Saturday, December 10, 2011

Solsttice Burns Lake

Scream of snowmobiles in the dark
Res. Dogs howling on short cold chains
spiked tires sing on frozen fog
coming off the icy road
my snowshoes crunch all day in the forest
soundtrack for a life half over
but far from used up

this is how we enter the tunnel of winter
the darkness
sun mocking on the south horizon
a reflection of it;s summer fullness
this is the curse of the northern tribes
cold reminder of Mortality
Mistakes are magnified by cold
one wrong turn in the dark means a night spent in the forest or worse

but I have survived winters before,
swam through darker days than these
I can still feel the fire of the sun
I've stored it in my heart
stored it in my young
can drink from it like a flaming cup of absinthe
It sustains me while it numbs me

I watch the cold slow sunrise
nine a.m red
ravens on the wire
puffed up
voices like gargled glass

perfect company.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Hannay

Ancient River Strangled by time
abandoned by the retreat of the glaciers,
now a ghostly dragons back
oxbow lakes long and deep ,
sand and muck on mountian tops
rocks in the valleys,

even now laced with logging roads
and abandoned mines
primordial spirit is evident
giant moose wallow though the endless bogs
just emerged from Ice
the sand permeates into your boots
the alders and ferns turn to jungle
the moment they are given light.

The stumps of half-century old logging camps
sprout impossible coloured mushrooms.
Life is never denied here
heaving bumps of moriane,s and drumlins
geologic gravel
heaved up and left behind
the whole valley an abandoned ghost of cataclysm
surveyed but never settled
rumours of abandoned homesteads
beneath the understory.
A rotting fence rail sprouting from the moss
a mooses skull w/ mushrooms growing from the sockets
Geology is the poetry of time
writing with the hand of rot
sculpting with a million trickling fingers , sanding with the gusts of wind and waves .
Painting it with the circus of leaves and flowers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peaceful in the forest

It must be peaceful in the forest
they say, half curious with confused condescension
Well I never hear a phone all day
and I'm far from the rodent scurrying
vacuum of empty chatter
I'm out here with the real squirells
Quiet yes
peaceful no
The forest is a long silent war
the trees bear scars, deep frost cracks
twisted stumps and stems as they struggle for the light,
jockey for position
jostle for moisture
fight off beetles and
finally in spite of all this effort
drawn from the very soul of the soil
rooted in the strength of bedrock
are torn apart by woodpeckers
and legions of fungi

All illusions of peace
are just anthropomorphic mis-representations
Humans squeezing all life
into our own frantic time-frame
the only peace is balance
death with life

struggle with growth

but at least the phone never
and the squirells never talk politics

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jack Russell Terrier Chasing Crows on Garbage Day

flicking tail
bark of a much larger dog
patrols the block
sky filled with mocking black
wings, wednesday
on the edge
of some hapazarded village
not yet old enough to be settled in it's ways
crafty corvids pry and peck
scatter disposable diapers and
chip bags to the smoky wind
the dog never stops can to can he barks
corvids flutter with bags quickly grabbed
but never have time to enjoy fully
their pillage
retreat to the wires and mock
as the mutt barks with every inch
of his tightly wound body

the dog and I are stuck
hunters drawn out of the woods
by love and Loyalty
fealty to our pack
to sit in this strange interface
with forest so close
you can smell it burning
but in spring Solomon seal and roses draw us out
fall it's dying mushrooms, highbush cranberries
filling misty air with sour indescribable dank
the crows fade
as we take to the trail
squirells tease us out of town
the crows mocking demons
of our mock creation
sentinels of our
sentence self imposed
One day the villagers will
rise up
the dog- catcher will come
that the boundries have
been breached
the barbarians are with in the gate
and it's too late to draft a bylaw
today under the tainted sky
no one notices
even to laugh
except the children
and they are on our side.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Requiem for The Cosmic Vagabond

Three lines in a second rate paper

"No service by request of family"

falls miserably short

in commemoration of any man

let alone

one who was my mentor

muse, straight-man , un-indited co-conspirator

un-ending source of bad jokes and good music.

Let us take you


away from an inauspicious end

in a town you loved to hate

from a family

who never forgave you

for being the sand

in the vaseline that lubricated

their slide into oblivion

for speaking unpoplar truth

unprofitable truth

for putting your elbows on the

country club table

let us take you away

Let us burn you like the Viking in your heart

let us burn you

in a cathedral of trees

sourrounded by poets ,madmen, gutter punks

farmers and shaman

"Rage against the Machine"

Screaming in the back ground from some unsolicted

anaglog source.

Let us bundle your corpse

into the "Yellow Submarine"

the old Chevy ,heavy on the axles

with books, batteries,

spare alternators and U-joints

Let us light the pyre

Kindle it with bio-diesel

and a big pile of Ben-Franklin Bills

ignited from the cherry of a sticky stick of "the Finest"

"It's not smoke til ya burn it!"

Let us let the old truck burn

hot in the starlight glade

'Til the tank blows and the steel belts glow

White in the embers

Let the flames carry you up

toward the clarity of space

the clarity you always sought

Away from the memories

of Ghettos Burning

of Molesting priests, Insane Mothers

and the chains of smaller betrayals

personal demons

nagging decay of age

Let the high stratos winds lend you their strength

and carry you high.

When the fires have died and all firery toasts have emptied the Tequila

the words once meticulously underlined

of the philosphers have been re-defined

reduced to quietwhirlwinds

of white ash

We will gather your ashes

mingled with the ashes of the words

take them all in the blue boat

weighted with fishing lures

fashioned from the gold in your teeth

to the still waters of Little Bear

We will release all that remains

to the hand of the Blue water

the cloud movie playing overhead

and the soundtrack of the waves

kissing the sacred shore.

The First Cattle Driven In

White Devils

Deviled by Flies

Haloed and stung

oppressed by everpresent Hum

Ride on Shouting

through Devils Club swamps

and rocky ridges

Horses slipping

Ride in Cow stink

wet and slippery grass

grass to their bellies

Left Anahim in June

Nineteen and Seven.

to the bleating soundtrack of the calves.

Tetachuck Charlie Hoists his son

His Michel, strong and bright

with shiny new whiteman name

freshly installed by the mumbling priest

"Their Animals smell worst than they do!"

They Laugh

standing on top of an abandoned beaver lodge

as the herd bellows through the Tetachuck Marshes

"Too short, not like moose, I bet they get stuck alot.."

Michel laughs at the strange wallowing beasts

never dreams he'll own his own herd

never dreams fity years of cutting

Cutting the Land with fences

Cutting trees for cabins

Cutting hay with scythe and McCormick Mower

Cutting all he knows into measurable peices

The Herd moves on

leaving behind strange tracks

in strange black mud

The first cow pies

on the hillside

instantly swarm with flies...

taint the air with faint ammonia

for several days

The herd moves on

first to feast on virgin meadows

then to starve

at Tatalrose

on Meager haystacks

chewing Tag Alder

never dreaming winter could last so long

On to grow fat and sleek

with the railroads and the mines

Beefsteak on the mess hall table

Protien for the collective Muscle

Building the ancient land

into straight lines

Bridging the rivers

This day, Crossing the Tetachuck Marshes

the Bovine invaders

have no inkling

of the destiny they bring

to this new land

They only see fresh grass ahead

Hoarse throated cowboys behind

and flies all around.

Nathan Nicholas

July 2005.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Haying season

Haying Season( for PT Maguire)

Dust frozen by sunlight
precious time captured
like spiderweb dew in dawn rays
this brotherhood of men
working like the Chinese
ass-up-headdown-wheelbarrow-legg-ed struggle
iconoclasts of the land
still striving
while the air conditioned proletariet
dismisses sweat
disdains the communion of the land
assumes food comes from a package.

the fishbowl of Blue
Sky with fields
Hinting at the curvature of the earth
This is where the Sun is Harvested
Turned to Hay
Neat square bales
in clouds of green dust
wearing yellow googles -
Moose-hide chaps still stink
of Injun piss as they protect
the legs from the stem stratched rythm
the Bales going up
rumbling swaying old blue truck,
a deck in a sea of blue sky and
brown stubble

Smelling sweet in the stifling heat
Top of the Barn
tin roof pinging
with the blast of afternoon heat
dust rising
captured by light through
film cobwebbed windows
Great walls of green
going up 50 pounds at a time

Thousand bale days
wring water from our souls
so deep only the lake
can quench our thirst
home-made-beer sweating
in a mug
the first pint hardly tasted going down.

the Old man Prayerfully rates the day
fingers folded after a meal fresh from the garden
"with two hands and a will..."sez he"Any thing can be accomplished.."
and then he drifts off
head swaying to the crunk of the baler
lost in replaying the cloud-movie behing his eyelids.

so the day ends
swimming into sleep
dust frozen once again by sunset rays
dew formed by the breath
of the sleeping land.