baby zombie
bumping into walls
while everyone
goes about their day.

How can I know
what I missed
if I never knew
it was missing?
My heart knows.

I am broken.
Need a doll doctor
to sew me up,
clean these eyes
bend back my leg

And walk out
the door
and keep on walking
til this house
is far behind.

But I am trapped
by the fear
that there is nowhere
but here.

Chew my arm off instead.


from Chatterbox








I peel a clementine
and contemplate the world.
My world.
Soft little peel
spongy, barely clinging to the fruit
gives way easily
like a thin chemise.
He handed me this orange
so perfect and round
absolutely quenching
sweet and bursting in my mouth.

The sky storms
winter falls
the sun obscured
by a million miles of frozen tears.
I know what I want
what my heart wants.
The lingering bitterness of citrus on my fingers.
for more of this magnificence
this sun in the palm of my hand.

Pray for wisdom.
Fill me up.

From Chatterbox








I say yes
to this gift
on my knees
fumbling for words

You want me this way,
this madly?
Then I am yours.
And I say yes
to this gift

I didn’t see to read
I couldn’t find the lock
I wouldn’t turn the key
I didn’t hear
what I could not say
it was there in my mouth,

The light pours in
the early morning
I feel a whisper
and it wakes me
my first thought is of him
your prayer on my lips
lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

I say yes
to this gift
this prickling quenching numbing
and humbling
I am blessed.

I say yes.

From Chatterbox

The Apple Tree


Gnarled old thing
with twisted limbs
and thick grey bark.

I lean on the fence
as birds fly in
disappear into the leaves
flutter off drunkenly.

The fruit glows
dark and shining
like eyes across a room.
I wonder
for I’ve ate apples
sweet and new
but I’ve picked apples
wormy and dry.

Such a divine old tree.
Somehow so familiar.

This fence is falling down.

From Chatterbox

Hello Winter

jack-o-lantern-hello-winterThe winter is coming
the colour falls from the trees.
Soon the boughs will be barren
outside the window.
The light goes faster,
the day is gone before I know it,
and the candles want lighting.

I carve a pumpkin,
numbing my hands
in frozen pulp.
Stabbing eye holes
and a maniacal grin.
I light the jack-o-lantern
and watch it giggle
at the darkness, flickering
and cooking
its own brain.

A scarecrow
comes to life.
He stands before me,
plaid shirt, cocked head.
Makes me follow him into friendship
with his sad stupid eyes,
fools me down
a long, long path.

While he’s sleeping.
I find the matches.
Light his shoulder,
watch it smoulder.
Watch him blacken,
curl up and, fry,

Hello winter.

From Chatterbox


book-863418_640On the way to writing workshop I pass a book sitting out on a planter as though waiting for someone to take it. People do that these days; instead of keeping things forever as in olden times, they throw things away; purge, recycle, declutter. And someone, on this fine October day, decided to place a hardcover Roget’s Thesaurus, red, yellow, and black dust jacket intact, out on their planter for someone to pick up.

The collector in me wants to take it. I’ve never owned a hardcover thesaurus before, and my old yellowed paperback is barely holding together with crackled masking tape. But the lazy, sore shouldered pragmatist in me says, don’t be silly, you don’t need more to carry, and besides, you never use a physical thesaurus anymore. It’s true, now when I edit I keep thesaurus.com open on my browser.

I walk a little farther. At least I could take a picture of the thesaurus among the fall colours on the planter. I could post it on Instagram where I like to put my anonymous pictures, pictures without people. Is it sufficiently ironic to find this orphaned book on the way to writing group?
But I have already passed it. And to take a photo now means stopping and going back, aiming and shooting, and maybe someone will be watching me and I’ll feel foolish.

It’s then I remember the prayer I prayed this morning: please Universe, show me, give me a sign; am I meant to be writing?

Last Whisker

How can it be?
I strain to see
and pluck and pull –
futility –
and feel the prickly
little wire
poke through again
each week, each hour,
like a menopausal weed
upon my witch’s chin.

And then
the old man, afraid and spent,
fingers frail as chicken bones,
pulled down the shades,
lost his stones,
bid goodbye,
death by poverty,
alack, alone.

And as I stroke
my soft new chin
in pleasant contemplation
I feel no more
the stubborn prick
of days of sin.
My inner whore delighted
to be free and faithful
gorges on gingerbread,
little boys,
and wild boar.witch-1461961_640

Chatterbox Launch

Chatterbox Poems coverThurs Oct 13th, 2011- Zelda’s

I’ve been invited as a feature artist for The Beautiful and The Damned poetry cabaret here in Toronto at Zelda’s. In addition to launching my book, Chatterbox, it is also an evening to raise “A Toast to Jackie Burroughs“, Canadian actress and beautiful soul who passed away on September 22, 2010.

Hosted by DM Moore, the evening starts at 7 pm. I hope you will make it out to hear me read and pick up a copy of Chatterbox. The night will include other entertaining performers, including Rex Baunsit, Philip Cairns, and Duncan Armstrong.

Zelda’s is located at 692 Yonge St. Toronto. The Beautiful and The Damned congregate upstairs. I hope to see you there.