Monday, 18 March 2013

Winter Blahs


Winter Blahs
Last week
a drip metronomed my window sill ,
the driveway ice ridge thawed,
squirrels gnawed into the bluebird box and
cardinals sang territorial songs as the Pope departed.

Today
I walk the dog without my gloves,
an olfactory progression from stain to stain,  
puddles hide a pox of potholes,
I dodge the waves of grime brine.

A smart-phoned knot smokes pot
just beyond the high school gates
fucking this and fucking that habitually,
crowding out the sidewalk,
seeming bored, texting to belong,
shuffling through the rituals
of teenage conformity,
their daily litter of soda cans,
half-eaten pizza slices and
butt confetti;
yet they call me Sir and say
Tess is sooo cute a puppy,
despite her fifteen years.

I’m tired of winter:
allergic to the mold,
damp cold,
fearful that latest flu
has made the jump from beast to man,
resentful of income tax returns,
annoyed by the mail- box avalanche of spring sales;
“Target” has crossed the border: but
do I really need to buy?

Tomorrow
 I will book my escape to
Prince Edward Island’s shore,
to beach comb through the laze of summer;
I can smell the sea and
taste the chowder.

Bryan D. Cook   Ottawa, March 2013

Context For Winter Blahs
I attended a TREE Reading Series Seed Workshop where we were introduced by Gwynn Scheltema  to "playing with constraints".....the application of structure in the style of Oulipo practitioners. Such structures can follow quite complex mathematical series, but I chose a simple approach of expressing my feelings and experiences for last week, today and tomorrow.

Pope Benedict's Farewell


                                                          Northern Cardinal (Kevin Boulton)

Reluctant Orchid Duet


Mother’s Day Orchid
Bryan. D. Cook
Ottawa, March 5, 2013

Tanya’s orchid still won’t flower.
It had a splendid spray
when bought by the kids for Mother’s day,
four years ago,
pale green petals and white tongues
which lingered on for months.
In its new slot pot with special soil
it hung straw roots and grew large shoots
and we waited, waited, waited
for the flowers to reappear ;
but no such luck
watered, fertilised and sun-lit
it smiled a contented, leafy smile
and declared that’s it!

The Doctor Is In

By Bill Arthurs
Ottawa, March 6, 2013

Assure your Tanya that we shall fight
To cure her ailing epiphyte.

Mayhaps homesick for its native shore
In Myramar or Singapore;
But without a voice to cry its plight,
It keeps its silence through the night.

We cannot know its history well,
Or take down its genes to tell.
It cannot call its friends back home
Due to lack of voice or cellular phone.

Could this orchid's dire plight
Be simply due to improper light?
With its photoplasts unemployed
Does it lack the energy once enjoyed?

Or is improper nourishment the cause
Of why it retreated from where it was?
We shall have to wait and see,
And probe the plant’s biology

Context for Reluctant Orchid Duet
I sent the first poem along with my partner's delinquent orchid to a friend and expert in genealogy and orchids, Bill Arthurs, with whom it is now undergoing rehabilitation! He wrote me back the second poem. I thought them fun......it is pleasant to dialogue in poetry!


Dendrobium orchid