Gnaw on this
Gnaw on that
Scamper and Wrestle
With sisters
Cherry Frida Cocoa
Climb and Cling
Nibble and Nip
Sniff, Snort, Snuffle
Snack and nap
Nuzzle, Sleep

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Just a Boy

Under the big tree in Parc Lafontaine
That tree seemed enormous
big enough for both our pain
We did yoga in the grass
and talked a bit
you were so young
a boy really
holding onto all that inside
all that beauty
all that hope
all that loss
We did yoga
under that great-grandfather tree
like a forest spirit
in the middle of the city
how many thousands like that
how many millions like that big father tree
were cleared to make this city
how many young souls like yourself
just a boy
holding so much pain
were cleared as well
and you went
to join them

Day 8: “someone who is dead … perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood”

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walk alone
wind rushes
bending the sawgrass
the stalks bow low but do not break

The sun bright through air bitter cold
Breath slow and fragile
nerves stripped raw
like wind-

Day 7: “the Fib is a six-line form … the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8”

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The tale I will tell you is hard to believe
belief is a virtue thats hard to achieve
Achievement is story thats told with a mouth
This story starts simply it starts with a house

The house on a street at the top of a hill
The hill in a hood that was destined to fill
The hood started small on the skirts of a town
The folk filled the city they destined to found

They founded the city and called it T.O.
Toronto was humble but destined to grow
Growth is has its limits but ego does not
The ego was cool and the nightlife was hot

And life needed purpose so they founded a team
Of basketball players who lived out a dream
The dream of a chance with a dinosaurs name
And dinosaurs size for a dinosaur game

And that game came to pass and it won them the ring
Kahwi and Lowry and Siakam and Green
Who lived in the city and living there still
In the town that began with a house on a hill

Day 6: “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you … Write a poem inspired by the line” Those who know, know: But the story of this terrible, stupid Thursday, the story of its extraordinary consequences, and the story of how these consequences are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable book begins very simply. It begins with a house. No idea how that transitioned into a poem about the Raptors 2019 NBA Finals upset victory, but happy little accidents I guess.

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Verdun Beach

At Wellington and DeLeglise the bouroughs heart beats hardest
Out of the Dollarama or the brand new Oyster bar the people mix like blood
Down to the rivers edge, or on the bench under the leaning gold statue of christ
Lounging old timers in tattered dinner jackets
Enter the church and the sound numbs around your ears like underwater
To the 4th pew, under the 3rd station of the cross: Jesus Falls for the First time
Fold down the prie-dieu and its echoes steel glances from the pious
And in Verdun everyone prays for sun

May you walk to the water in your Sunday shoes
Or drink a coffee in the summer in the sun
May you find your trouvailes in the magasin d’occassion
Our days are all summer in Verdun

All around the Avenues to the colonial mansions of DesMarchais we walk
Collective dayreams of double boulevard lined with oak
Be Kind! Be good! The neighbours lean the ballustrades
Escape the day’s heat in the shade of a balcony book
Metro park, where the addicts bunch butts of cigarette ends into rollups
Careful! Dont invite them too deep into your face
Tell them with your step you have places to go
Make your stride sing your purpose or stroll in your service
Now or never we all have faces to know
At the fountain we gather then fall apart

May you sit in the sand in your brand new suit
By the slides where the kids having fun
May you walk in the water in the chill spring air
At the beach in the summer in Verdun

One, Two, Three – Splash!

Day 5: “This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem.” I used Abd Al Malik’s ‘Strasbourg’ which also inspired the content and mood of this quick down-and-dirty

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Down, Down We Go

Down down we go
Into the inch thick dust carpet like a pressed wool blanket
Down down we go
Heels muffled clanging and echo
On the edge of these metal rung stairs
Down down we go
Out of the sun into the faint green glow of an old emergency lighting system
Down down we go
Even the drafts are left behind as we descend into this dead air soup that has never been tasted by human lung
Down down we go
Steeling ourself for the horror that awaits below the world we have enjoyed
Down into the unbearable terror that has become reality
Down into the unimaginable hell of the lower levels beyond our capacity to bear
Down into insult upon abuse upon suffering upon wanton destruction and deprecation of all that is innocent and sacred
Down we go beyond endurance beyond forbearance beyond hope beyond light
And yet still we descend
And somehow
We survive

Day 4: “I challenge you today to select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces”

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Bourbon Sweat

In a Flash

I Irritate my skin

with this Bourbon smell

of fresh drawn Sweat

and clean smelling Laundry

Day 3 – following some sort of prompts, I think. Please forgive me. NaPoWriMo is about writing 30 poems, not necessarily writing 30 good poems

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The Pictures Not Taken

The Bougainvillea blushing crimson
Your skin a cool black hole in the sun
In a wide-brimmed hat and summer glasses
I water the garden careful not to waste
on the steaming clay tiles of the edge
hot tropical humidity gives way to chill air
of a window closed against the cold
and a dead computer screen with pictures of you
and all the pictures we could have taken

Day 2

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Terrible Poetry Runs the World

The greenery is browning while
The Brownstones in Greenstein’s neighborhood are growing Ivy
I walk alone through the puffing intestinal masses
and flowering strobe of heightened psychic tension in the inner city
Planetary thoughts and strange nerve endings
of spinal tapped shot glasses and terrible digital keyboard riffs
bleed inside my head and drip down into my ankles
where plants arrive and worm in between the ticklish spaces of my toes
I pulled this load attached to my own teeth and tongue
pull it out of my throat up from my larynx and make it known
make it compassion
make it speak
make it sing
make it walk and talk and move to the rhythm
so that it will no longer inhabit my head and take up that space
The band comes together between my ears
my fingernails grow and grow as the drummer drums
and my skin grows weary my flesh raincoat and I wait
for the day I can rejoin the leaves and the crowns of the trees
and these eyes can finally close and fall backwards inside
down into the muscles into the Moon into my heart
into the ice cold freezing waters where I swim
and the flesh can disperse into a myriad electrical charges
and particles to wander their own ways
and rejoin the cosmos in eternal dance

Day 1

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The Aquarist


Four walls of glass – and water full
A base of earth and stone
He tender – places greenery
To gild Poseidon’s throne

And finely trims with surgeons heed
A bed of dancing weave
That wave about – the ebb and flow
And rest against the rock

Each outcrop, cliff and valley
Sculpted finest masonry
A rivulet of fine white sand
A cooled and silvered scar

To each its place a place for each,
Not left to whit or whim
He tends his underwater world
But who does tend to him?


Day 1: “Write a poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life.” I love aquascaping.
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