Poetry

Backseat Windows

 

as a child I would lock eyes with other kids

captive in the back seats of station wagons

hurtling down freeways

or slowrolling through clogged streets

 

I would lock eyes

 

trying for some kind of psychic connection

anticipating a future meeting

hoping that decades later

our eyes would remember a moment held between us

briefly as a hummingbird’s visit and just as sweet

 

when we were young it was easy for me

 

seeing the world from inside the safety glass of the family car

innocence was as easy as unlocked doors

knowing who lived in each house on the block

and who’s mother made the best cookies

 

I thought that everyone else was as safe as I was

in those days before I knew about torture

about abuse and cruelty

punches that split skin

and the weight of undeserved guilt

 

perversions frequent as autumn rain

for too many, too young

too terrible

 

now, in this future of punched out walls

I wonder what happened to them

I try to recollect those faces

dredged images from ripped memories

some of those eyes must have been shrieking in their silence

calling for sympathy or salvation

locked in rolling hells

moving closer to the next indignity

while I worried about a music lesson I hadn’t practiced for

if I could return to those moments

I wouldn’t challenge fragile eyes with directness

I‘d look at you obliquely and offer you my passing tears

I’d applaud you for carrying on

holding your head up as you looked out at a world

that held more sins than miracles

 

I would unlock my eyes from the illusion

I would try to see your truth

not mine

 

 

 

David Trudel     © 2015

 

 

 

 

 

sepia toned

 

we woke up sepia toned

not drained of colour but transformed into shimmers

 

light lays flat

yellowed as yesterday’s bloodied sun

slipped sideways on a once upon

 

we call each other asking

“do you see it too?”

and words like apocalypse

like endtimes, like otherworldly

fill our mouths as the sky fills our thoughts

 

later, waiting for the ferry

I walk the beach up to and under the dock

crosshatched shadows feed the noontime reek of creosote

triggering memories of campfires

then all I smell is the smoke of a carbon sink

a million trees candled in the wind

a burning world

riding thermals down every seaward valley on the coast

until each wave pushes another dragon under

 

we try to laugh about how strange it looks

as the sun reddens its shroud

 

today is marked in black

this is the year when winter thins its cool

no matter how golden the sky seems right now

or how wonderful splintered light appears slipping through ashfall

this is no celebration

this is not the same as other years

when autumn slashpiles streamed pendants

 

today is amber

a moment to hold long enough to remember

how startled we once were

 

 

 

David Trudel     © 2015

 

 

 

 

 

In Memoriam

 

now it’s forty

and there are no words

each one I reach for collapses

each memory dead ends

 

this anniversary is an excavation of memory

a miserable celebration of our past

that point in time when your future disappeared

into a dark wormhole

 

now, in this bitter today

we keep fragments of your passing

smiling at the rose-coloured glasses you wore

holding back a tear at the laughter you provoked

holding on to shadows in the middle of the night

 

I do not try to forgive myself the guilt

remembering the anger I felt

when you stood me up for lunch

not knowing you were morgued beyond appetite

 

an empty stage is all that’s left

holding echoes that no one hears

except those of us who loved you

which was everyone you touched

 

 

David Trudel         © 2014

 

 

 

 

looking for the aurora

 

toes curl

gripping rock through shoe and moss

pressing brief bones against a plunge of denseness

my tongue tastes endurance

more feeling than looking

then up, inevitably

up into the great whatever

not into riddles or faded histories of starlight

catching yesterday’s plasma

high flies

against the big black fullness

high flies

rippling daggers slice the empty

 

this point a singularity

 

under it all

holding on to nothing

holding nothing in

until the next point is less than something

nothing is left

but the rock

the sky

and me

 

 

David Trudel       © 2014

 

 

 

 

fragment

 

that fall from grace a mere trip

a glide into unfixed morality

quantummed checkerboard deserts

where rivers dribble

past thirsty farms

here where rain and wind

are corralled and fenced

traded and brokered

fragmented beyond limits

to where guilt

is weightless enough to be free

no charge for sighs

those breaths expelled

gracelessly

 

 

David Trudel         © 2014

 

 

 

 

worries

 

3:00 in the morning

 

alone in silence

it’s dark

 

I wake to worries

worries about myself and what I’m doing

and not doing

 

worries about those I love

and what’s happening to them

 

worries about those I know

but not well enough to love

and their troubles

 

in the dark it’s easy to worry

 

each small concern

unavoidable as a 3:00 a.m. heartbeat

 

it’s easy to worry in the small hours

thinking how big the problems are

how powerless I am

 

at 3:30

the dark deepens

now it’s worries about the wars

the earth

the rivers of blood

ignorant hatred

while I’m bothered by my lack of sleep

 

so at 3:45 I worry about selfishness

how my first world problems

are inconsequential but persistent as mosquitoes

 

I’m feeling guilty about worrying needlessly

but I can’t sleep

the silence is too loud

loud enough to drown out my heart

 

loud enough to echo in the dark

 

in the dark

where I lie awake

full of worries

about all the disappointed yesterdays

and fears about hopeless tomorrows

 

 

4:00 in the morning arrives full monty

in my face

as unavoidable as the seagull shit

splattered on the oversized bronze statue

of a long forgotten fool

who slept through his worries

until they called him hero

 

staring at nothing

it’s dark and quiet

at 4:15

 

my heart races itself in circles

until time doesn’t matter

 

all that’s left is everything that isn’t right

and that’s enough for one night

 

 

David Trudel   ©   2014

 

 

 

 

Doe

 

her eyes catch the final glimmers of daylight

drawing my attention to the doe

ruminating trailside

I hold her gaze and say hello dear

with a smile

we look at each other, her shoulders relax

we share this moment

not quite trusting each other

but less than wary

close enough to hear each other breathing

shadows close in

our eyes, different enough

seeing mysteries

both recognize a moment of peace

worth sharing

 

David Trudel   © 2014

 

 

 

 

transition

 

on the occasion of my ex-wife’s remarriage

I find myself taking care of my ex-dog

we stare at each other

bemused

not quite sure what to say

until he pees on the carpet

 

 

David Trudel   © 2014

 

 

 

 

threads

 

each word dangles like a loose thread

from a well-worn sweater

I pull

it unravels

until there is just a pile of rawness

 

 

David Trudel   © 2014

 

 

 

 

someone else’s rainbow

raining now, hunching into the wind
sea air spilling fresh
winds pulling ruined towers around horizons
white against grey, grey against blue, blue against indigo
shored meadows dressed in purple and yellow
on mottled rocks
an otter surfaces nearby
prize clutched defiantly sliding around a corner
clouds part enough to flash some sky
we are standing at the end of someone else’s rainbow
hunching into the wind
watching cumulus reservoirs slow rolling overhead
underfoot a treasury of the overlooked
while someone wishes
hunching into the wind

David Trudel © 2014

stellarthere was a moment whenI had to admitI’d fallen into your orbitit was too lateto save megravity pulledI wascaptured

 

 

David Trudel   © 2014

 

 

 

I am Grateful I am grateful for the privilege that lets me live on Vancouver IslandI am grateful to be a visitor on the traditional lands of the Lek’wungen PeopleI am grateful for the freedom to walk on the beach at dusk in safetyI am grateful for being a white malein a world of violence towards womenI thank the creator for all the gifts I shareI thank the creator for all of youI’m gratefulfor the privilege of sharing

this moment

this now

with you

 

David Trudel © 2014

 

 

blightit’s depressingto think about the politics of oppressionto think about the end game of capitalismto think about the disease we call consumerismwe cling to the frail hope that democracy is realthat the rule of law abidesbut this is a world of failed states and states of feara world we poison for our amusementearthrapers are what we arewe are a blight attacking the planet and all we share it with

there is no excuse for our cruelty

only shame

 

yet beauty persists

nature will overcome our temporary infestation

whether by anti-bodies or annihilation

the day will come when earth will be free of us

reconstituting the atoms that have been our bodies

back into nature

to flourish once more

without the hubris and arrogance that blinds us to the truth

everything is connected

in the full roundness of time

we will come again and see this world differently

as guests, not as rulers

accepting reality as it is

naturally

 

 

David Trudel     © 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

drip

 

 

it was like drip

drip

 

drip

 

pulling tree essence

good intentions

into

down there

 

it was like respirations

of the Pacific

travelled in and out

 

drip

 

concentrated into

purity

water of forever

healed into clear drops

 

washed absolution

reconnected to a fresh return

of my own fluidity

eroding rock walls

 

drip

drip

drip

 

not a virtue

but necessary

as rain washes upper stories

into lower

drop by drop

changed by intentions

like I want to reach the sky

 

I express gratitude

causing molecular reconfiguration

I send a wave of prayers

into forever

 

I feel the forest upswell

meet water, wondered into magic

from formless transform

to magnificent

in time for just now

thinking

a wave has me tumbled

or a wave has tumbled

through this forest

to drown me

 

 

David Trudel  © 2014

 

 

rain

rain in the night

louder than heartbeats

pain

hard as raindrops slam slapping

waiting for nerves to sing

in the night

while the rain falls

in the dark

heart thumping

heart beating in time with the rain

in time with pain

in the night

when the heart is a round drum

leading a dance in the dark

truth in each beat

vibrating in rhythm with the rain in the night

louder than heartbeats marking pain

in the night

while rain falls louder than hearts can hear

tonight

David Trudel   ©  2014

 

bad faith

bad faith has led to this place

the transept holds a draped table

where lawyers pulpit

rights, titles and historical truths

dressed in split hairs

ritualistic applause marks each voice

concepts like terra nullius  lie uncovered

offered up like original sin by unholy courts

whose collective guilt bleeds

as red as maple leaves on white fields

empty spaces left uncoloured

unoccupied by truth

condemned by greed to be torn away

from those who can’t exist

in this place

where faith has been rocked

by fraud and lies

culture quarried and stripped

left for dead

still, there are heartbeats

that call like drums

ascending

David Trudel  ©  2014

Fuck You Saint Valentine

one day I’ll run through the mall

shouting Fuck You Saint Valentine

patron saint of the beautiful, the privileged

you’re a tease, a fiction

spreading hope, packaged passion

Fuck You Hallmark cards

perpetuating a myth of receptive possibilities

promoting expectations

one phrase at a time

Fuck You Harlequin Romances

happy endings all tidied up

measured passion

not the snarls of our lives

Fuck You Hollywood

avalanche of romantic comedies

soundtracks swollen with strings

when all some of us hear is the croak

of Tom Waits at two in the morning

Fuck You Saint Valentine

glossing over the childrens’ labour

sweetly boxed

Fuck You mall wanderlings

I’m tired of happy passion

animated Barbie and Ken dolls

buying underwear for each other

Saint Rita!

patron saint of loneliness

of forgotten causes

a saint for the chronically alone

a saint without P.R.

So Fuck You Saint Valentine

I’m over your sweet promises

I’ll plead my case to Saint Rita

on her feast day I’ll take myself out to lunch

and I won’t be disappointed

David Trudel    © 2014

spill

there will be beauty in the midst of terror

when light reflects a swirl of colours on the tide

perversely echoing the stained glass of cathedrals

finding one more reason to pray for salvation

not for us

but for the innocent

when greed and complacency foul the ocean

when tarballs creep across tidelines

carpeting creation with black death

ending stories rooted in the beginning of days

a sacrifice to human commerce

papered press releases will talk about dispersants

and highlight spill response teams

until their stench masks that of the dead

seabirds and seastars

and everything else

there will be beauty darkened

by a mask of bunker fuel

or bitumen or toxic sludge

beauty will be found in our tears

saltwater spills running down black cheeks

as we grieve one more assault

one more acceptable risk fulfilled

in service of insanity

David Trudel       ©  2014

ambiguous

some days are like that

what?

ambiguous

not quite a total fucking disaster

but not bad either

gotcha, says he

it’s the middle of winter

but when the sun shines

even a grey day

shows some colour

like a redwinged blackbird

on a fenceline

tenuous as hell

when its raining and cold

it all gets to be

ambiguous

like that

David Trudel       © 2014

sunset

this day there was a choir

singing

as we approached the beach

for real

in a circle

entoning celestial voices against

moist slurps percussively

arriving

there was a rock

to shelter against

in the brilliant light

of cadenced winter

there was your face

reflecting the wind

the crows paid no attention

as they chortled their way across tideline buffets

manicured dogs careen along this margin

we disregard the others

absorbed

in a dialogue that dances into

yesterday

until we enter the present

capturing moments

with precision and obliqueness

entering into a realm where colours shift

with each tilt of the head

where land slips beneath the waves

and rocks turn into sand

beneath our feet

as dusk purples distant mountains

gulls cry

I look at you

thinking

that sometimes sunsets have supporting roles

David Trudel  ©  2014

fogdrifts

fogdrifts

lift and pull

veiling now

then screaming into

forever

lights in the distance

haloed

and then whoosh

goodbye fellow traveler

let me bless your journey

into my past

while I blow through yours

on a subliminal level

each environmental cue

prompts reflexive jumps

into defensive awareness

self-destructive

shedding ego I open

my eyes to alternative possibilities

of destruction

involving me or not

cases

may be

made

David Trudel       ©  2014

tree song

needles on each dancing branch

pull keening sounds from the wind

singing regrets that they can’t fly

like empty exiles

doomed to restlessness

each sound a friction

between immovable and unstoppable

wistful and beautiful

as silhouettes of trees against the night

rooted into place

but longing to take flight

David Trudel  © 2014

shooting star

under starshine you glow

mithril strong

a crescent moon

slices my heart

open

while gentle waves tug

sending aural strokes

slurping

along the dark

wet margin

where we walk

inhaling salt tang

absorbing each moment

with every sense

involved

waiting

behind you a meteor streaks

falling into

the realm of promises and dreams

dusting magic

into my eyes

David Trudel   ©  2014

eyes

some moments are so beautiful

they melt

like I do

when you see me

like that

David Trudel  © 2014

Dionysus for dinner

I had Dionysus over for dinner

it was a disaster

he seemed so nice on the internet

posting all these great memes with classical metaphors

we became Facebook friends

messaging back and forth with ribald wit

which should have tipped me off

I assumed he’d evolved

become a 21st century hipster

heavily invested in the wine industry

holding a controlling interest in all the Ecstacy sold at all the raves

a bankster druglord

a modern god

but no

instead, suburban calm was disrupted

to the point where the neighbours all came out to gawk

holding smartphones over their heads to record the spectacle

as Dionysus arrived by chariot

not just any chariot but one pulled by lions and tigers

roaring in frenzied exaltation

some old dude with a beard was with him

I thought it might be Willie Nelson at first

but he belched, said he was Silenus and pointed over my shoulder

I turned around

up the block came a group of half-naked hippie chicks

well, it seemed that way

right out of fucking Woodstock

flowers braided into their hair and dancing just out of reach

of a bunch of randy old goats

flashing shocked onlookers with penile magnitude

impossibly proportioned

they tore through my house

grabbed all the wine

a bottle of brandy, the gin and vermouth

even the hidden bottle of 18 year old Macallan

it all disappeared

they found my stash in the drawer upstairs

gone within seconds

boring! they chorused

they dragged me along

back out and back onto the street

they started playing a reggae tune

that I knew but had never heard before

I danced with them

shedding all self-control

partying through middleclass suburbs

subverting those who looked interesting

emptying their basement bars

sparking up herbs liberated from mancaves

freeing souls from polite restraint

until the goats had their way

the dogs began barking

as middle-aged wage slaves screamed their release

of a lifetime’s fear and repression

while we drained every bottle

until the only thing left to find

was sleep

I woke up on the front lawn

snuggling between one of the hippie chicks

and mrs smith from down the block

the paperboy was nudging me with his foot

it’s almost dawn, he said

still night for another moment

I replied, with a wink

David Trudel  ©  2014

39 years later

39 years later you look out at meEd035

framed time holds that moment

you were sitting in my car’s backseat

long hair haloed by the sun

full of tomorrows

caught midwink

your eyes are oddly unbalanced

one much larger than the other

you panached that pince nez

that rides your aquiline nose

it was never silly when you wore it

it didn’t matter that you had 20/20 vision

you liked its appearance

the costume value of a minimalist mask

you knew the kind of looks it would provoke

your unlined face never did get wrinkled

you still have all your hair

in the moments that I keep you alive

a few images and memories

you remain caught in our youth

I carry you forward

into the now of 39 years later

your hair reduced to a fringe

your face a roadmap of the intensity of your passions

still ready with a wink and a smile

bearing memories of never weres

and premonitions of yet to be

but that vision fades

I’m left with a black and white photo

and a hole in my heart

punched through with the same force

that bullets punched through yours

in the middle of the night

gunned down

another guiltless bystander

another crime statistic

one more unfulfilled promise

that diminishes this reality

into less than it should have been

less than it should have been

David Trudel    ©  2013

Photo by Art McLeod

trying to snow

tonight

runt crystals caught

by a dull beam

between sleet and a promise

hovering between states

fading wasabi fast

cold wind nibbles

like a three a.m. piss

that isn’t worth getting out of bed for

not quite snow

equivocates into memory

an arctic outflow bullies clouds along

until it is simply cold

leaving trees bare

fading into sharp slivers

of black in the night

unadorned for now

except for a premonition

David Trudel   ©  2013

nightview

sometimes at the top of the hillIMG_1290

there are stories that float up

from each of those lights

signaling their revolutions

pulling me into memories of the over there

or imaginary dramas

like elderly couples planning each other’s assisted suicide

or teenagers learning the ways of rooftop exits

into rebellion in empty spaces between lights

down there life is being made

and death continues to shouldertap

there are sounds

that are all new but not new

each siren a grim familiar chorus

each distant shout echoing

a thousand others heard before

each thousand thousand sounds a looping track

played back randomly

played back frequently enough for familiarity

so that each sound resonates comfortably

like you’ve heard them before

just not quite like this

the light is never the same

tonight low clouds dance the moon

revealing glimpses of white mystery

behind gray scarves fanned like marilyn

luminescent overcast makes cameos of twisted limbs

and mosscaught raindrops glow like mithril in moonlight

as shadows shift into almost

wearing sheer nothings that you can never quite see through

David Trudel   ©  2013

 Photo by the author

waiting

beautiful you are

but I don’t dwell on that

or sing praises

I just drink in

tall glasses

I document places

with you just outside each frame

hinting through margins

and mattes

into images of preternatural beauty

like memories of you then

transposed against today’s moment

when the light hits

like a sucker punch

leaving me breathless

vainly

waiting for your touch

for more than today

and less than tomorrow

patiently

David Trudel     ©  2013

patience

patience is a lonely virtue

worn thin as hand me downs

in a too large family

in a too old house

but patience is what’s required

for trust to develop

for the comfort of familiarity

waiting for acceptance

like letting birds settle

while you wait for the path to open

while you wait for the way forward

patience is a lonely virtue

requiring surreptitious repetition

gentling alarms with quiet strokes

patience is persistent non-pursuit

patience is acceptance of illusions

allowing mirages to be photo-shopped into tomorrow

waiting for that calm moment

that waits like a forest clearing

that waits like a perfect moment

worthy of an eternity of frustration

patience is the appreciation of a possibility

and the acceptance of its loss

patience is letting now catch up with tomorrow

while the wind whistles

and cries

patience is learning to ignore the immediate

knowing that some prizes are worth the wait

David Trudel    ©  2013

End of the World

if it was the end of the world

would you hold my hand

and pull me into you

if it was the end of the world

would you kiss me

like the fate of eternity depended on

our lips

if it was the end of the world

would you hold my head in your hands

while we hold our gazes

while we hold the end off

for a moment longer

until the end of the world

becomes inconsequential

until the end of the world

is you

me

holding on

to each other

until the end of the world

is discovery

until the end of the world

no longer matters

David Trudel      ©   2013

against the current

traveling against the current

against tide travelers

gliding up and out on slick ribbons

pulled into dark forests

where green marries black

here, a stream shakes life into the air

with each slap of battered fighters

broaching destinies while gulls consider

their next course

traveling against clocks

traveling elliptically

even traveling when we arrive

until it’s all fluid

sliding tumbled into tomorrow

yesterdays lie scattered on banks and riverbottoms

trees, not quite full frontal

wear mossy leggings and use ferns as pasties

trailing natty beards weirdly mist woven

ferns dictating understories into vanishing ravines

reading secret landscapes from sacred scores

traveling fast slowly

against currents

against granite

against predation

into natural inclusion

into natural solutions

traveling against the current

David Trudel     ©  2013

ghosts and demons

my ghosts and demons are not dressed up in cheap costumes

looking B movie extra ready

my zombies aren’t privileged youths indulging adolescent fantasies

in my world demons wake you up at 3 in the morning

haunting you with labyrinthian thoughts of debts and closed doors

or arrive in recycled grey envelopes from the taxman

with impossible demands to pay them twice the amount of your last refund

my ghosts are the second guesses

regrets that hang like spanish moss

or Miss Havisham’s tattered bed curtains

in my world we’ve shuddered at thoughts of an unwanted pregnancy

where masked reapers harvest the stillborn

snatching happiness from cradles

there are no doorbell ringing hobgoblins here

in my world they make pre-emptive strikes

exploding you with tricks like crumbling bodies

and sixteen kinds of crazy shit a day

in my world we see through masks to skeletal truths

held together by abstractions, chewing gum and thought ghosts

so if you are wondering why I don’t appear to be into Halloween

its only because its something that sticks around all year

tricking and treating unceasingly

David Trudel     ©   2013

siren calls

sirens tear open this day

softpillowed dreams crumpled

pinned by each imagined shriek

flying up from blood soaked gurneys

remembering that we are seconds away from a 180

recalling acute pain and trauma shocked eyerolls

focusing on the ambulance ceiling

not quite able to disassociate

tethered by a thousand nerves to now

I listen to cries that I’ll never hear

feeling empathy for the agony of strangers

torn from their routines into the brightness of disaster

as I lie awakening to reverberations of machine screams

wondering about final moments

about what’s behind the next door

and if I should get out of bed

to dance with sirens

David Trudel     ©  2013

diaspora

the diaspora of my thoughts

leaves me unpopulated at core

where there was a city

now, only mud huts remain

my words have become refugees

sheltering in desert tents

scattered across borders

this dispersion has left me burnt and derelict

my riches have disappeared

I am nothing but a beggar now

I wait for renewal

but my thoughts are stillborn

even naked truth ceases to arouse my passion

winds raise a curtain of dust around me

each mote a memory of a death

each mote a misdirection

a barrier standing between perceptions

until I am invisible and alone

unhampered by surroundings

unable to hear the cries of the many

I confront the emptiness of solitary freedom

and find peace

in the tranquility of disengagement

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

remember

remember that time

when it was all about

he said she said

remember that time

when the members were unattached

and needed remembering

to exist

remember

that time and this

into and out of memory

David Trudel            © 2013

fogwalk

skykissed, the earth seems shy

muffled by a ragged net of condensed cloud

everything goes quiet

earlier it burned off

now it rolls in off the straits

leeching colours and shortening views

each drop holding a cemetery scent of early dawn

when spirits slide sideways into the melt

each drop a stitch in the shroud

this fog sleepwalks through empty rooms

while shadows punch slivers of distraction

into softsilvered rivers

each drift a tangible intangible

never quite in reach

never quite vanishing

floating wordlessly

with all the effort of nothing

drafting tailwinds of an idea

David Trudel   © 2013

unexpected

this was not what I expected

not that I knew what was

around the corner

that presented itself with sharp angles

because there are no soft curves

here

no easy exits

or ways to leave out the back door

this is it

this is looking

into a cold light

into reality

into your own heart

when the defenses come down

into the unexpected

around corners

where every angle is an exit

or an obstruction

David Trudel  ©   2013

declarative

declarative

I like your honesty

declarative

your words tumble

like the code to a lock

that has bound my heart

too long

declarative

walking beachmargins in moonlight

resonates

between here and when

when I saw that sideways

glance

declarative

I meant healing from hands on

declarative

if I could give myself up

and you give yourself up

we would have each other

covered

into a declarative moment

David Trudel   ©  2013

premonition

ragged footsteps of falling leaves

disconcert a premonition that lands

obliquely, out of reach

remaining an undisclosed foreshadow

dislodged but deep downed

where I do not look

except peripherally

my undoing is always curiosity

some answers

are not worth the questions

David Trudel         ©  2013

dreampeace

peace and serenity

found only in dreams

dreams warmed with immediacy

warmed with feelings

feelings that recede against a tide of anxiety

pulling in sad waves of lost loneliness

becoming thunderstorms and crashing waves

in chorus with the light of a full moon

in chorus with the lightness of hummingbirds

remembering castles and cathedrals

since replaced with forests and open skies

remembering listening to Neil Young for the first time

when the sky was reflected in bluebells

before it rained sadness

before many roads turned into one

beckoning with promises hidden just ahead

the way an adolescent dog surges ahead on walks

following scents and senses

while the wind plays arpeggios overhead

while it becomes peaceful enough

under a blanket of serenity

to find a dream

David Trudel     ©  2013

deliberation

it all happens

deliberately

even random shots

caroming off bumpers

have some impulse

driven into them

by some driver

someone with a pointed stick

ready to

make a decision

regardless

so when you look at me

sideways

lips pursed

I know what mine is

regardless

and I begin to be deliberate

in the deliberation

of my anarchistic freedom

into some kind of surrender

a giving up of control

just as I realize I never had it

really

because

this has always been a shared delusion

and once shared

I

am
shy

David Trudel    © 2013

Sports redux

at times all that’s left

is a retreat into sports

not relevant

at all

but as primal as ancient Rome

in wired arenas

when teams coloured in

screaming adoration

or dismay

become an Australian Blue Heeler

of collective heat

outstretched

pulling centrifugally

against your impulse to say

Stop!

in which there is no

enough is

no safe place under the bleachers

to watch it play out

until thumbs are

outstretched

David Trudel      ©   2013

Trees

there were years when

climbing trees

was it

branch to branch

above it all

puzzling my way

to where birds felt at home

every tree I saw

assessed for climbability

testing assumptions

I became acquainted with bark

moss, lichens

and the emptiness of the sky

waiting for a sharp crack

of lightning

David Trudel     © 2013

Click

it’s insistent

with that fucking click click

click

bothers me

but what the

oh yeah

other shit to worry about

big stuff

like the fate of the world

click click

like transcendence into

some paranormal ether connected to

forever

click

click

shuttling between now

and then

between possibilities

click

between realities

click

quantum leaps

quantum French kisses into

click

somewhere else

somewhere

natural

click

somewhere

where your mind plays as lightly as your fingers

on me

click

where I play

arpeggios

on your spine

click

licking time

into submission

click

one more time

click

David Trudel      ©  2013

Soft as

in my realm

dreams are real

there are no walls

they bleed

into each other

dripping

like they do

as soft as

pianissimo

whispered into your ear

while I forget

to wake up

while I forget

to remember

while I forget

what it was

that stopped me

from continuing

on

even though

there are walls

defenses

and a window

into infinity

David Trudel     ©   2013

Skydiving

pressed against nothing

the gull balances its soaring inclination

with the inevitability of gravity

holding onto a fixed moment

perched on wind

comfortably as on a branch

then tips forward

slipping

into motion

David Trudel       ©  2013

on the trail

driving hoofbeats canter into my ears

reined in as horse and rider approach

the horse an Appaloosa

flanks rust splattered

warrior strong and graceful

dancing a pas de deux

on the home stretch

an older couple

so comfortable together

their wrinkles match

silent pulls

slice greychop

as rowers dart dragonfly quick

buoy to buoy

runners gliding loose

gravity a step away from disappearing

and joggers slog

each step a time punch

dogs walking their humans

happily

through muddy trails

pairs sunk in earnest conversations pass

revealing fragments of betrayals

littering the path with scuffed passion

David Trudel      ©  2013

it’s colder

time for another layer

it’s colder

evenings have become nights

walks turn into mysteries

sounds or shadows

ready to pounce

or disappear into recesses

better forgotten

unfocus away

nightviews an intervention

electrified horizons

unroll blueprints of a thousand streets

under muffled obscurity

it’s colder

there are mysteries in margins

fog rolls

growing into something

unknowable

David Trudel       ©  2013

Because

because I loved you

I waited

for that moment when

click

your heart opened

and you let me in

David Trudel     ©  2013

Family Plot

it’s peaceful here in the old graveyard

incongruously serene across the perimeter fence

inside which it’s high alert

where gravity bullies dance

offering themselves skyward

Daedalus unbound a thousand times a day

but in the family plot

myths and legends are found in names and dates

foretelling this one’s ascension into heaven

and that one’s faith in the lord above

arrivals and departures fixed for eternity

transitioning realities

with faith enough to believe

David Trudel    ©   2013

Riff

the song is a long riff

played delicate like

at midnight in July

thundering when storms march

in battalions thumping polyrhythmic

oompahs

the song is improvised

over rumbles of a sliding scale

holding long notes that float

disarmingly

as water striders skating black splashes

where tumbled rocks wear green skirts

the song pulls wind into snarling trees

syncopating elements into a signature

timed

with layered passages of woods over brass

blue notes swimming down low

down there

in gravelgrinding undercurrents

eddying into echoes of echoes

of echoes

David Trudel     ©  2013

Rewrite

I could rewrite my days

following crumbs back

through mysteries

I’d use different words

or fewer

but it would be the same story

David Trudel     ©   2013

Chalk

I like the transiency of chalk art

inhabiting the same space

as Tibetan sand mandalas

impermanent as sunshine

or that look

you almost gave me

over your shoulder

parting

with a tug

that says

I’ll be here

until it rains

David Trudel       ©  2013

some days

some days emerge fossilized and stratified

revealing undercurrents of flow interrupted

time weights

broken as shakers shook

lying busted

some days sit rocky

heavy and ponderous

but hardly impervious

hardly

some days are ground

down

ground

into pieces

minutely

into beaches

where time

ebbs

some days are the moment

the tide is full

directionless

waiting for a pull from a slingshot dance

some days skip

flat rocks slapping

wet kisses at ten minutes to midnight

some days are always rocky

David Trudel   ©  2013

Retriever

Every morning she walks her dog along the beach

Alone with her thoughts

She knows what size of stick to scavenge

For the dog to retrieve

It’s become a formal ritual for them

She chooses the stick

Pretends she doesn’t like it at all

Throws it as far away as she can

The dog explodes with purpose

To get the stick and to return it

Each time she throws the stick

She releases a little tension

Gives away a worry or a fear

The dog retrieves the stick but not the worry

That’s part of the ritual

The absolution of innocence

Washes her troubles away

David Trudel       ©  2013

Enough

Sometimes it’s enough

Sufficient

To simply experience a moment

By itself

Without thinking about yesterday and tomorrow

It’s enough

To watch dusk slipping into night

As the heat of the sun radiates from the rocks

Where you stand barefoot

Empty

Just enjoying the impossible shades of bruised violet

Unburdened

Having found tranquility

In being unable to shoulder burdens

Things that are too heavy to lift

I am no Atlas or Sisyphus to take on the impossible

It is enough to stand on this rock

Without worrying about carrying it

And through the freedom of the unburdened

Discover peace in the eternal now of a sunset

David Trudel     ©  2013

Portent

In the thin heat of late summer

Every picnic is bittersweet

As leaves bleed green and turn to rust

July’s refreshing breeze

Is now a portent of autumn storms

Flights of birds climb airstairs

Chanting their exit visas

Winging it

Still, the day holds heat enough

To shorewalk barefoot

Letting gentle tides kiss your toes

With the languor of a late afternoon lover

Satiated with passion

But not with affection

David Trudel    ©  2013

Chores

Today is a day for small chores

Bringing water like some forgotten sky god

For my green prisoners

Next, I vacuum

Stirring the dust and detritus

Harvesting peanut shells and dust bunnies

For memories and lost thoughts

My routines are commonplace

Comforting in their normalcy

Giving me the illusion of some fragile permanence

That might stand against the intransigence of power

Forgetting that state control is as prevalent here

As it ever was in war zones and dictatorships

Where terror slams like bullets into unarmed crowds

And poetry is bloodwritten on pockmarked concrete

By the dying

Who no longer water houseplants

But bleed out their innocence on city streets

David Trudel    © 2013

Fin

In these echoes

Of fin de siècle somnolence

We wait in apprehension

Of the next great conflagration

When we wake up

Again

After it all

It will seem so quaint

The way we live now

In such fearful security

Balancing the knife edge of

Civilized barbarism

Against possibilities of miracles and magic

With one hand on technology

And the other placed above your heart

All you want

Is one more day

Of normal

One more day

Until it starts

David Trudel        © 2013

Disdain

It was only a moment

A slice

Like a knife into the centre

Of my heart, or something

Something, since you didn’t even know

Your eyes betrayed you

And you were unaware

Blissfully

Of the knife in your hand

Which, nonetheless, slid between ribs

To find a mark

Crossing off another

Claim jumper

With a look

David Trudel           ©  2013

Flare

With all your flaws and demons

Your troubles and pain

You still burn with starlight

Bright enough to require sunglasses

When I see you

Blazing

I think solar explosions

And fusion

A celestial beacon

Signaling unmatched intensity

A crucible

Where thoughts and actions

Explode

Into fractured reflections

Creating brilliant mosaics

To mark your passage

David Trudel    ©  2013

Dreaming

Some dreams don’t matter

Beyond the skewed beauty of their inspiration

Maybe that’s why we don’t remember them

Like some midnight story

But catch fragments

When the light is just so

Memorable

Or something

That brings us back to some impossibility

That made sense in the context of

Insensate dreaming

When surrender was a condition

Of being

Where veils become wings

Walls turn into doorways that give way

To freefall diving

Wind riding

And you are conscious of

Being there and not there

In that place where matter

Doesn’t

David Trudel     © 2013

That Time You Looked At Me

And then

I’d remember

How your eyes shone

When you looked at me

Obliquely

Or just with a question

Poised

Ready for a leap of faith

Like teenagers cliff diving

In the heat

Of summer

When we forgot about

Others

Danced with cedars and firs

Above those thin pools

Of critical cool

Where ravens swim and salmon

Touch the sky

And we would hold hands

Like it was meant to be

Forever

Or at least for now

Since there is a forever in now

Which transcends

The reality of this place

Until everything else drops away

It’s just you

Me

And the next breath

That neither of us

Takes

David Trudel     ©  2013

Untethered

This fractured heart is unbound

By tangled strings

Not tethered to another set of eyes

Reflecting a shimmer of tears

Unable to look away

Even as love is strangled by its own bonds

Relentlessly

Moments come and go unexpectedly

Uncharted

Echoes of improvisational adaptation

Against the dissonance of solitude

Rising like a three a.m. riff at Birdland

Into a time when dawn seems impossible

To remember

Against the black of lonely

Where a curl of smoke is light enough

To provide a contrast

To emptiness

David Trudel    ©  2013

Broken

A broken ice jam in my chest

Subcutaneous scab recedes

An alpine glacier

Shrunken to a few frozen crevasses

While muscles have reformed

Beneath a punctuation of red hyphens

Exclaiming sternly sternum drumbeats

Against a rhythm of compressed short breaths

Syncopating inhalations

With relentless staccato bursts

Of feeling healing

Relentlessly marching in place

Above my heart

David Trudel         ©  2013

Nowness

Until the brightness of now is dulled

With a patina of etched experience

Gather light into explosions of consciousness

Unhinging regrets and worries

As each moment flares beacon-like

Summoning looks and observations

Perhaps immediately

Or later, when the speed of events

Circles the sun and returns as a reflection

That gives pause and appreciation

For each starbright daisy-chained state of intensity

Found in the now of here

In the now of you

Watching stories unfold with predictable uniqueness

Like protostars arriving in cosmic nebulae

Radiating with explosive insistence

To brighten the night

David Trudel       ©  2013

Checked Time

I have stopped wearing a watch

I am no longer calibrated that way

To those divisions that break life

Into microscopic slices

I don’t check time

Now

I let it be

Amorphously

My markers are dawn and dusk

The pull of the tides

And the rhythm of the day

David Trudel      ©  2013

Hollow Empty

If I am hollow empty as I feel

Maybe I can touch dark matter

Feel cold flames of a conflagration of dark energy

Inside this void

Where there is more space than I care for

Normally

Whatever that state is

Today I’m stateless

Abnormal

Hollow empty

Absolved of guilt borne of excessive obsession

Or sins of misdirection

In this absence of emotional weight

I approach nothingness

Surreptitiously

More of a leaving than an arrival

Remembering a void, not a place

Where there are no exits or entrances

Because this is not a place to come to or leave from

This is not a direction

This is waking to hollow empty carelessly

Darkly indifferent

To the absence of emotion and externalities

Internalizing the all of nothing

Which has just enough mystery to matter

Darkly

David Trudel     © 2013

Mainstream

It’s all distorted

The news

Facts pushed and pulled into rumors

Truth’s elasticity stretching beyond is to isn’t

Until we are left to question everything

Trust is collateral damage

When journalism disappears

Beneath a tide of economic interests

Suppressing any story deeper

Than the shallow but well dressed puppets who read

Soft spun press releases

Promoting depredations of resource extraction

Or the need to cut more social programs

To pay for tax reductions

So the stories we are fed

Are cats being rescued from trees

Stormy weather

The twin circuses of sports and entertainment

And the illusion of being included

In the bogus democracy of global corporatism

David Trudel    © 2013

Non Sequitur

Even a harmless snake

Is a perceived threat

When a brittle stick becomes animated

Beside your foot

The closer to downtown

The slower the road repairs

Even if you are all alone at sunset

You share that moment of transcendent beauty

With countless others

Ripping out native plants for lawns and flowerbeds

Is horticultural colonialism

Sidewalk etiquette is a moving target

Hearts beat louder at midnight

I can’t recall ever seeing anyone sitting around

Doing advanced mathematics for fun

Not even quadratic equations

But the education system sure treats that shit seriously

Seriously.

Life is process

David Trudel        ©  2013

What Is Truth

If I could talk about beauty today

I’d talk about whirligig seedpods spiraling down from maple trees

Whose leaves lie yellowed and rusted

Beneath the green canopy that has begun its fatal turn

Anticipating the fall

Or the smell of the forest moments after a rainshower

Evoking distant memories

Walking along the trail

My feet play an arpeggio of crunches

But I’m not listening to that song

My mood is as gray and ponderous as the clouds

Massing like warships off the coast

There is little room for beauty

When the ugliness of war is imminent

When the ugliness of violence is prevalent

And the mean spirits of the convinced

Crush any non-conformist view

With the finality of the fallen

Yet even though I ache with empathy

For the lost and beaten

For long lost spirits vanished in genocidal flames

That is not my truth today

My truth is my own pain

The dull ache of bone regenerating

A scabrous tug of congealed tissues beneath a zippered line

Of reddened welts

Ascending my chest like angry punctuation marks

My truth is stolen by my self-absorption

I isolate chaotic messages of a disrupted nervous system

Comprehending metallic intrusions

Listening to the mechanical insistence of the new valve

Then, drained and enervated I fade

Into somnolence

Unable to maintain the illusion of reality

I slumber unconcernedly

Aware of nothing beyond my next breath

Finding a solitary truth

David Trudel        ©  2013

Indescribable

My Cain and Abel are my words

Battling for the give and take of perception

They circle themselves

Poised to lash out or swiftly defend

I have used words as shields

I have hidden behind their illusion

Used the ambiguity of meaning and intent

To prevaricate and dissemble

Not from deviousness

But unconsciously

Or to mask my own fear and insecurity

Yet I find great joy in words

They are my playground and delight

Dancing meaning into dialogue

Reinventing clouds into rain

Or mining seams of elemental truth

I turn words into bouquets

Or scrawl them on signposts and sidewalks

Like some mad tagger

Illuminating the gray sameness

Of blank canvasses at midnight

Eventually the words turn me

Into a question

That I cannot answer

Feeling walled in

By the discreteness of each definition

Stamped out by our shared accommodation of

Conventional language

Which isn’t drunken shouts of expense account delegates

But a common delusion

That we can trade perceptions

Without trading our inner selves

Uncentering from each private strand of individuality

Into some union of sameness

Believing that words can be shared with exactitude

Forgetting the magical glow of transitory sunsets

And how impossible it is to grasp that moment

Let alone use words to describe the indescribable

David Trudel    © 2013

Naked Sky

There were other summers

When miles would roll by

Cliffs and undercuts

Screaming here I am

Here I am

Today

In those half forgotten days

I would trust in

The reality of whatever gods presented

Today

I listen to

Murmurs

Of your heartbeat

I listen to you

Under the naked sky

Even if you are cloaked

With the fetters of your generation

I listen

To the beats

You don’t hear

To the messages that are always

Intercepted

By your sense of propriety

Or mild revulsion

Under this sky

That holds its own revelation

Waiting

For

A rhythm to follow

All I can offer

Now

Is the mechanical whir

Of a machine

Saying thump

Thump

And thump

With the insistence of a chapel house

In the night

David Trudel © 2013

This Is Not A Poem

This is not a poem about love

Or yearning for love

This is not a poem about relationships

And all the shit that transpires between us

This is not a walk

Down memory lane

Into some childish backwater of a mind that plays tricks

This is not a poem

About social context

Communities

Interplaying like some dissonant chordal structure

This is not that kind of poem

This is a poem that hands you a towel

When you enter this room

Dims the lights

Speaks softly to you

Listens to your heart

Intently

Echoing every nuance of feeling

Transcribing

That moment when you look into the abyss

With more excitement than fear

Because

This is it

Here

Now

Forever

David Trudel    ©  2013

Traces

I dream of tracing your voluptuous curves

With my fingertips

Trailblazing the way for my tongue

I hear the quiet rustle of fabric

Pulled up and over

Feel the slide of silk

Downy thighs

My tongue remains tied

Eyes downcast

I fixate on your open-toed sandals

Your toes are ruby jewels I think

Nice toes, I say

With a smile

Which you return

David Trudel   ©  2013

Inured

We are inured to sirens now

Throbbing processions of emergency vehicles interrupting traffic flow

No longer spark the curiosity they once did

It wasn’t always so

We used to chase fire engines to watch flames lick and curl

There was always an audience

Crowds of onlookers was a living cliché back then

For all the local disasters

Even car crashes had fans

It was all so immediate and familiar

We all knew whose blood was seeping onto the sidewalk

Or who wouldn’t be coming back to school tomorrow

Or forever

Loud noises brought us out of our houses

It was normal to be inquisitive

Not like now

When people are frightened by noises

And are too accustomed to perfect disasters

Brought to our living rooms and laptops within seconds

Crowding out any desire to stand outside on a streetcorner

To watch some store burn down

We can’t be bothered with small tragedies

When big ones become as familiar as movie stars

So unless the ambulance screaming by us on the highway

Is being chased by paparazzi

We barely register any emotion

Our disasters have ceased to become news

Unless they rate a camera crew

Or somebody’s amateur video clip goes viral

There is always a delay

A divide

An intermediary

Between us and events

Our tragedies are screened

Away

David Trudel        ©  2013

Rolling

There are moments

When I forget these

Inconsequential issues

Like

You know

Pain, and all

Like loneliness

Depression

That can sit on your chest and press pillows

Into your face

There are moments

That recall the sunshine glow of a summer afternoon

Or the wonder of skintight jeans

Walking just ahead of you on a hot sidewalk

Rolling hips

Slippery like

With a magnetism of forever

These moments blend

Together

Absorbable

Into the hot sweat of summer

Feeling each drop

Trickling

Into mystery

David Trudel  ©  2013

Undefined

I am undefined

I do not borrow an identity along with an occupation

The masks I’ve worn to collect paychecks are never permanent

The whereness of my location is accidental

Even as I care about the land I steward

I am not a neighborhood or a place on a map

My markers are all proxies and approximate

I am not a category to be boxed with precision

Or measured on five or seven point scales into a fixation of order

I am not my genitalia

Neither penile nor labial

My essential being transcends the limitations

Of your labels

Even my eyes are just a temporary covering

My opinions are fluid

I march with an army today that I will overthrow tomorrow

I look and listen for new information

That rearranges my understanding of this existence

I give myself to the mystery of eternal creation

Not to the fearful faith of the unimaginative

I resist attempts to declare sides

To coalesce into one thing

When another seems like a shifting possibility

I am not a definition or a singular role

I roll with anticipation into newness

Or circle back to tread the same path with new shoes

And if I carry my history within each point of consciousness

I also carry the potential and possibility

Of all the undone actions that might have been

Or are yet to be

I will not answer when you ask me who I am

I am not a singularity, just a wave’s crystalline vibration

I do not believe in binary worlds of black and white

But in the magic of becoming

I flirt with post quantum transitions

Into the nothingness of the unlimited

Undelineated into excessive space

Where I remain undefined

David Trudel    ©  2013

Hunt

It’s as if I’ve been bled once too often

Leaving me hollow and indifferent

I am bemused by the lovestruck and the lovelorn

Who brandish their heartfelt emotions

Like Tibetan prayer flags

I try to listen to my own heart

Then get distracted by the noise

I try to make sense of distant wars and rebellions

But I can’t

I appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds me

Even if I can’t find words to reflect that beauty

Superficial thoughts pop into my mind like cheap firecrackers

Leaving exploded promises smoldering

I string letters into words

Words into phrases

They don’t satisfy me

So I delete them

I listen

I watch

Waiting like a hunter in a blind

For an unsuspecting quarry

Nothing comes

I am patient, knowing that I am on a game trail

I only have to wait a while longer

Before the prey returns

David Trudel   © 2013

Battles

My hardest battles aren’t with others

But with myself

Waging relentless optimism against an array of sins

I am cloaked in lethargy

I can barely shrug off the self-pity that has me wrapped up

In my own pain

I find it difficult to perceive the urgency of others’ struggles

Empathy is in short supply

So I retreat

I find myself napping

Taking short breaks

Eventually I psyche myself up for a walk

It has warmed up

So that insects and birds play out their aerial battles

With sunglints punctuating each twist and turn

Under the forest canopy I forage for blackberries

It is early enough that at least half are still tart

Their color belying their character

I leave the park and find my way to the commuter trail

I take pictures of the highway below

Wondering how many people have driven past this spot

Oblivious to its beauty

In their obsession with speed and distance

I think of the distance between heartbeats

And how oblivious we can be

To what our hearts murmur in our ears

David Trudel     ©  2013

Raindrops

Each drop carries an ocean of rumors

Stories of deep ocean currents and mountain passes

Tales of caverns deep in the earth where time slumbered

Until pressure released a torrent

One drop remembers rivers

Another was a crystal snowflake

One drop sings of tears flowing

They remember the ascent into clouds

And the push of the jet stream

One drop was painted by a rainbow

Shimmering in the sky

While its neighbor tells of dripping intravenously

Into the arm of a dying man

Each drop has made this journey before

Countless times

Transmuting, in an endless cycle of becoming

Sometimes a passenger

Sometimes a carrier

Constantly flowing

Shapeshifting between states of unbecoming grace

Eternally fluid

Raindrops are immortal

Ubiquitous witnesses of our superficial passing

Each drop erodes our perception of reality

Cleansing us with the truth

David Trudel      © 2013

Bi-Polar

Ra, the sun god, is electro-magnetically bi-polar

Which accounts for the extreme flares and solar storms

Although I wouldn’t be surprised at an additional diagnosis

Of multiple personality disorder, given the hieroglyphics

Every eleven years or so the polarity reverses

Flipping old Ra upside down

We are in the middle of one such reversal

The sun’s electro-magnetic north pole has already flipped

The south should follow in a few months

I wonder if the current uni-polar state is calming

Or just unsettling

Leaving the solar system nervously unbalanced

Pirouetting on one leg

Unable to take a bow for now

Exploding in fiery creation

David Trudel       ©   2013

Serrated Time

Time has serrated edges today

For me

Time is ragged

Each moment ripped and torn

No clock can track the imprecision of subjective moments

I no longer wear a watch

I have no need to watch mechanical time

Because each moment is not like each other

Time isn’t to be measured

Locked into precise compartments of predictability

Creating an artificial display of flawed equality

No, time flows

Like a river around obstacles

With increasing velocity when it floods

It’s fluid

Time is subject to currents and eddies

Time is personal

My moments are strung like pearls

On a broken chain

Rolling across the floor

To rest where they may

David Trudel       ©  2013

Healing

 

The enervation of healing leaves me flattened

My energy level drains as fast as an iPhone battery

So now I take naps

I rest

Each small chore a triumph

I battle ennui

With slow motion moves

I breathe, feeling my lungs inflate

I listen to the unnerving click of the mechanical valve

Only I can hear

I watch trees grow

I listen to the murmur of eroding rocks

I slowtune my thoughts into ponderous beasts

I release the hummingbirds that used to populate my brain

I send messages to the bruised bone that is wired together in my chest

Fuse, I tell it

I feel muscles and flesh tugging tightly

With each twist or pull

I feel the inanimate object buried in my heart

I wonder if it will change my feelings

Or reduce the impact of love’s vicissitudes

Unlikely, since the heart is just a pump

Unlikely, given love’s absence in my life

So I wait

Listening to my cells transform from torn to together

I wait

Patiently

Because I’m a good patient

My impulses to rush fall aside

I learn to mistrust anything quick

I learn to embrace slow and measured steps

I listen to the universe

As I heal

Slowly

David Trudel     ©  2013

Overhead

An eagle soared overhead

Juvenile, not yet crowned white

I whistled

It circled

I noticed a couple of missing feathers

Another one soared above

Thermal riding on the hill’s upswell

They slid away on the wind

Riding above it all

Leaving me

Below

David Trudel    ©  2013

Time’s End

At time’s end

There will be an instant of great compression

An implosion of all matter and antimatter

Into a single point in the multiverse

A perfect parenthesis to bracket the bang

A reunion of stellar superlatives

Everything and nothing

The space between the lines

And the lines

Billions of years of becoming and unbecoming

We will learn to be we

The wisdom of all will be shared

As will failings and shortcomings

We will remember oneness

There will be no more loneliness

We are all part of everything

We will be together

At time’s end

David Trudel      ©   2013

Coming To

The unmistakable chime of a monitor echoes

Intruding into darkness

Awareness creeps up like a shy kitten

Mewling

I feel chest tubes

Painlessly weird

Opening my eyes I see the nurses’ station

So many devices and displays

It’s like an aircraft control tower

I look at the nurses

They’re looking back at me solicitously

I close my eyes

To dream of other cities and waking up there

A tour of unspoken words

I wake up in every city I’ve ever been in

Slowly drifting in and out of dreamplaces

Places that don’t quite make sense

Finally, I wake up here and I’m present

Alive

There’s less pain than I thought there’d be

But pain is present

I remember I’ve had a heart defense

Accounting for the lines attached to my body

Pings and chimes provide an otherworldy background soundtrack

A nurse comes over

Introduces herself

She shares the name Lisa with my sister

Which bodes well, I think

So did my mother she tells me later

I am extubated, the breathing tube taken out

The first unmooring of several

Breathe in, hold it, exhale

Slip slide upthroating relief slices through incipient nausea

I struggle to catch my breath

I do

Settling into consciousness I am wide awake as possible

Given the circumstances

I survey the lines and tubes attached to my body

I am unsure how many other patients there are on the ward

The man next to me is a loud talker

Voice booming out like a sideshow barker

Somehow I drift back into sleep

Until two patients across the room go into distress

One is a code blue

Gowned shapes appear, passing the foot of my bed

Until they cluster on the far side of the ward

Their ministrations succeed and the chimes stop

For a few moments there is peace

Rare peace

A time that I have come to

In this place

Where I awake

David Trudel      ©  2013

In The Night

I feel each molecule of splintered bone in the night

Constricted by wire twisted tight

I wonder what dance or battle is occurring at the cellular level

In the refusion

It isn’t always easy to bond once ties have been severed

At this moment it doesn’t appear to be an easy seduction

More of a battle

Subcutaneously the soft tissues are going through the same process

Nothing is flowing smoothly

Muscles feel pinned down and tug with each breath

The mountain ridge of incision line is eroding into gentle hills

I hear the drip, drip, drip

Of blood over metal echoing loudly in my ears

I try to resist the impulse to get up

But fail

I take an extra strength Tylenol

Just one

An air strike against the soft bullets

Of pain

This is not a war

Just a skirmish

This is not pain

Just discomfort

I remember pain

Archived now

This is not pain

Just discomfort

I feel my wounds settling

Subsiding slowly into the process of healing

Learning the normalcy

Of just discomfort

Because it is a kind of justice

To pay for miracles

With small sufferings

Here in the dark

Listening to mechanical rhythms of the heart

Marking each moment

Of slow improvement

With blackbeat backbeats

Counting the price of my reward

David Trudel    ©  2013

Hollow

It’s no bother that my words are hollow

Nothing is ever as solid as it seems

Meaning is always elusive between us

Each interpretation derives from its perspective

I’ll never know just what you think

Words are only approximations

For things we never truly see

David Trudel   © 2013

Turbulence

My myths have been exploded

Into shards of glass

Some have impaled my heart

With their truth

Some are crushed into dust

I gather fragments of imaginary facts

Maybes, never weres and might have beens

Which can be reconstituted

Into possibilities

Foreshadowing myths yet to be

Remembering future frailties

David Trudel   ©   2013

Casa De Los Sueños

It’s one of those dreams that you know is a dream

Even as you sleepwalk your way through it

There’s a park

Manicured lawns and cultured trees strategically placed

To offer dappled shade without being oppressive

I walk to the house that isn’t

At the edge, where you can see across the water to the mountains

Mountains that backdropped my childhood hundreds of miles away

A real estate sign has appeared

For Sale

It proclaims

Even though the house looks occupied

It isn’t

I’m with somebody

Or maybe I’m following someone or two in a disembodied state

It’s a dream so I’m not particular

Each detail is exquisite and unique

The house is grand but not oppressive

It has flowing lines

High ceilings

Each feature is unique

There is a massive fireplace that curves and curls

The mantle is a magnificent cedar slab that flows in genial lines

Words are carved into it that seem celestial

Yet are now as distant as any star

The luxury is impressive but not overwhelming

Whoever lived here left only moments ago

It looks lived in still

And perfectly vacant

We admire the features

Then take a catwalk

To the entranceway

Transformed, it has become a theatre

Seats arrayed in a semi-circle reminiscent of a Grecian amphitheatre

I realize that this is a public space

Separate from the rest of the house

But connected by the catwalk

I know it will be my house

I will stage dramas and performances

For the many

A select few will be invited to the inner sanctum

The sun is shining in my dream

On the marble walls of a Janus sanctuary

Reaching out of a retreat to embrace the masses

Perfectly alone in a crowd

It has become my home

I anticipate performances

Plan them

Imagine crowds coming and going

From this theatre at park’s edge

At dream’s edge

At an edge

Where anything might happen

David Trudel   ©  2013

Timesteps

Each moment moves in its own way

Fast as a stubbed toe signaling pain

Slow as a hard chair in a waiting room

Slippery as a half guarded look between me and you

Time is a contradiction

From its measured divides

Yet fluid enough for our mystery rides

For all of our clocks and calculations

It loops, soft pedals then rockets along

Dragging, flying and slipping away

Just when we think it’s unidirectional

A smell or a song brings us back to the past

And we’re right where we were a lifetime ago

Without ever moving an inch or an hour

Time, it seems

Answers to some other power

David Trudel    ©  2013

In My Castle

Warfarin

You know, rat poison

It’s something I have to take now and forever

To keep clotted rats away from the mechanical valve

Who knew I had rats running around my cardiovascular system

I didn’t

But my medical team

(if celebrities can have medical teams so can I)

Well, they’re all very earnest about warfarin and the dosage

I have to visit the vampires often

Who draw my blood with whetted appetite

Challenging me to make a tight fist

That they know I’ll never raise

But I’m cool with it

I have been gifted with a small measure of the royal disease

A junior baronetcy of hemophilia

So I’ll line my moat with rat poison to keep the buggers at bay

Besides, I never liked coagulating

Anyway

David Trudel   ©  2013

Bleeding

Bleeding black ink

I spill words as my body leaks blood

On hospital gowns

Inking the floor with my essence

I wonder if the OR staff made wishes

When they cracked open my breastbone

I remember long ago dinners

When wishbones were mysterious

Full of promises

Like wishing wells and shooting stars

Imagining untold fortunes of vague and impossible hopes

Now, I no longer feel the need to wish

Just cope

Taking each step in faltered stride

Wearing the determination of my years

And while I’m grateful for the good wishes of others

I have no expectation of magic

Or celestial intervention

Just faith in a good defense

And the resiliency of my own spirit

David Trudel         ©  2013

Post-Op Second night

Pain curls itself on my chest

In the night

Like a malevolent cat

Ready to sink its claws deep

Into my sternum

And deeper into my lungs

With each cough I fear

To make

Until I remember to call the nurse

Who brings meds

Just in time

David Trudel     © 2013

Broken Hearts

There are no mechanical replacements for broken hearts

No bypasses for a love betrayed or denied

Even when it feels like your chest has been cracked open

And your heart has been ripped out

All we can do is grow scar tissue

Become a little more cynical

In the realization that Hollywood is all about illusion

Camera tricks and crafty angles

Harlequins masquerading as the girl or boy next door

Because we don’t understand what love is

We don’t listen to those vows

About richer or poorer, sickness or health

Or if we do, we don’t believe them

Since we trust in the promise of happy endings

With stirring crescendos of romance uplifted into gossamer clouds

We have been indoctrinated with ideals

Fantasies of impossibilities

Unreal as any misproportioned Barbie doll

Or glossy airbrushed photo spread

So disappointment is a foregone conclusion

When we don’t measure up

To unmeasurable visions of dreams

Based not on love but greed

How can we when we are trained in selfish fantasies

Instead of hard realities

Dragged dirty through a thousand tragedies

Tarnished by time and fate

Until we no longer recognize the truth

Of mutual support and shared attention

Comfortable love whose soundtrack is heard through an open window

Elastic enough to bend, not break

David Trudel    ©  2013

Incision

This angry red line will fade

As will the slow burn of transient pain

Becoming a faint memory that I’ll laugh about

Dismissing the whole event as inconsequential

I’ll cavalierly gloss over the memory

Because it will be as forgotten as yesterday’s rain

But part of me will always live here

Remembering the truth of the thin white scar

How it was when it was raw red

When I was as vulnerable as any Old Testament offering

Finding cruel mercy in a scalpel’s edge

Learning that miracles come at a cost

Counted in a currency of suffering

David Trudel     ©  2013

Marginalia

In my dream I am lawless

A teenager loose in the night

Tagging, thieving or both

Clubs spilling the last partiers into the street

I climb onto my longboard lying flat

Skeleton style, like in the Winter Olympics

My course a cobbled rainslicked street

Ahead two women are walking

One short, one tall

The tall one is Florence Welch

Dressed in white fur, arctic fox or ermine like some Nordic goddess

She hears the clatter of my wheels

Half turns, reaching out a hand

Which I grab briefly to propel myself to greater speed

Thanks ladies, I cry as I fly past them

Wheels chattering on the glistening roadway

I gain speed

But not enough velocity to achieve maximum maneuverability

Headlights overtake me from behind

I am too far into the centre of the lane

I can’t move to the edge

I have forgotten to live in the margins

It gets brighter

Before it ends

Abruptly

David Trudel  © 2013

Janus Place

This is a place of two directions

Where sounds are paired

Like a call and response

Chimes ring in softened doublets

Calling in twinned tones

This is a place of two intentions

Some entering to never leave again

Others here for healing and rebirth

A place of fear, pain and ultimate loss

A refuge for repair, healing and hope reclaimed

This is a place of mixed emotions

Where despairing sobs collide with laughter’s joy

Where elevators ascend to heaven and descend to hell

Carrying all, without the price of Charon’s coin

Into a timeless realm beyond the veil

David Trudel  © 2013

A Moment

Buskers on a busy street

I unflow from the crowd

Static against marchers and sideways walkers

Finding peace inside a throng

These two are musicians

Playing a neverending medley of eclectic tunes

I watch as crowds turn into individuals

A woman in a sundress catches my eye

We exchange a look

In which I pay homage with a smile

She accepts my offering with its twin

Disappearing around the corner

David Trudel   ©  2013

Arrhythmic

My heart is not arrhythmic

At least not yet

It’s just the rhythms of my life that have been disrupted

By my heart’s treasonous murmur

I have shed the patterns of comfortable serenity

For trepidation set against anticipation

I make preparations for my convalescence

Without a backbeat

Not knowing the tempo of recovery

My heartstrings are slack-keyed

Waiting to be tuned

By a luthier of broken hearts

When I will be reset and rebooted into

Tick tock

Tick tock

Precision beats against the drumwall of my bloodied chest

Torn open but not asunder

My heart will be absolved of its imperfections

Given back its undercurrent of regularity

Rhythming into conformity with normalcy

Alive to light dancing across the sky

Tuned in to tidal ebbs and flows

Ever mindful of the fragility of now

And certainly forever

Never arrhythmic after playing a moment of time

Outside of time

Again, and again

And again

David Trudel       ©  2013

Gratitude

Today I declare gratitude

Thankfulness for life

For being here in this place of privilege

For what limited freedom I enjoy

I am grateful I can choose my own spirituality

My beliefs are my own and not imposed

By frowning arbiters of mythological excess

I am grateful to the women that have spurned me

Leaving me space for universal enjoyment

Gifting me the time I would have spent

On worrying about your affection and your desires

I am grateful for the beauty of nature

That unfolds around us daily

I revel in the wonders of this web of life

Smiling as I uncover each unread volume of the divine library

I thank everyone who has ever smiled at a stranger

Or given freely from a threadbare pocket

This is such a wondrous time to be alive

When thoughts and dreams are interchanged

Across the world at lightning speed

Where knowledge grows organically

Even in the face of repression

I am grateful for the resilience of the oppressed

Who are strong enough to heal publicly

Becoming leaders for the lost

I am thankful for irrepressible music

Pervasively bathing us in harmonic resonance

I thank the artists who reinterpret truth

With inspiration and dedication

I raise my hands in praise of caregivers

Who reach out with compassion and generosity

I am grateful for all the love that has come my way

And for those I have been honoured to love

I give thanks

To all the forces that conspire to unlonely the affliction of despair

I am grateful

Just to be here

Understanding that now

Is a reflection of forever

And for that I am eternally happy in my gratitude

David Trudel  ©  2013

Dystopian Rant

I heard that it’s raining at the North Pole

Which seems about right these days

In this world that’s been pulled inside out

It’s getting weird and all fucked up

I don’t usually use words like that, but really

What can you say about the poles melting

About a world gone mad

Where crazy people massacre innocent victims with assault weapons

And redneck conservatives who think they’re religious

Defend their right to do so

It’s all fucked up

A nation founded on liberty and justice for all

Doing a 180

Into tightly controlled security

And arbitrary arrest and detention

While their President, who taught law at Harvard

Authorizes state sponsored assassinations instead of arrests and trials

What happened to the rule of law?

It’s all fucked up

This is a world where even the frozen hearted northern queen

Unthaws and weeps at what we’ve done

While corporations misapply copyright law to steal our genes

And declare fresh water superfluous to the common need

This is a world that spends more time

On vacuous entertainment and spectator sports

Than on education and creation

This is a world that celebrates hate and divisiveness

And calls it democracy

It’s all fucked up

The good guys never were good

Except at publicity and keeping secrets

So now they’re freaking out over the leakers

The truth tellers

And it’s like a highballing truckdriver who’s just been bit by a wasp

Swatting madly in the cab

Hurtling through the night

Towards midnight and an appointment

That I would much rather those assholes didn’t keep

But they’re the ones driving this rig

Elected officials and their corporate masters

Leading us into unmitigated disasters

Bastards

So yes, I declare that it’s all fucked up

In this world of miracles

Where some of us live in paradise

But most just live in hell

And hell is coming to everyone else

In apocalyptic fury

Sweeping away what meager defenses we thought we had

On the wind or the tide

Or the turn of the screw

It’s all fucked up

David Trudel    ©  2013

Angel Songs

I will make playlists of angel songs

And burbling laughs of toddlers

Who haven’t learnt to imprison their feelings in words

I will make playlists of waves rolling on cobbled shores

And the crash of surf exploding into clouds

I will make playlists of the wind ruffling the firs

Punctuated by butterflies tap-dancing on honeysuckle blossoms

I will sing along with whistles of the northern lights

Slide shimmering a magnetic resonance

From starshine’s wave

My top forty will never be capped

Or over produced

My playlist sings eternity

I fall into the space between the sounds

Not a dark hole

But a double helix slide from being to becoming

Listening for truth

Neither question nor answer

Just the simplicity of forever

Like smiles for no reason

Resounding into harmony

David Trudel       ©  2013

Huna Walk With Me

It is more fun to walk holding peacock feathers

Than not

Wielding talismans of plaintive cries

Feathered eyes of mystery

We proceed from cairn to cairn

Invoking spirits

Summoning intentions

Provoking curiosity

Then finding a nested perch above the sea

To chant vicissitudes into rhythms

Flowing into violet hues of a lowering dusk

Adding our breath to the incoming tang of a seabreeze

As drums throb

Seagulls wheel and exclaim their heartfelt longing

Below, lovers sit together on the rocks

Watching waves roll in

Relentlessly

Stillness is something to be rediscovered

In crowds and crowded lives

Each apprehension of tranquility a small victory

Over the distractions of temporary attractions

Find a horizon with a hole in it

To fall into or crawl through

Or merely to send an arrow of a thought

Singing integration with alpha omega

Singing to the falling sun and the rising moon

Singing to the unknown

Finding unity in the ragged chortle of waves falling ashore

Looking into the feathered eyes of peacock tails

To see your own soul

David Trudel   ©  2013

Phone Call

It’s Sunday evening

Soon, I’ll call my mother

We’ll debrief each other’s past week

Preview the next

She will bring up the importance of faith

I’ll make non-committal noises of an ambiguous nature

We’ll skirt around some issues with shorthand and deflection

Talking at great length and detail about others

We’ll pass along family news

Which usually means me doing a lot of listening

Tonight I’ll be able to transmit news of my daughters

We’ll reassure each other that things will work out

Knowing that even if they don’t

We’ll talk again next Sunday

David Trudel   ©  2013

Stillness

There is beauty to be found inside indolence

Inside this torpor I inhabit

Carving each filigreed framed portrait of my days

Slowed from compulsive intensity

Removed from the strictures of timed steps

I stand outside time

To wonder at worn truths

Weathered as fallen totems in a lonely forest

On the edge of returning crumbled into nature

Still, there is something monumental

About beauty wrought by warm hands

Into slabs of stone or pillars of wood

Not supplanting nature but augmenting it

Through considered reinterpretations of reality

Unhurried by the immediacy of the moment

Not content to simply reflect today’s truth

But yesterday’s journey and all the days that went before

Culminating in the immense simplicity of beauty

Found in the stillness of a soul at rest

David Trudel    © 2013

Real

There was a time when I had certainty

Thinking I knew what real was

With the hubris of untested innocence

I’d form opinions and judgments

Sharing them with assured authority

With no thought of testing assumptions

Ready to convict or to reward

But now I know how hard it is

To see behind illusions we think are real

All I can ever hope to know is my own truth

Even that is hard to grasp

So I accept whatever happens

Without trying to control

I’ve given up trying to judge others

For myself honesty is its own reward

David Trudel       ©  2013

Second Half

This is the second half of the poem I started to write

The first half has been deleted

Try to imagine those empty words yourself

Self-indulgent words that were so shallow

They dried up and blew away

Cliché ridden

Devoid of original thought

Ultimately not worth editing

Except to throw them out

And reset baseline standards

David Trudel  ©  2013

Cardiac Short Stay

Soft pastels soften coldlit glareIMG_0375

Nurses flock, chattering to each other

While caring for each patient

Their cheeriness is reassuring

Reminding me of family dinners or school reunions

When conversations ebb and flow

Sporadically moving from depth to surface inattentions

Schedules are put in place

Then torn by circumstances

Delays are inevitable in hospitals

Emergencies intrude and rearrange clockfaces

Not surprising

We know that realtime ceases to exist

Somewhere between the admitting desk

And the elevators

To compensate everything is quantified

Numbers proliferate from cubicles to vital signs

Numerology seems to be the dominant language

We passers through aren’t fluent enough to understand

But in our shared vulnerability

Smile half guarded smiles from bed to bed

Listening to the same instructions repeated over and over

To each of us in turn

There are many paths to this place

Where we are sorted into our similarities

Reduced to numerical categories

The sharp prick of needles bursts through abstractions

To pinpoint the humanity we brought with us

From the streets below

David Trudel     ©  2013

Playlist

As I listen to these songs I can’t stop myself

From trying to uncover the sub-text

Not of the songs

Although that’s part of it

No, I look for meaning in the choices and order

A few new ones

Mostly older

Here and there a song reminds me of the old minivan

And mixed cassette tapes

Others might be lucky guesses

She couldn’t have known the significance of that throwaway hit

Or how it resonated with me when I was twelve years old

I listen to these songs

Decoding references to years past

Declarations of independence and gifts of discovery

Until I’m able to just listen to the songs again

Which I do

Again and again

David Trudel   ©   2013

Angiogram/plasty

What to bring to hospital

According to the poorly photocopied instructions “what” includes

A translator

“If you do not understand English”

And since these instructions are in English it gives me pause to wonder

I don’t understand a lot of things

English or not

Maybe I should bring a translator of sacred mysteries, women, or hospitalese

I’m instructed not to wear nail polish, make-up, false eyelashes, hairpins or talcum powder

So no sympathetic Pride Parade cross dressing in the cards for this adventure

It is okay to wear face cream, deodorant and acrylic nails

Maybe I should rush out and get some face cream to wear

Just because it’s allowed

I’m advised I’ll have hair removed from my groin and/or wrist with a clipper

Slightly better than a hot wax treatment but about as appealing

Before I’m punctured

Allowing the passage of a fine tube into the blood vessel

There are no nerves inside the blood vessel

They tell me I won’t feel the passage of the tube

Carrying some fluid of an undisclosed nature

That will be mixed into the circulation allowing for a series of x-rays

Which will result in 3D images of the inside of my arteries

And the wall of my heart

I wonder if it will show the golden repairs that mark past heartbreaks

Major complications are rare

But the chance of stroke, embolic event, kidney failure, cardiac arrest or death

Is one in a thousand

Which is way better odds than the lottery I play but never win

A small patch dressing will be applied to the groin area

A sandbag will be placed over the dressing for pressure for approximately two hours

Interesting, in case of flooding I’ll be in a defensive posture

In case of any severe pain, malaise or fever report to the emergency department promptly, the discharge instructions state

Malaise is a pretty broad term

Not uncommon for poets and social commentators to encounter

I look forward to contacting the ER should I feel malaise afterwards

For philosophical discussions of an existential nature

David Trudel   ©  2013

Knife

The rope was coiled and stowed behind the front seat of the truck

After he pulled up he sat there for a while

He could use the knife, he thought again

He had figured out the noose months back

Had been obsessing about it really

Tying and retying it over and over

But he wasn’t sure

Something about it troubled him

So in the end, he said fuck it

It’ll be the knife

He was going to do it then and there

But he thought about how hard it would be to clean up the blood

Since it was the company truck and all

He figured he knew who’d have to do it

So he decided to go into the woods to the tree he’d picked out

Which kind of made some kind of weird sense

He sat on the ground with his back against the tree

Pulled the trusty Buck knife out of the leather holster at his waist

And for one last time went through the shit list

That’s what he called it

All the crap that had been piling up

Like his charade of a marriage

Held together by shared debt and guilty responsibility

The debts were even worse than his unfuckable wife

He owed so much money

No matter that he was making some pretty decent coin

The debt just kept hovering until the next emergency

When it would grow even more

He thought about his shitty job in the shitty company

Fracking

Here he was, really a tree-hugging hippie at heart

Working in one of the worst industries on the planet

Environmentally

It’s like every day he plays his part in gang banging mother nature

Fucking bastards

He thinks

He thinks about all the assholes he’s encountered

On his way to this end of the road

He knows his shit list by heart

He opens his shirt

Plunges the knife in without any more thinking

Right to the hilt and sits there waiting to die

Not realizing he missed the heart

Still, there’s a lot of blood

It hurts like hell

Then it’s like being walloped over the head with a frying pan

Not like any headache he ever had before

It’s an urgent screaming icepick to the brain

Which staggers him awake and to his feet

Stumble climbing up the slope to the road

Where he collapses before reaching the truck

He comes to in the hospital

Strapped into a bed and barely able to focus

Pain claims his attention

Until it’s muffled by the meds

He doesn’t make it easy on himself or the staff

After he recovers enough

They stick him into solitary on the psych ward

Under observation

The walls aren’t padded but its pretty basic

48 hours of coming down into himself

Then it’s back to the ward

Shrinks and meds and nurses

His fucking family all phoning and mouthing platitudes

Saying things that sound like Reader’s Digest dialogue

Scripted by writers that used to work for Oprah

He thinks about calling bullshit on their bullshit

Then decides to forgive them

And starts to forgive himself

Uncoiling and untying the knots around his heart

Sobbing, in relief

David Trudel     ©  2013

Plato’s Horses

The horses were gathered around the tree

Like points on a star

Self-choreographed

Facing the tree trunk as if it was some equine oracle

Dispensing beneficent predictions

Or serving up sugar cubes

Of course I knew it was just the only shade in the field

But they looked like long-maned sages

Giving and receiving philosophical insights

In the shade of a tree instead of a cave

David Trudel   ©  2013

Sun Dance

It won’t be a sun dance for me

I won’t have my chest pierced with sinews

Or dance myself into revelations at the edge of coma

But I will deliver myself

To be cut open

My sacrificial heart will be lifted into the cold light

Of an operating room

The table will just be a table not an altar

There won’t be a biblical patriarch in attendance

Quoting hallucinatory admonitions

I do not embody the guilt of my ancestors

Yet I wonder how blood sacrifice came to be exalted

Priestly slaughter of innocents to satiate unknowable gods

I’m certain that the creatures slit open

In some bizarre ritual transference of guilty projections

Of shame

Of fear

Of hatred

Did not feel ennobled by the experience

Just hard done by

Like royal attendants walled up in the tombs of kings

Or victims of Aztec flower wars

Climbing to the top of some pyramid

To watch the sun glinting off an obsidian blade poised high

Before the downward thrust

It must take a lot of misplaced religious fervor

To overcome the realization that death is present

And soon you won’t be

More to the point, willingly

I wonder at the intensity of self-sacrifice

Allowing a suspension of flight or fight response to imminent threat

Choosing acquiescence to commands

Hoping that unbelievable assurances hide a shimmer of truth

Not a black hole of nothingness

Trusting in mysteries

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

Blue Empty

In the great blue empty of a summer sky

Lies the reflection of my heart’s void

More space than materiality

Full only of wonder and the promise of discovery

I search for eyes that sparkle with creative compassion

I’m met with disdain or indifference

So I declare my sovereignty within my skin

Satisfied to be myself

A collection of memories and hopeful fantasies

Who makes friends with mermaids and poets

Looking for beautiful abstractions

Disdaining the artifice behind masks worn by compliant roleplayers

I search for whimsy instead of wisdom

Gaining both in small measure which I give away

Letting them slip through my fingers

Into the forever of an empty blue sky

David Trudel      ©  2013

Unwords

Maybe the words will return

Born of ideas half formed between dreams

Ideas that perhaps weren’t ideas at all

Or complete thoughts

But random images surfacing from a saturated consciousness

Spilling over edges like a foamy head of beer on a frosted glass

Leaving a damp awareness of untasted pleasure

Words, paled by shadows and non-exposure

Barely able to hold a meaning

Whether a particular sense or intention

Or an unkind lack of generosity

Still, for a while they caught me with their elegance and truth

Until they collapsed into letters unbound by exactitude

Into sounds that resonated with emotion not meaning

Maybe the words will return but they will be different

They will travel in a different direction

Than the compassless flight of a thought at dawn

Words to bandaid dripping cuts of consciousness

As night becomes dawn becomes day

And brilliance is no longer a beacon but a surrounding

Words forming and reforming into truths and tales

Carrying on and carrying through whatever thoughts are waiting

For those words searching for expression

Releasing the grasp of possessive acquisition

Into poetry

David Trudel       © 2013

Aliens

I am not looking for aliens who come by spaceships

Like dream fantasies played out in movies or TV shows

Displaying our collective projections of fear and braggadocio

I look for the aliens who aren’t

Aliens who are at home everywhere and nowhere

In whatever shape they care to inhabit

Or shapeless, shift their consciousness into alignment

With others for a moment or an age

I look for aliens who aren’t bound by singular lives

Conforming to singular rules

But slide effortlessly from micro to macro

Moving through timescales without consideration for regularity

I look for aliens who revel in creation and the unexpected

Who have no eye for politics or power

Since they see through those assumptions

With the ambivalence of limitless freedom

I look for aliens who are as insubstantial

As the emptiness within us all

But are as full as the heavens above and below

Aliens who disembody reality into a vortex of possibility

Playing outside the multiverse we think we glimpse the limits of

I look for aliens with my third eye and my higher self

Forgetting that searches for otherness

Are plagued with obscurity

Until I remember that we are all connected

That there are no aliens

And that the road of discovery leads ultimately within

David Trudel      ©  2013

Wishes

Don’t wish

It’s a guarantee that your heart will be broken

By your own hand

Don’t wish

Life is meant to be random

Each day

Each twist in the tale or turn in the trail

Brings the unexpected

Spontaneously

Wishes are curses that limit infinite potential

What we think we need today

Isn’t what we’ll need tomorrow

Live each moment like it’s your last

Finding joy in the glory of being present

Realize that you can never control externalities

So stop trying

Don’t wish

There are only two things that you can control

Your own behavior and attitude

That’s it

So behave well and stay optimistic

Stop trying to change reality

Accept it gracefully

Grateful for all the gifts life brings

Even those gifts that don’t come beautifully wrapped have value

Lessons that are hard to learn turn out to be the most valuable

So don’t wish

Accept

David Trudel  ©  2013

Bombs

Walking through a crowd one day

Being told the next

That there could have been major carnage

Is unsettling

Even if the pressure cooker bombs were inert

The intent was there

My aortic valve is another pressure cooker

Ready to explode

But it’s under surveillance too

So I smile as my blood is drawn

Enjoy a short wait in Medical Imaging before a chest X-Ray

I am not terrorized by failed plots

From without or within

I don’t believe in might have beens

Or populate alternative realities with fear and trepidation

I have enough trust left to appreciate policing

That forestalls bombs and heart attacks

Leaving me walking this path only a little shook up

By potential devastation

Defused

David Trudel      ©  2013

Reconstituted

If I am broken down into parts

Stripped and broken into husks and shells

Dried into simulacrum envelopes

Of what once was animation

What once was flesh

What once was original

Sin or innocence

Will I be reconstituted into what was

Or made into what will be

When envelopes arrive

At witching hour’s wellspring

Memories will be freshened

Or washed away

Reconstituted from the sum

Into the question

David Trudel  © 2013

Illusions

Mostly we see reflectionsIMG_0306

Illusions of concrete reality

Only made substantial by the depth of conviction

Invested in the magic

Believing we know what’s in front of our eyes

Instead of seeing truth within

If we can see through the charades

When the light is right

Shadows and smudges transform into base matter

Tangible as the bottom of a lake

Reflecting a forest

David Trudel  ©  2013

Nations

National days of celebration leave me ambivalent at best

Happy enough to enjoy the music

But troubled by jingoistic patriotism and superlatives

We don’t have to be the best

It seems small-minded

Probably says more about our insecurities than anything else

Nation states are simply concepts that will disappear in time

They aren’t natural

In the future it will seem quaint to remember a time

When imaginary lines divided the planet

And flag waving patriots cheered their supremacy

Forgetting that capitalism knows no borders

Or that the oppressed take no shelter in flags

David Trudel  ©  2013

Ten Minutes To Eleven

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

A mosquito worries its way across the screen door

Looking for a gap

As my exhalations send it into blood frenzy

A leaf drifts to earth

Odd, since it’s early summer yet

I wonder if a caterpillar has eaten it through

A child tugs at her father impatiently

He’s talking to a neighbour at the end of the driveway

Postponing some outing

Now her singsong Daddy, Daddy

Increases in volume and frustration

Six birds trade places on two trees

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

A rumour of a breeze

Stirs branches randomly

A seaplane flies overhead

Its pilot intent on the descent the plane is poised to make

A passenger looks out the bubble window

Wondering at the mundane lives playing out below

While the rooster next door proclaims his sovereignty

Reassuring his hens

Ruling his dominion

Insects cry

I hear traffic humming in the distance

At ten minutes to eleven

It is still not still

David Trudel   ©  2013

Pre Op Thoughts

I’d be going crazy if I was still living in some of those places

Like when I was an urban cliff dweller

Looking out at a forest of concrete and glass

Seeing forty thousand pairs of eyes looking back

Makes one a little squirrelly at the best of times

Let alone a few weeks before open heart surgery

Trying to wrap my head around that thought

So I appreciate my forest oasis at city’s edge

A small piece of ancient landscape left untouched

Where my feet can connect directly to bedrock

Resonating on a time scale of profundity

Where I can look out above treetops to the sky

Where I can consider the future from a far-seeing place

I play with alternate versions of the Chac Mool moment I’m on course for

A Stoic exercise of negative visualization

Asking what’s the worst that can happen

Then imagining how that would play out

In order to prepare a strategy of positivity

It’s strange since I don’t have any symptoms

I don’t feel sick

Quite the contrary, I feel better than I have for years

But I’m told a valve needs replacing

It’s a wonderful thing to be alive today, I think

In this world where medicine has become clairvoyant

Where heart valves can be manufactured and installed

Without missing a beat

Now I have a medical team

I am conveyed from one appointment to the next

Relentlessly lining up for ultrasounds and angiograms

Until the moment my chest will be opened and my heart repaired

My sternum will be wired back together

I’ll be stapled shut

There will be no heart attack in six months or a year

The only murmur I’ll hear will be the whisper of the sea

And the wind in the trees

Singing heart songs that I will listen to

With gratitude

David Trudel   ©  2013

Back Seat Windows

When I was a child I would lock eyes

With other kids in the back seats of station wagons

As we hurtled down freeways

Or slowrolled through clogged streets

I would lock eyes

Trying to make some kind of psychic connection

Or anticipate a future meeting where decades later

Our eyes would remember

A moment held between us

Briefly as a hummingbird’s visit

When we were young

Looking at the world from inside the safety glass of the family car

It was easy to believe in innocence then

To think that everyone else was as safe as I was

In those days before I knew about torture

About abuse and cruelty

Frequent as the autumn rain

For too many

Now I wonder what happened to them

I try to recollect those faces

Dredged images from ripped memories

Some of those eyes must have been silently shrieking

Calling out for sympathy or salvation

Locked in rolling prisons moving closer to the next indignity

While I was worried about a music lesson I hadn’t practiced for

Or inconsequential bullshit

If I could return to those moments

I wouldn’t challenge fragile eyes with directness

I would look at you obliquely and offer you my passing tears

I would applaud you for carrying on

Holding your head up

As you looked out at a world

That held more sins than miracles

David Trudel     © 2013

Dragonflies

Their flying prowess is astonishing

I’m not sure if I’m watching damselflies or dragonflies

Whichever, they dart around like World War One aces

Changing direction at will and accelerating rapidly

Picking off smaller insects with enthusiasm

Half a dozen bluebottle flies have taken shelter on my jeans

So I shake them off and send them into battle

As I follow the drama I’m distracted

By an eagle soaring through mottled clouds

Flying into and out of view

Then I realize there’s two

They circle

Drift closer

I call them with the whistle I learnt a half-life ago

Amazingly they circle closer

Until they are within the ambit of the trees

Then one peels off

The other circulates

For a time

Listening to my call

Then I resume my scrutiny of the dragonflies

In close immediacy

With the wind

David Trudel   ©  2013

Heart

Why is the heart associated with love, I wonder

Why not the brain

I can think of other body parts

If you’re going to pick internal organs to represent that feeling

That divine state of bliss we call love

Or even tarnished affection for your familiar co-accused

Why pick that steadfast pump in the middle of your chest

As a grand metaphor for the mercurial arc of love

Love, weaving infatuation into lust

Followed by mutual seduction

If you’re lucky some romance but that wears off

At some point you learn to compromise

Come to some kind of understanding and acceptance

Then you learn to give and receive forgiveness

Taking comfort in care and affection bestowed and shared

The heart is definitely important

But it’s really not adequate to portray love’s tumultuous adventures

The stomach might work better as a proxy

Considering its capacity, appetite and potential for amorous metaphor

But then what kind of symbol would we use for it

Not that the stylized version for heart bears any relation to reality

Looking nothing at all like a real heart

Actually it takes its shape from the emblematic seed case of a plant called silphium

Used as a contraceptive by the ancient people of Cyrene

It worked so well that it was used to extinction

Yet lives on to embellish boxes of chocolate on Valentine’s day

Fittingly adorning ritualistic displays of romantic attraction

It’s quite charming to consider how those unbridled orgasms

From twenty six hundred years ago are still echoing today

Propelling meaning across centuries and tongues

Into the synchronicity of love

David Trudel   ©  2013

She Said

Concise expansivity is where it’s at

She said

Arching her back

Looking over her shoulder

At me

Really?

Do you mean pinpointing infinity

Or

Opening your singularity to the collective

She waved

Vanished

I shrugged it off

But I still hear that echo reverberate

David Trudel  ©  2013

Symptoms

Have you experienced any shortness of breath?

No, while thinking sure

Every time a beautiful woman looks in my general direction

I’ve had my breath taken away enough

Enough to keep life interesting

I’ll take that as a no, he says

After my recitation of the home gym, walks and bike rides

Now I wonder

My fingertips seemed colder in those new gloves last winter

Was that a sign

Perhaps

Maybe there’s a bunch of shit I can blame on the faulty pump

Post op, that is

After that waking up moment

Through queasy fog

Time splinters rustling like wind chimes

Into the coming to in recovery

Where you realize you have more lines running into

And out of your body than there are lines on a gaff-rigged schooner

Pain, an explosion swaddled for now by morphine

Or something

But there

There, coiled like some viper biding their time

In the center of your chest

Through the haze you realize the battle has begun

So you deploy relentless optimism

Against enervated ennui

Every kind of discomfort imaginable

Until it gets better

Which it will and does

In time

David Trudel   ©  2013

Ambush

Even the cardiac surgeon remarked on the irony

Must be a bit of a kick to the head

He said in the closest thing to empathy during that conversation

Filled with too many words like urgent and critical

Don’t get me wrong, I like my surgeons focused and intense

I can get sympathy from others

Still, when my struggle for fitness was so close to being won

It seems so wrong to be scheduled for heart surgery

So I nodded and smiled ironically back

Curtailing the impulse to blurt out something like fucking right

Because I’ve never felt better in close to forty years

But that was an illusion, like so many others I never saw through

Apparently feelings don’t come close to truth

Truth waits in ambush behind stethoscopes and cold eyes

Ready to knock you off whatever size horse you’re riding

Deftly as any plot twist in a serial adventure

To be continued

David Trudel  ©  2013

Sins

There are sins

That taste so delicious

They become virtues

There are vices

That are never left to their own

But are still quite

Delicious

Odd, how we colour emotions

With shades of judgment

Isn’t it?

Verdict, please

Guilty pleasures

Are almost requisite

To be pleasures at all

Ah

David Trudel         © 2013

Be Free

The tighter a country wraps itself in its flag

The more it becomes constricted

Unable to see the rest of the world clearly

Nationhood is less about freedom and more about control

No matter what any constitution or zealot patriot might say

Countries and all our multi-layered levels of governance

Keep people in virtual feedlots

Penned in by ideas and concepts that overlay reality

In our shared delusion of civility

Look at the absurd lengths we go to

Interrupting each others smooth glide

By creating complex rules and imaginary lines

Which at their core only exist inside our minds

Now, storm troop clerics have returned

Like old testament prophets

Calling for retribution and revenge

Binary thinkers are the death of the rest of us

Auditing beliefs and creative thoughts

Against a template of hate and bitterness

All those angry faces calling for compliance

Fall into line!

Fall into line, they say

Judging everyone

Harshly critical about every action

Every reaction

So we dance these complex dances of bizarre ritual

Looking about as civilized as an ant colony

To our visitors from beyond

You know who I’m talking about

They must be quite amused

At faith-based hatred that legitimizes torture and murder

As we go around killing one another over ideas

Borders

Morality

Sexual inclination

Racism

Prejudice

Which pleasures are allowed and which aren’t

Ideas that have no physical presence in this plane of existence

But manage to keep us nose to grindstone

Brown-nosed and beaten

Through passive acceptance of the status quo

Instead of standing up and looking around

Making our own judgments about what’s in front of our eyes

Not behind them in some surreal zeitgeist

Informed by myths and legends long since twisted into barbarity

Anyone can choose to see clearly

If you want to

Be free

Be free enough to look at a field without mentally imposing

Some line running across it like an impenetrable force field

Be free to see things as they are

Not how you’ve been conditioned to think they are

Be free

Be free to see reality

Look at the stars

Let go of control

Let go of everything

Be free

David Trudel  ©  2013

Rental

The rental car place is across La Reforma

A grand boulevard that slices across D. F. like a river

Driving away a few minutes later

There’s barely enough time to think

Oh my god, what the fuck have I gotten myself into

But before you can think this time

Up looms the traffic circle at the Angel

It’s like when you were a kid

And it was your turn on the rope swing

Or diving off the cliff or the bridge that proved your courage

So it’s a use the force moment

Surrendering to instinct

Calculating millimeters of space on all fronts at full speed

Hyperdriving into streets a dozen lanes across

In each direction

With road hazards like cobbled patches

To test your dental work

All manner of transportation

Buses, taxis and cars mixed up with carts and critters

Bicycles piled high with baskets

At stoplights the car is swarmed by grimy squeegee kids

People selling all manner of stuff

Including baby owls once

Or fire breathers exploding into wonderment

Then working the windows which roll down

Delivering crimped beneficence

Then a LeMans start with twenty cars racing

For a spot where only six will fit

Holding velocity into the maelstrom

Where magically we all redistribute at the last second

Like a flock of starlings

It isn’t that you ever relax

Driving in this city

But there are moments when it’s about as much fun as it gets

Flowing with a steel tumolt

And while I don’t want to align myself with Cortez

For a moment I conquered something on those streets

Piloting a rental car through mad chaos

Because I was able to understand the madness

Without needing to translate it

At speed

David Trudel   ©  2013

Grand Design

Tearbleeding, there’s too much news

Of sad tragedies playing out

Looped like unhinged terror

Grinding teeth while fingertips

Pull glide

 Slow, like mixed emotions

Down a blackboard

Screaming into the back of your skull

Discordant

Off-putting

Into another constellation

Forgetting stars in the tumble to Tartarus

Sourcing immortal suffering

Which goes on incessantly

Still

Even though

We thought we’d achieved a measure of beauty

Nothing transcends the grand design

Nothing

David Trudel  ©  2013

Spring Rain

Staccato drops hammer the canopy

Few reach my bush hat’s brim

Caught and splintered on broad leaved maples

Arbutus, oak and fir

A fractured umbrella of a thousand parts

While I inhale damp dust

Moistened tree spunk finally getting hosed down

After the rites of spring

The smell, sharp and soft at the same time

Inhale through nostrils diaphragm deeply

Exhale from mouth sharing breath with a living web

I stride through green tunnels

Where waves of foliage curl trails into lightpipes

Up to hilltop meadows

Horizons to explore

Reading weather signs in leadening clouds

While rumbling thunder punches a black eye

Into the sunset

Shards of lightning sparkle like lost sequins

Catching a tomorrow light

Rain easing, I return

David Trudel   © 2013

Constant

It isn’t anything personal

Or even able to be possessed

It isn’t something that’s yours or mine

Anymore than the air we breathe is

We need it constantly

But it can only be shared and released

Never hoarded

We can never take it away or shut it down

Even if we pretend we can

Our hearts might break but it never will

It abides

And flows ceaselessly like a great river

That sometimes we’re lucky enough to swim in

Or drink from

And the best we can hope for

Is that through each other we find a door

To enter into this state called love

David Trudel   ©  2013

Balanced Days

These are hollow days                                                These are days of magic

That reverberate like warning drums                        Sparkling brilliantly

Calling out for attention and action                           In the sunshine

These are days of false promises                               These are days of miracles

When leaders are led surreptitiously                         When everyone connects

Peeling away their morality                                        Reaching across oceans

With each clandestine payment received                     To find friendship

These are days when processed food                        These are days of science

Is packaged in glamour                                             When we have seen into

While delivering empty calories                                 Life’s building blocks

That settle on our hips                                                Bringing healing to the lost

These are days of denial                                             These are days of knowing

Deliberate blindness to catastrophe                           Secrets unlocked

When truthsayers are muted                                     Available at our fingertips

By the mighty and the masses                                   Universal knowledge

These are days of erosion                                           These are days of perfection

As justice becomes repression                                    When public scrutiny

Socially engineering a new regime                              Surrounds scoundrels

Where the aristocracy of the wealthy                         And truth is crowdsourced

Is protected from crowds                                           Using cameras and phones

By the proliferation of for-profit prisons                   By the oppressed

And when show trials have been replaced                   Who have discovered legs

By state sponsored executions                                    On which to stand

These are days of empty entertainment                      These are days enlightened

Squandered opportunities                                             As divinity descends

Wasted on garish spectacles                                         To anyone who wishes

That serve as grand distractions                                  For transcendence

These are days of oppression                                       These are days of hope

When millions are herded into camps                         When we see beyond faces

Displaced by rootless fear and barbed greed               Into eternal truths

When fear is celebrated as a virtue                              Discovering perfect beauty

And compassion is mocked                                           In the wonder of it all

David Trudel  ©  2013

Dies Irae

“Day of wrath and doom impending,

David’s words with Sybil’s blending,

Heaven and earth in ashes pending”

Translation by William Josiah Irons, 1849

Dancing through this paradoxical paradise

As heaven and hell keep cutting in on each other

We listen to the universal song play out

Basso profondo to soprano and all the rest between

This cosmic tune speaks volumes but matters not

Except to guide us to the dies irae of finality

A judgment on universal mortality

And if we feel trepidation as the final chorus sounds

Let’s remember that rapturous transcendence

Is part of the final arrangement

So let the grim foreboding of annihilation pass

Concentrate instead on the glory of the forgotten chord

Strummed into being at the moment of creation

Resounding still inside us all

Inside the quiet of a sublime mind

In the look that passes between lovers

Or the gentle touch of every mother

So when the final trumpet blows

Embrace the sound of truthful joy

Let it lift your spirit and your self

Into the moment of reward

David Trudel     ©  2013

Careless

Unburdened of my cares

I unpen corralled words

To set free thoughts I once felt needed herding

And unspeak impotent intentions

That have had their hearing deafened

I dis-appoint intentional attentions

Removing all these barbed external hooks

That have settled into my skin

Remorselessly

I strip away costumes

And un-ink skinned pages

To bleed out into emptiness

Freed from perceived obligations

As hope’s tide recedes

The sea of indifference floods in

Where I carelessly drift

In a slow voyage of undiscovery to returned forever

Until I lose everything

Except the charged consciousness of the eternal mind

Floating in blackness

Alone

David Trudel  © 2013

Vulnerable

You have strength enough to proclaim your vulnerability

With a smile that says I’m strong enough

But only to a point

I can see scarred clearcuts behind your eyes

And feel the impact that toxic spills have left behind

So I understand the need for an emotional review

Before exposing your susceptibility to tenuous possibility

I am content with your consideration

Happy enough with the ambiguity of a slow process

Stripped down to essentials like truth and beauty

Rendered and distilled into an intoxication of promise

Called hope

David Trudel   ©  2013

Particles

It’s all about fragments

Small pieces of everything

Becoming and unbecoming

Randomly mixing

Fixing into stasis momentarily

Until transformation happens inevitably

We all know the solitude of raindrops

A journey from birth to death

Falling from the heavens to the depths

But we forget the ocean we came from

And to which we’ll return

We look around entranced by illusions

Thinking that there’s permanence in this collective delusion

Forgetting that matter is mostly space

When you look into it

And in the long thrum of the ages

The most monotonous beat is change

Blending everything that ever was

Into everything that will ever be

The particles that make us real

Come from everywhere

Inside us all are memories of primordial seas

Mysterious creatures that we’ve never dreamed

Rocks and trees and dinosaurs

All live on inside our cores

Not just the past

But every future possibility

Echoes in our veins

We just need to learn to listen

To the eternal resonance of creation

David Trudel  ©  2013

Ghost

I knew you as a ghost

That’s what you seemed to be

Halfway in and halfway out

Of here, whatever this place is

On the edge of almost

But you?

You showed up in places

Now and then places

Enigmatically

Never quite committing

To reality

Still, you haunt me

I like it

I like the frisson of ripped

I like the weird in the wonder

The wonder of what goes on

In your stewed consciousness

When you think about me

When descent meets ascent

Inside the unframed glimmer

A corner of your eye

Almost but not quite catches

An intention of possibility

Thus, friction fractions

And we are left, bereft

Of might have beens

And almost was

Gone for dreaming

Everyone

David Trudel  ©  2013

Bridges

There are bridges made of living roots of rubber trees

Spanning rivers in India organically

And their strength increases over time

Unlike those made of cement and iron

So engineers and construction firms

Please take note and maybe learn

To co-opt the landscape on either side

Of whatever chasm we can’t abide

Instead of using steel girders

Just use the trees and please the birders

David Trudel   © 2013

Memory

Do you remember

When it was transformational

When music pied pipered us

Into a sociological world view

At odds with conformity

At odds with authority

Just so

It was hot time, summer in the city

It was big birds flying in the sky

It was patchouli oil and Acapulco gold

As we wandered through

Labyrinths

Listening and observing

Ultimately deciding to side with the offside

Holding to the beat

Of the untamed

The wild

The beat

Listening to wild beats

Among the beasts

We were wild and untamed

Watching

Worlds constrict

Even as the beats began resounding

Sounding

The beat

We waited

David Trudel  ©  2013

Once

Once I was a photon travelling white hot screaming

Through starbody explosions intensifying into excitement

Then slipping past sentries flinging overfenced escaping

Into the night sky’s cold blackness

Sped into a measureless void heralding the heat of creation

Into dark corners radiating warmth with a promise of more

Once I was molten churning magma ooze

Running red hot through mantle crust

To arrive fluidly into a fixation of granite

Where I stood grounded and surrounded

Until I was ground down by elemental others

Chipped and hacked into boulders and rocks

Crumbled into smallness of sand

Populating deserts and beaches and playgrounds

Where I became the world for three year olds with toy trucks

Who extrapolated me into highways and mines

That grew inside the fertile minds of innocence as yet unbound

Once I was a dewdrop that slipped from tiny leaf

Into a mere suggestion of a stream

Rubbing shoulders with my brothers

As we tumbled slid from stream to creek to river to sea

Where I was transcended through evaporation

Into the sky to join water angels skydancing cloudbodied

Shapeshifting through windrivers

Until gravity tapped my shoulder and I fell to earth

Where I rest in moistened communion with everything

That I have been part and apart of

Everything connected somewhere somewhen somehow

Once I was this moment

Here

David Trudel   © 2013

Tongue Tied

I wonder if it will ever end

The way I get tongue tied around attractive women

When they turn to me and smile

Which admittedly is a rare event

My inner Cyrano is sent falling through a trap door

And I am left floundering

Flustered and unable to find the glib words of a player

Until they appear ten minutes too late

Mocking me for my reticence

While I curse my politeness and reserve

David Trudel  ©  2013

Manifestos

Manifestos of love proliferate

With the newness of each discovery

We plant flags on beachheads with the arrogance of colonizers

Who disregard those already there

We proclaim impossibilities to each other

The way children build sandcastles on beaches

Then feel betrayed by the tide

Swayed by the push and pull

Of the moon

Our hearts drift in and out

Of the place where worlds touch gently

Or crash together turbulently

Yin to yang

My ocean reaching your shore

Unable to ascend the rocks at your feet

Your feet run through the surf

But never down into the deeps

You and I will never possess one another

But we can kiss at the margins of exploration

Where we meet

Edgewise

David Trudel    ©  2013

Flood

Once I stood on a bench looking out the kitchen window

As the river surged in full flood

Bringing benches, picnic tables and even a cow into brief and tumbled view

At that age it wasn’t alarming

Just another strange delight

A river full of non sequiturs

That had grown from kitten to lion in the night

Once I crested a hill at speed

Into a grey dismay of spilled banks

My feet were ankle deep but the car made it to the other side

That time

Unlike a Christmas day when the current was overwhelming

Lifting the car easily and tossing it into a copse of trees

Making a present of the current experientially

Once I filled sandbags to bolster dikes

Putting my back into the urgency of holding back a deluge

Surrounded by the camaraderie of warriors

Battling overwhelming odds with grains of sand

Once I threw rocks into the river

And they disappeared like magic

Or into the magic of burst waters

Preceding some new arrival

Swept out of the flood of creation

I have seen floods

And I’ve been touched by floods

But I do not really know floods

In all their rushed intensity

Except to say I know them well enough

To stay away

David Trudel  ©  2013

Alone

We are all alone

Unique, in our perceptions

Which live inside our minds

We can never really share the intensity or depth of colours

In rainbows that arc across each others sky

Even if we agree on names for what they are

It’s been said that in ancient Greece

There was no word for green

Yellow was yellow and blue was blue

There was never any need to hold them up to each other

They managed to build a civilization

Without a word and a concept we take for granted

Perhaps we should be envious

Really, colour is just a clever way for our brains

To display the electro-magnetic spectrum

That radiates from everything

Until we slip under the covers with dark energy

Playing footsie with the inverse of brilliance

Getting primal in the dark

Finding spaces inside spaces

Slippery spaces

That curl over and under

Until you just have to grab on somewhere and push

Frictioning a fractioned feeling into being

Which can only be described and never shared

Beyond the boundaries

Of our imaginations

David Trudel   ©  2013

Photon Thoughts

Synapses fire

Snapping off rapid fire shots of random thoughts

Which ricochet off walled up mindguards

Some of them

Broken up into fragments

Or buried in the dark void of forgetfulness

Some lonely few coalesce into ideas

Which may or may not require actions

Like expressions

Some kind of release

Some kind of ejection

Like photons traversing the interior of the sun

Then bursting from the surface to flare into eternity

A few slamming into earth just eight minutes later

Small wonder they burn

With the rage of interrupted space voyagers

Deprived of further shores

David Trudel  ©  2013

 

Sadness

It’s hard, choosing to be positive

On days when feelings of melancholy sadness descend over me

Hammering negative thoughts into my mind

I’m not even talking about the bleak news of the world

Of countries torn by uncivil war

Or refugees living in squalor

And the countless heartbreaks left by natural disasters

Let alone the jackboot tactics of cynical political masters

No, it’s enough to bemoan my outcast state

Wallowing in the self-pity of the chronically alone

Wondering which cruel twist

Fate will burden me with next

I try a workout to exorcise these heavy thoughts

But no trickle of endorphins is enough to break this black spell

Even knowing that emotions are temporary and capricious

Isn’t much comfort when they are visiting

So I choose to leave these uninvited guests

And walk away to find some measure of peace in nature

Maybe I’ll hug a tree today

Since hugs are good for the soul they say

And trees run real slow

David Trudel   © 2013

Lawn

This is for the forgotten rocks that used to adorn this place

And for the buried moss that used to soften their sharp edges

This is for the rolling meadows that undulated from shore to peak

Carpeted with purple camas blossoms that weren’t merely decorative

But part of the food chain

This is for all those variations

Blown up and smoothed away

Made level so that we could roll out more ubiquitous lawn

Colonizing originality with green banality

We have made preemptive strikes against authenticity

Tagging the earth with neon green invaders

Which we mow and trim and water and feed

So much trouble for nothing much

For a crop we don’t eat or use except to display dominator status

Reaching for a reflection of noblesse oblige

Borrowing the suggestion of nobility from squandering fecund fields

For rolled sameness, green lameness

In the pool table flatness that surrounds us

We no longer see nature because we’ve suppressed it

We draw comfort in our control

Seeking the eradication of variety and surprise

For mono-cultured submission

Into the green blanket of conformity

David Trudel     ©  2013

Caring

The moment she looked into his eyes and saw death looking back at her

She knew

She knew that she couldn’t handle bonding with a beautiful soul

Only to lose him too soon

Once again

Over and over it has been that way

Caregiving

At first it was easy to compartmentalize the feelings

But now they spill out

Black humour no longer works to take the edge off

Instead too many edges have worked their way under her skin

To the point where occupational trauma raises emotional welts

She forces the mask back on

The one with the forced smile and bright eyes

Manages to get through one more shift

Only by knowing that tomorrow she’ll see the doctor again

And she’ll go on stress leave

Again

Because she knows that everything is so tightly bound

And if she has to wear that mask one more time

She’ll shatter

Into a million pieces that will never find peace

And if that happens

There’ll be no more caring

For her

David Trudel    ©  2013

Healing Time

We get wounded just by being, here

On this plane where we never know quite what the other thinks

So we dream words into imagined conversations

Then forget they weren’t real

Until our fantasies are shown up by reality

Our thin skins sliced open with razor-wired passive aggression

We get wounded because we’re human

Subject to gravity

But we forget we can’t fly so we fall

We believe in the magic that surrounds us

Until the spells no longer work

Leaving us open to what we call accidents

Usually the inevitable consequence of careless actions

Since we’re human

We are subject to disease

Carried internally or randomly caught

We get wounded by our bodies and onslaughts of germs

Microbes and infections take their toll

So that good health just means dying as slowly as possible

And when time heals

As it sometimes does

Sometimes the prescription is simply death

Transcendence from here to there instead of some miraculous repair

But time does move for us

And moves us from one state to another

Even if change isn’t exactly healing

We learn to live with our scars and amputations

Our reduced capacity and limitations

But what if time itself is sick and needs healing time

Does time heal its own wounds I wonder

Or is there some other soporific that puts time to sleep

Into a zone where rules no longer hold sway

Where timedreams shimmer like northern lights skydancing

Where metronomes lose their precision

And fluidly count the beat of nothingness in the void of eternity

Sinking into the interminable stretch of hospital time

Where minutes and hours co-exist in some quantum contradiction

Providing healing time for time

At least temporarily

Since time is its own chronic condition

David Trudel  ©  2013

Light

The intelligence of light is clear

Light does not equivocate or stop to make judgments

Light doesn’t require self-reflection

It achieves its optimal speed and sticks with it

Travelling at a rate so constant we measure time by it

And although it can be bent and refracted

For the most part light is steadfast

Illuminating everything it touches

With the brilliance of starshine

If we can’t yet understand light’s language

Doesn’t mean that there isn’t one

Where photons sing cosmic chords imbued with primal meaning

Harmonizing down waves from yesterday’s source to tomorrow’s maybe

Communicating the essence of discovery

Without pretense or dissembling

Light is nothing but light

David Trudel   ©  2013

Cottonwoods

Floating pearl drops fill the air

Cottonwood orgasms released on the wind

Flurried fecundity

I try not to inhale

Walking through clouds of dancing potential

These are thirsty trees

That belly up when the doors open

Reaching new highs every day

As interested in drinking and sex as most bar room patrons

And like them a little soft

Their wood isn’t prized for much

They tend to fall over when cold winds roar

To be replaced by next year’s crop

Who look to be about the same

Getting high and drinking as much as they can

Then spilling their seed

Unconcerned about conversations or relationships

David Trudel  ©  2013

Stream of Consciousness

Some days it’s hard to know which stream of consciousness to listen to

Since there seems to be more than one cascading between my ears

As if a wall of radios, TV’s and computers

Are feeding me a nonstop flow of information

Perhaps a torrent of consciousness is more accurate

Or maybe my stream is a flood

Fueled by the melting snowpack of my glaciers

Allowing chilled voices to shout stories or complaints

Or just sob in relief at being out in the open

Like prisoners being released from the Bastille

On the day the walls were tumbled

But it could be that this flood is a mere reflection of the arctic melt

In this global warming of consciousness

Where everyone gets to have a voice

Not just the man at the front with a megaphone in his hands

But everyone who takes a moment to speak up

And add a word, a phrase or a thought to the conversation

More drops in the stream

Leading to the ocean of consciousness

David Trudel   ©  2013

Beauty

Beauty doesn’t have to be framed and hung on gallery walls

Or stuck on pedestals and plinths in public spaces

Real beauty isn’t manufactured or reinterpreted

It exists in quiet forests

When the sun hits raindrops beading on spider webs

Like translucent pearls

Or in the glittering waves of surf rolling onto shores

Even city streets provide bold openings

I see masterpieces everywhere

In those around me

In the way that eyes seek other eyes

And hands reach out for other hands

Moments of tenderness quietly observed

We can all choose to see life unfold in splendid mystery

Revealing each layer of truth

Through the beauty of the day to day

Watching ordinaries become extra

In the radiance of love transcendent

Everything is beautiful

With the right perspective

David Trudel   ©  2013

Hope

I am in hope instead of love

Having signed away my proxy

For that treasured state long ago

I can no longer remember

What I thought it was

Or from which idealized fiction

I learned purported truth

All I know for sure

Is that I keep hoping

For stirring crescendos

And reciprocal obsession

Living in hope of happy endings

New beginnings

Unrealized for now

Maybe tomorrow

I’ll fall out of hope

Into love

David Trudel   ©  2013

Sweatshops

I have worn team colours in the past

Becoming cloaked in corporate identity

Giving away autonomy for crowd acceptance

Fitting in

Becoming a proxy for a marketing strategy

Where boardroom fictions based on superficial studies into buying habits

Create reality

Reality that echoes the worst excesses of selfish greed

When textiles were made with the blood of children mixed into cotton gins

And even Factory Acts failed to halt the exploitation of the poor

We thought we were better than our forebears

In our industrial self-righteousness

When union shops paid living wages

And workers could afford the products they made

Until the owners closed the factories

Shipped them overseas

Replicated the conditions of early 19th century Manchester

In countries far away

Countries that have no qualms about spilling blood

In support of commerce

So that marginalized westerners who no longer have factory jobs

Can afford cheap clothes at big box stores

Ignorant of the bloody fingerprints that are sewn into each label

Uncaring that everyday low prices reflect everyday absent ethics

And a high tolerance for suffering

So we buy products we don’t really need

Made in places that we’ll never see by fingers that we’ll never touch

Not caring that those fingers lie buried in rubble

Crushed by profit margins and unleavened greed

Victimized by the impersonal message of capitalism

That values money more than morality

And quarterly earnings more than souls

David Trudel   © 2013

Puddles

There are forests in puddlesIMG_0078

In the forest when it rains

If you resonate inside reflections

Slipping past surfaces to inside out

Find a perfect oblique angle

Jump with intention

You’ll fall into the sky

Of the upside down

If it turns out you don’t

Splashing in puddles is always fun

David Trudel     ©  2013

Image taken by the author, using an iPhone 5

Trauma

Branch snapped

Ladder went sideways

Then down

Time slowed

Pain exploded

Consciousness separated from body

Accepted experience

Felt each screaming nerve

Neural pathways commuter crowded

Acceptance cushions shock

Screaming sirens

Sweet sounds for the wounded

Gurney bound

Ride was sweet

Hospital staff show empathy through efficiency

In pain, found trust

Shed fear of the unknown

Reality takes away the hyperbole of the imagination

One instant

Ripples into future states

Immediately changing

Everything

David Trudel   ©  2013

Guitar

Softly, he played his guitar

Not for me or anyone else

But for himself

Riffing on jazz themes

Smiling in amusement

As his practice made perfect

Sense for a grey day

Sliding through gentle waves

A wash of sound cleansed the air

Resonating as deep as ocean

Ephemeral as a seagull’s cry

David Trudel    ©  2013

Accountability

The bigger the bureaucracy

The more likely it is to proclaim accountability as a virtue

While strategizing secret ways to avoid scrutiny

At least for senior staff

At the same time imposing enough checks on the system

To stall innovation and creativity

Building a culture of the risk averse

Where project plans proliferate

Subject to constant revisions

Which are only approved after the work is no longer needed

And the original planners have left

David Trudel  ©  2013

Half Smile, Squared

In the complex simplicity of a half smile

When someone assumes someone’s discussion

You plot the course of a narrative

The four winds of the ocean’l find the enigwa

That sings mystery and allure

           

To know you take me mulch further, first draw midnite out

Promises mutually assured seduction

In and out of the adore that May’ll bumbasheer in obsession

Hints at boredom and ennui

           

Buttoned onto a how about it, kind of wheel-wzz got out of what mind to observe it!

Foreshadows betrayal

 

It’s rush at, Like a woman the jewel is dying with

All in the moment our eyes lock

           

It’s top-dollar-holler high in the hands jewel and factuulum at clutch

In a loaded look between us

And say’n, hollow?

Without a single word

Cold you take me jewelries handing how its abdomen underlane our rovering hell to who out-bungee I again landing your bicupcyucle!

We know

            Too adhere at what upper-woods the take further, listen to when, at wait and said comes as me closer to the giving-eye thrust to lot the skins

David Trudel   and Dave Taylor   © 2013

Half Smile

In the complex simplicity of a half smile

You plot the course of a narrative

That sings mystery and allure

Promises mutually assured seduction

Hints at boredom and ennui

Foreshadows betrayal

All in the moment our eyes lock

In a loaded look between us

Without a single word

We know

David Trudel  © 2013

Becoming

Everything that ever was

Still is

Everything that ever will be

Is present now

Matter is irreducible at the smallest level

But it keeps changing

Transforming

Shapeshifting

Moving

Our bodies rebuild themselves

Over and over throughout our lives

Organic life is all a process of becoming

Even the rocks we stand on are absorbed and eroded

Beneath the thin crust of the surface

A crucible of fiery creation mixes new recipes

From ingredients that never grow stale

Each fragment carries memories and dreams

Points on a wheel

That keeps turning

David Trudel   ©  2013

Iatrogenesis

The unintended consequences of civilization spill out into reality

Setting up the anthropocalypse which looms over our future

Ironically, civilization was seen as the planet’s healer

Carefully shepherding nature into something new and improved

Giving proof, we thought, of our superiority

Validating our entitlement to have dominion over everything else

But it seems like the patient is suffering iatrogenesis

Taken ill with the flesh eating disease of runaway capitalism

Starving on empty calories while becoming morbidly obese

We drain our aquifers to water golf courses in the desert

Cut down rainforests to factory farm cattle for fast food burgers

Building monuments to consumption like oceanic garbage gyres

Blindly buying crap we don’t need made by slaves we don’t see

We live on borrowed credit in houses which are bigger than we need

While others shelter in improvised shacks

Or get swallowed up into prisons to be drafted into gangs

We poison the water, the land and the air

And wonder why things aren’t the same anymore

We let democracy fade away through apathy

As corporate plutocracy takes control

Instead of rising up and declaring our own sovereignty

We sit back and watch performers pretend that life is good

We amuse ourselves vicariously and identify with illusions

Through inaction we turn ourselves into ghosts who scare nobody but ourselves

As civilization sickens into the decadence of the dying

Infected by fear and paralyzed by our lack of vision

David Trudel  ©  2013

Recalibrating

I find my world disordered and undone

Reference points no longer apply the way they did

Rules have been stretched and broken so often

They have been shadowed into dim memory

So I recalibrate my moral compass

Against those of the political and corporate elite

I recalculate the depths of horror to vicariously endure

Against the streets of Mogadishu and Damascus

I index my feelings and emotions to this world

That serves up extremes of good and evil

Punctuated by interminable waiting

But in order to find to what degree the Nth is today

I need to baseline truth against beauty

Measure the depth of midnight when you’re all alone

Figure out what new shock deserves a scream or a tear

In this world of today

Where so much cruelty is served up on the table of commerce

Where miracles are commonplace even as sins proliferate

In this world that contains both heaven and hell

Whose borders shift and overlap

Leaving those of us who play the margins in a dim frontier

Unsure of limits and definitions and meanings

Constantly recalibrating perceptions

David Trudel    ©  2013

Song From The Big House

The scent of woodsmoke clings to me

Like a spirit not ready to let go of this world

Not from fear but out of love

Holding on to memories that reverberate

To the beat of the round drum

And the stamp of bare feet on a dirt floor

In a place that echoes the past into the present

Where dances are sacramental offerings

Shared with ghosts who linger in the dust

Raised by each footfall

Even though we applaud we know this isn’t a performance

But a moment to let spirits intermingle

Bathed in smoke that permeates our souls

Dusted with earth that has witnessed degradation and despair

Seen attempts at genocide collide with patient persistence

Until old songs are given new voice

And old voices are heard with new understanding

To the beat of ancestral hearts witnessing truth

In the flicker of flames that never died out

That burn on into the tomorrow of today

David Trudel   ©  2013

Slowly

I try to see you as you are, not as I imagine you to be

Having idealized too many too often before

Your reality needs no photo shopping from my imagination

Because the beauty in my eye as I behold you is real enough

I resist the urge to fantasize about what might be

To focus on what is, today

And if there are possibilities for the future

I won’t dwell on them

Like with those clouds rolling in from the horizon

There’s nothing I can do to squeeze rain

From those airborne reservoirs

So I wait patiently for floods or drought

Ready for experience to teach me a lesson

When I think of you, I quell the fires of enthusiasm

Dampening dancing flames to smoldering embers

Waiting for you to add some fuel

Instead of overheating at a bonfire that burns too bright too fast

Serving as a warning beacon for careful navigators to avoid

Which is somewhat disingenuous I realize

Since I stand on rocks enough to sink a fleet

But in the bright light of a clear day they’re obvious

So if you can find your way past obstacles

And if I reduce my expectations to warm affection

Perhaps we can find ourselves a place to be a plural pronoun

Together

 David Trudel   ©  2013

Mystery

Living in the mystery, we take so much on faith

Even the faithless

Here in the mystery of life on this world

Even atheist debunkers of wonders and the wonderful

Submit their faith to the laws of physics

To evidence of eyes and ears

But there are many of us who revel in mysteries

Listening to spirit whispers

Watching the interplay of ideas and ideals swirl

Into flawed reality only to fade and fall away

Coming and going momentarily

The way unbidden memories appear on internal newsfeeds

Like my first ever interaction with a computer

In that old department store, in a time when kids were unleashed

And capable of arriving back to square one

In the nick of time

Which, in itself, is a sacred holy mystery

In that old department store

Where a banner notice issued a challenge to try to beat the computer

At Tic Tac Toe

Which I did, over and over until I thought

Take that, asshole

Not realizing what the challenge really meant

Now, all these upgrades later I use my cribbage app

To beat the computer

Which I do

Still not realizing that the challenge is to not engage

In a dialogue of any kind with a machine made by a corporation

With a machine based on absolutes

The challenge is to revel in the mystery

And to listen to the whispers of the spirits on the wind

Finding that place where normal is unhinged

Living in the mystery

David Trudel  © 2013

Truth

My truths are open to interpretation

Not found on faces but through hearts

Literal truths are limited to sharp edges

Eternal truths are fluid and invisible

Suffusing the space behind a smile with radiance

Or coloring imaginations with starlight

My truths are layered and nuanced

Revealed slowly

The way stratified rock gives up its truth

To an archaeologist’s chisel

Telling a story that is never quite as complete

As you’d like but good enough to piece together

David Trudel   © 2013

Puddled

A moment after the last echo

Of the original shockwave ceased reverberating

As this sun-spawned ember cooled in blackness

Elemental in its purity

Hydrogen ganged up on oxygen to create water

Clear as moonlight

Unmixed with anything

Long before it became the growing medium for all life

It was simply water

Unadulterated by microorganisms

Two and a half billion years later

Puddles of purity have been uncovered in the depths of bedrock

Leading me to sink a mineshaft through my heart

To plumb my soul’s depths

Looking for aquifers of pure emotion

Where happiness is unpolluted with nagging doubts and fears

And love is unbidden and unguarded

As it was before original sin

Before Eden and guilty thoughts

Before the diminution of cosmic sanctity

Into ideals to aspire to but never quite reach

So I search for elemental purity within

Convinced that something remains

Of the perfection of limitless possibility

David Trudel    ©  2013

Posted

Wrapped in an envelope that thickens and thins

Fractured thoughts slide unlettered

With limitless potential

But lacking the certainty of conviction

Slippery and elusive as dream fragments

That seemed almost tangible at dawn

Before dissolving into the unremembered compost

Within this skin

Stamped with life’s toll and addressed to fate

Dancing through a series of brilliant non sequiturs

Waiting to be received, opened

And read by an adept

Fluent in the tongue of impossible ambiguity

David Trudel   ©  2013

Dreamless

We are the dreamless ones

Swept up and carried along in a tide of chaotic compulsion

We see the world through haunted and bitter eyes

Angry at the conspiracy of events that led to this impasse

Of a stunted life

Living tedious days of underpaid drudgery

Wasting evenings watching competitive human tricks

While getting mildly sloshed before a too short sleep

Then doing it all over again

Chained to jobs and places we used to despise

But now tolerate with indifference

Damned to be stuck in our self-selected prisons

Crushed by debt and toxic relationships

We have no dreams left to strive for

We are barren ground for motivational speakers

Who talk about planning your life’s arc and goal setting

Our goal is just to wake up tomorrow and survive till night

Anaesthetized against the emptiness

David Trudel   © 2013

Apogee (repost)

970834_10151630658809534_854640789_n

Clipped

This time of year I carry clippers when I walk the trails

Green explosions create havoc

With sprawling tendrils encroaching on crushed gravel paths

Branches shaking hands overhead

To make arched tunnels

That I trim judiciously to bikini line smoothness

I watch for outliers and beachhead seekers

Clipping as I walk through an eruption of spring growth

Liking the rough margins

Blurred edges

That dog this trail

Kept in check by clipped edits and marginal notations

David Trudel   ©  2013

Apogee

I wonder if we have reached the apogee of ignorance

There are so many utterly manipulative people

Powering and empowering the collective mind

Unencumbered with knowledge

Devolving to pre-consciousness

Suffering cultural amnesia

While the fringe is ridiculed and attacked

Instead of being celebrated as the avant garde

Confronting truth through undesignated designs

Finding meaning in the recollage of skewed moments

Tracking time by marking walls

Walls of fear and control

Until time takes its toll

And walls come down in splintered pieces

Illuminating the darkness of the artistically challenged

With the light of truth

David Trudel   ©  2013

Trouble

You can call me trouble

Since I am

I crave attention

Which equates to time

My fantasies outstrip yours

No doubt (arched look of ironic intent)

Each dropped dialogue intrigues me

Given your propensity for ambiguous e-nudges

So I trouble to persist

Oblivious to storm warnings

Pushing my limits into yours

To uncover limitless cohesion

If that’s troubling

So be it

David Trudel        ©  2013

Adrift

There is always the shoreline here

Here at the edge of somewhere

Where it’s big enough to forget the disconnect

Before long you catch a glimpse of distant ocean

Across meadows or mountainsides

Or find yourself skirting beaches

Tracking cliff-edged margins through mists and moonbeams

What you don’t find is a bridge or peninsula

This separation is complete

No crumbled adjunct of mainland mountains

Our stoneboat drifts northward past the Salish Sea

On a separate journey from its hulking neighbor

Whenever you come or go from this place

Here at the edge of somewhere

There’s an intermission from immediacy

Transition time

Magic time

When you are carried on wind or wave

To the other side of normalcy

For a moment unsure

Unsure of the polarity of normal

Adrift between two shores

David Trudel   ©  2013

Books

I used to read novels to experience vicarious adventures

Safely armchair bound

Giving myself an illusion of experience

Foreshadowing possibilities that are mostly unrealized

My shelves are lined with thrills and sagas

Of imaginary worlds and echoes of the past

Other people’s stories

Now, I am not bound between the covers

But carry my own pen

Open to the vicissitudes of my own adventures

Or quietly observing slices of the lives of others

I open pages when I open doors

I read wrinkles and laugh lines on those around me

Uncovering meanings from dropped hints

And the spaces between the words

Every day holds its own library for me

Volumes of content

On every subject ever found in rows of Dewey decimal precision

So I borrow my adventures from reality

Direct from the authors of the everyday

David Trudel  ©  2013

Beached

Her fragrance is exquisite

A foundation of insect repellant

Overlaid with suntan lotion

And a sheen of perspiration

That smells like a summer promise

Of beaches and bronzed thighs

Simmering in slowchained solar intoxication

Waiting to transform into an airbrushed image

Of idealized perfection

But the reality is good enough and then some

In this languid moment

Of golden reflection

David Trudel   ©  2013

Quiet

There is no quiet

Not absolutely

It’s just that some places are less noisy than others

You can escape the traffic noise of urban life

Unplug your playlists and get off the phone

There’s still nature with birdcalls and wind in the trees

Raindrops drumming

Even ants footfalls are heard at their own level

Rivers tumblerun chortling to the sea

Which ebbs and flows to the crunching rhythm of the surf

Deep beneath the earth in caverns or mine shafts

Sound grows dim

Except for the beating of the heart in your chest

And the sound of your breath, inhaled and exhaled

Becoming a cacophony in the dark

But here on this earth there is no quiet of the purest vacuum

Just moments of stillness

When noise recedes to murmur

And you can hear your thoughts forming like volcanic eruptions

Beneath the surface

David Trudel   © 2013

Unsprung

An unseasonal preview of summer has accelerated growth

Into greenfloods of underbrush

Tendrils leaping across trails with exponential growth

Which I clip as I walk along judiciously editing trail margins

Woodpeckers rattletap deadwood

Hoovering up invertebrates

With the enthusiasm of teenagers eating potato chips an hour before dinner

Bracken ferns appear full grown overnight

When I see them I remember how we’d pull them up

Strip the fronds to create spears

Then engage in pseudo wars of childhood play

Or lurk along the edge of the road to ambush passing cars

Until the time that truck stopped

Backed up

After being hit with our meager broadside

I had rarely seen someone so angry before

That anger directed at me and my friend Chris

It hit us like the punch that vein popped, redfaced truck driver would have thrown

If we hadn’t sprinted into the forest surging ahead adrenalin charged

To vanish safely in the greenswarm of spring memories

Yesterday’s spring green luster has faded on the parched hilltop here

Purple and yellow wildflowers have gone from prime to seed too soon

Summer drabs replacing verdant easter bonnets

Khaki shorts instead of jeans

In the distance Mount Baker has started to show his ribs

Melting away winter’s extra layer

I read the smudged horizon to plot mainland cities spilling skycrap

Like wild beasts marking their territory

So I turn into the prevailing offshore breeze

To breathe the scent of tomorrow

David Trudel  © 2013

Churches

These churches of the inside out

Convinced of their supremacy

And entrenched beliefs

Profess their love but celebrate their hate

Of others and of differences

Using fear and threats of retribution

Projecting narrow views on limitless creation

Chorusing anger at the unconvinced

For no good reason but to cover up their doubts

With screams and fist pumps of defiant mobs

Who give up reason for the comfort of a cause

These churches of the inside out

Hide behind myths, legends and holy books

Which have more holes than wholesome thoughts

Transforming love to hate

Raising intolerance to a virtue

Suppressing dissension and philosophical exploration

With the riot police of the religious wrong standing firm

Against freedom and choice

Trying to perform their own miracle of transformation

By calling evil good and good a sin

Proselytizing through obfuscation and misdirection

These churches of the inside out

Upside down in their revisionism

Making sacraments of negativity and blind zeal

Disregarding any other points of view

 Of infinity’s creation

Most of which is quite content to be unchurched

Connected at the source to divinity within

David Trudel   ©  2013

Listening to a Rocksong

Groundstanding, soles of my feet making a connection

To this bedrock nub

Slow murmured, the rock sings a grinding song

Remembering the crush of icesheets that tore and tumbled

Deeper still, contrapuntally

Groans a deep murmur of the drift

Rock saga of the grand voyage

Sliding and lurching from the equator to Canada’s west coast

For 380 million years

Even deeper, this rock remembers the hot cauldron of explosion

Heat of becoming that danced lightning in radiant intensity

When this rock reverberates that long lost tune

It remembers the immediacy of fast

High intensity vibrations and collisions that spiraled into infinity

Underneath those rhythms is another

Creation’s splendid release that uncoiled it all

Sacred music written across the sky

And inside every molecule of every thing

Echoing just outside our hearing

So big and so loud

Forever

David Trudel   © 2013

Cake

It shouldn’t be surprising308519_3066686681960_555681767_n

Any more than the white thunder that flattened Hiroshima

Shouldn’t have been a surprise for the civilians sacrificed

At peace’s altar

Blasted piecemeal into a moment crystallized forever

Then repeated and repeated

With the schoolyard glee of boys armed with limitless firecrackers

Enough to blow up atolls and islands

Turning paradise into a chronic wasteland

Remembered in the half life of swimsuit fashions

Celebrated with an improbable mushroom cloud cake

Cut into by atomic admirals

Eating up devil’s food with abandon and blind faith

Not the angel puffs they were told about

Unaware of the repercussions of crazed meals and crazed militarism

Fracturing realities with cosmic hammer blows

Smiling for the camera and posterity

In a poisonous celebration of violence

David Trudel   ©  2013

Photo taken November 5, 1946 at the Officer’s Club of the Army War College, Washington, D.C. at an event named “Salute to Bikini”

Photo credited to Harris & Ewing Photo Studio, published in the Washington Post November 7, 1946

Flower

Perhaps the most beautiful flowers in the worldIMG_2099

Aren’t the brightest or biggest showroom blossoms

But the small and commonplace

That take hold in crevices and cracks

Battered by the tides

And nourished only by perseverance and hope

Survive to wave their own flags

Declaring the sovereignty of inherent beauty

Augmented by the improbable flourish delivered in such a place

Where weeds become wonders

David Trudel   ©  2013

Image by the author, taken with an Iphone 3G

Happy

I wish I could remember happy

Enough to be it

Running along the beach and turning cartwheels kind of happy

All caps HAPPY shouting unashamedly, yes I am over the edge

Of restraint

Unlike the reality of tranquility and contentment

Where my happy enough happy

Is leavened by nagging worries and doubt

Halfway happy that never spills over the edge

Wearing a smile not a belly laugh

This shaded happiness that purrs contentedly

Familiar and relaxed as Saturday clothes

Is just not the kind of happy I want to remember and relearn

I want the kind of happy that plunges hilt deep into pleasure

The happy that floods every thought and feeling

I want to remember an atomic bomb of happiness

Avalanches and tornados and tsunamis of unmitigated glee

Where happy is a solid state miracle of merriment

And everything falls into place

Just so

The kind of happy that is worth a memory

I wish I could remember happy

Like that

David Trudel    © 2013

Question

How are you?

There’s a question we ask each other a lot

Answering glibly that we’re fine or good

When really we’re troubled and stressed out

Tense and preoccupied

With nagging injuries that cause us pain

Enthralled to Chronos until transcendence springs us free

Terminally human and trapped inside our skin

And that’s not even answering the how of us

How do these elemental particles charged with creation’s divinity

Hold together in the constant becoming of self

What are the cosmic answers to philosophical mysteries of being

And how are we are in relation to what baseline of normalcy

So the next time you see me

Don’t ask me the usual

Unless you want to leap into a Proustean torrent of immediacy

Deconstructing three little words into a philosophical search for the meaning of life

Trending back to the moment when time began

And the clock started to run out

That’s just how I am

David Trudel    ©  2013

Stranded

I try to be transparent

Open and authentic

But even as I windowpoem feelings and my life

I realize there’s more wall than window

Around me

I sequester a wealth of possibilities

Cutting back and trimming thoughts

Suppressing inner dialogues that might embarrass me

Or someone else

Or reveal my shortcomings

So the windows get shuttered

I remain alone

In the confluence of the stranded

Wanting to be more than fearful

Wanting to explore the far shores of joy

But I find myself barely able to open the blinds

To let light in or to let others see within these walls

Through narrow openings of dubious transparency

David Trudel  ©  2013

Fantasy

Today I won’t let my fantasies run wild

I won’t think about your open-toed sandals

Or unslipping them and raising your foot to my mouth

To kiss your high-arched instep while fondling your toes

I refuse to think about your hand reaching out to the back of my head

And pulling me close

Into the best kiss I’ve ever tasted

I won’t dream about unbuttoning your blouse

Or slipping off your bra so that I can run my tongue

First this way then that around the velvet smoothness of your aureoles

While your nipples rise to attention, which I give them

I won’t imagine my hand rubbing your crotch through your jeans

Or your hand pressing down on mine

Worrying that you want to stop my naughtiness

Until you start applying your own intentional pressure

Teaching me your rhythms and tipping points

I won’t dream about belts unbuckled and the sweet over the hip slide

Pants pooling on the floor

I won’t visualize your panties already darkly wet

Or skin shimmering with the perspiration of hot pleasure

I don’t think labial lapping thoughts today

Or wonder about the sensitivity of your clitoris to my fingers and tongue

This isn’t the day to breathe your smells into being

Or to taste you on my lips

This is a day to pull back from fantasies

To a place where smiles are just smiles and not an invitation

David Trudel    ©  2013

Beltane

Once it warms enough the scent reemerges

Growth

Original fecundity

Is that what they are allergic to, I wonder

Worried into natural aversion of springtime

That might trigger a primal urge

Let alone a Druidical memory of ritual sex

Celebrating rutting in fields and pastures

That’s enough to constrict certain blood vessels

For now

But the brown hue of loamy soil

Sticks to your back

Tonight

David Trudel      © 2013

Indifferent

 

We became indifferent to the suffering of others

Since otherwise we would have been broken

Shattered in the pain of it all

As it happened we grew filters and justifications

To walk by corpses on sidewalks

We didn’t look

But we saw them anyway

Every way we walked

We walked past need outstretched

We walked through regrets into simulations of grandeur

Refugees from truth camped in illusion

Feeding fear with terror

Becoming indifferent to our own hearts

David Trudel     ©  2013

Conflict

Missile to missile is where we are now

Mano a mano

Is strictly quaint

A caricature of conflict

Which now trades body blows for rows of body bags

Blood running as deep as black ops unhinging

Each Pandora’s box on this green earth

Where Eden has been fracked and strip-mined

Into an unsettling distortion that screams into the black night

Like a twelve year old sex slave before she’s drilled into submission

This green earth that has been pissed on far too much

Scorched into barrenness

Until its skin dries up and is carried away on the wind

It’s not the accumulation of wealth but the hoarding of it

That cudgels our collective whimper like any vicious overseer

Cancerous growths of unmitigated greed eat the body politic

To death

Evil commodified

Quarterly reports don’t include sins of the profit margin

Factory slaves who die in tumbled grief

A middle class outsourced to pay for higher gates and broader lawns

For the fearful few who totter on their towers of transitory wealth

Waiting for a realization of impossibility

Ignorant of the weight of the sewers filled with their misgivings

Flushed with success

David Trudel   © 2013

Sustenance of the Tides

Kelp ribbons roll lithely in the watery verge

Here, at this pebbly place on the rim of the Pacific

By extension all the seven oceans

All the Mobius stripped beaches that girdle these waters

Connected as immediately as any wave

This is one spot on the edge of the largest swimming hole on earth

There is no crashing surf here now

Just insistent lapping of lakelike wavelets

Tumbled and bleached forest bones border the beach

Thrown out of the great maw during winter storms

When the tides surrender what they will

Cold grey water a disguised mystery masquerading as the sky

Or revealing the black depths beneath the skin of this strange animal

That feeds us and eats us

Ocean, the supreme seductress and the original sin

The soup kitchen that feeds the DNA of all life

Ocean, always ready to betray our affections

With primordial fury

Don’t take it personally, we’re told

This mooned lover gets pulled out of shape regularly

Throws outlandish temper tantrums

Then, settles back into rhythm

Metronomic as clockwork

Gentle as the crispwind breeze in my face

Ready to fall for the same old tricks again

David Trudel      ©  2013

A Toast to Regret

This is for the thought that slipped away

And for the words that crumbled at my touch

This is for the feeling that couldn’t be expressed

Elusive into bitterness

This is for the love that didn’t stay

The love that didn’t bother to unpack

But left without a backwards glance

This is for the pain that never fades

The chronic longing of the unrequited many

This is for the false starts and might have beens

The unrealized potential of the never was

But should have been

This is for the anger that flared up

Burning bridges across deepening divides

This is for the smoldering resentment that hangs around unwanted

Homeless but camped out at my front door

This is for the time I should have called but didn’t

This is for the weakness I nurture and carry with me

This is for the look that ended with a turn away instead of towards

This is for the rapids never run

Mountains never climbed or just because

All the things I didn’t do but should have

And those I did but shouldn’t have

But mostly I regret not loving you

David Trudel  © 2013

Fades

Here, I sit and wait

Until the daylight fades

Still you don’t come

Even though I didn’t think you would

Today

So I pull the shades

Turn away from the window

Look away from the phone

I won’t go on Facebook

I don’t want to know

Instead the light diminishes into dark

While I wait today

Here, I sit and wait

Until the daylight fades

Here, I sit and wait

Until the daylight fades

Until the daylight fades

The daylight fades

Fades away

Away

David Trudel    © 2013

Interregnum

In my interregnum standing timeless

Watching the evolution of madness spin this world

Unpledged to any vested interest or reward

Judging only what I see and understand

Watching the evolution of madness spin this world

Freedom needs solitude to expand into perception

Judging only what I see and understand

Drifting in uncharted waters

Freedom needs solitude to expand into perception

An adventure counted in smiles

Drifting in uncharted waters

Where anyplace you get to

An adventure counted in smiles

Is a destination in itself

In my interregnum standing timeless

Unpledged to any vested interest or reward

David Trudel  © 2013

Hippie Chicks and Gumboot Stomps

There is always a salty tang in the air

On these time warped island enclaves where

Time loops itself around the summer of love

Where you can still hear the cellophane being torn from Sgt Pepper’s

For the first time

And patchouli oil arrives in 45 gallon drums

To anoint tied dyed dervishes

Unconcerned with convention or shifting fashions

Hippie chicks and gumboot stomps still rattle the boards

In moss covered community halls

As loose tunes carom off moonbeams into midnights

Where memories bleed into one another

Passed around like joints on the back porch at the break

Where the tide is a constant presence

Lifting each rocky island up

Then washing it down

Where the rhythm of life is punctuated

By arrivals and departures of coastal ferries

Carrying 30 year old Volvos and even older punch buggies

On and off these islands of no return

Where homespun sweaters are more popular than yoga pants

And woodstoves bake solid loaves of love

Pungent with unadulterated truth

Where home means more than a place to sleep

But is a state of being in the moment

That wraps itself inside out with summery love

Garnished with unconnected freedom

And the sharp pull of the sea

David Trudel   © 2013

Tethered

Cold and gray, the day drizzled itself awake

Turned inward

Clouds lowered the ceiling to basement height

Out in the strait a fogbank prowled like a pack of wolves

Raggedly harassing trawlers and travelers

Like me, ascending the short ladder from the lurching float

Into the seaplane’s cold cabin

Soon packed sardine tin tight with sullen suits

What shreds of sleep still lingered torn away by the roar and rattles

Of the slap happy runway race across the waves

Up into the lowering clouds which kept a lid on

Then the pack of wolves returned

To nip and heel the seaplane back to cold reality

We could have dropped a line for lunch

But with a lurch and clang we met a reef

Rising up where it shouldn’t have been but was

Hyper wakeful we watched kelp beds swirl dim greenly in the fog

While the echo of the pontoon kissing rock reverberated

Over the shock of this unexpected interruption

When flight no longer soared but saw the sea close up

Motoring like a dragonfly boat back to port

Defeated by raindrops and the mist

We shook off dreams in drizzled fear

Dodging disaster for a time

This time when the sea pulled back the leash

David Trudel     © 2013

Sleepwalk

So many people sleepwalk through life

You are not one

[who?]

When I see your eyes

Sparkling

[don’t look at me that way]

I see the universe

[it’s complicated]

I barely know you

But I know that you feel it

Too

[there’s room outside the lines to play]

[it’s really complicated, give me time]

Creation’s maelstrom isn’t a threat

But a playground for the willing

For those whose eyes remember

That souls are born in daydreams

[I see your eyes sparkling]

[I like it when you look at me that way]

David Trudel   ©  2013

Leaves

Leaves unfurling like a thousand green spinnakers

Catching the wind

Each leaf its own tale

I read these trees

Through fresh green pages

Like reading the whispers of others

In this consequence of narrative

Where each tale is separate but connected

Like each green flag is anchored on branches

I hear each murmur that comes my way

Each note and comment adds to the story

That I piece together organically

So that even as I revel in today’s fresh green garments

I read foreshadowings of rusty autumn in the wind

When these solitary voices will be stripped away

And nobody will remember spring’s tale

David Trudel   ©  2013

Tanka 1

Wondrous flowers bloom

Into radiant beauty

So impermanent

Each look a kiss that echoes

Briefly, before fading out

David Trudel  © 2013

Intersection

There’s so much I’ll never know about you

I don’t even want to try

There’s so much I want to tell you about me

I don’t even want to try

It’s not so much about where we’ve been

Or what we’re running from

Received truth is never complete

Regardless of good intentions

Truth has to be experienced from the inside out

In the raw immediacy of the moment

Even then you’ll have your perspective

I’ll have mine

An intersection of two truths

Found in a shared look

Two paths to the same place

For now

David Trudel  ©  2013

Cyberbullies

We are everywhere

Smartphone addicts clutching our cravings

At bus stops and beaches

Our curiosity is insatiable and ubiquitous

From disasters to dinnertime

We record images of the profane and mundane

Amusing ourselves

Fooling ourselves into mistranslations of truth

Stealing souls

Which was a truth that we used to scoff at

Yet now with bullied victims piling up, that truth seems prescient

Lives stolen by recirculated images of grief

Pain, unceasing

Kept alive by likes and shares of shameful moments

The only option is full deletion

Morgued, they have unfriended us

Forever

David Trudel   ©  2013

Skate

In the tempered glow of moonlight

We make our way to lake’s edge

Where crude benches sport a crop of boots growing like magic weeds

Magic is palpable tonight

As the full moon illuminates icy planes

Where bladed dancers pirouette

And the unrink where shouts and slaps reverberate

As hockey teams form and reform playing boisterously into the night

This deep into winter the ice is thick

Still, snapcracks startle when a fissure leaps across the crystalline surface

For a moment our faith is tested

We wonder if our godlike powers of waterwalking are hollow after all

But that thought is as fleeting

As the meteor that arcs across the sky overhead

Unnoticed by skaters whose eyes sparkle in the cold light

Charmed into the out time of wonder

Eternally frozen into a perfect moment

David Trudel  © 2013

Fisgard

The sharp tang of salt and creosote

Punches steadily away

Insistent surf froths

A short distance away an old gun emplacement scowls

In the distance stands Fisgard Lighthouse

Towering oyster shell white, capped and bolstered in red

Rampant as Priapus proclaiming fecundity

Quite rightly, given its proximity to the naval base

Where young men stand straight and tall

In their dress whites

Shining brightly

Sometimes forgetting that they are a warning

Of dangers at their feet

David Trudel  ©  2013

Spring Day

It wasn’t tentative at all

This spring day

It didn’t brush your lips with a delicate promise

It french kissed you and grabbed your ass

Slipped a naked leg around yours

To send you sprawling onto the mossy carpet

Where you might have noticed butterflies and flowers

If you weren’t already distracted

On this spring day

David Trudel  © 2013

Giant

This brittle boned giant totters

Down the road

Weaving more than a little

Since he’s a giant

But being provincial

Unsophisticated

Long country roads are no mystery

The mystery

Is in those who the road was built for

Not him

Not the giant

Who totters and falters and sways

But the others

Mysterians

Who pass by on the fly

Using this space

In some dimensional alchemy to generate money

When really there is so much mystery

If they would stay

In the middle for once

They would see giants

On the road

Tonight

David Trudel   © 2013

Unprompted

I don’t write poetry from prompts

Except the ones the universe sends me

Special delivery

Unexpected words that tumble into my mind organically

From my sub-conscious

Or random events that create inspiration through synchronicity

I resist the safety of corralled intention

Rebelling against the imposition of someone else’s truth

Even as a push in a general direction

Poetry workshops bother me with their forced creations

Those poems I treat as bastards

Who I’ll never love completely, if at all

I am sovereign in and of myself

Arbitrary and demanding as any jealous lord

Just as security conscious with my borders as any other

State

Of being or mind

So I wait for divine sparks

Or dogs that bark

To lift me into the right moment

To write my untranslated words

In my own time

David Trudel   ©  2013

Nothing

This is a poem about nothing

Nothing at all

Nothing et al

Nothing to go on the page, minute after minute

Hour after hour, nothing

That flatlined, catatonic, burnt-out kind of nothing

Where your nerves have been scoured and your emotions

Have been bled out of your arms

But this isn’t the 18th century

So there’s no surgeon with scalpel and pan

There’s nothing

Nothing at all

Nothing

Is the most common response by teenagers when asked what happened

Nothing

Nothing

Nothing

Sullen nothings, ironic nothings, repressed and resentful nothings

Angry nothings

Nothings that hold a war inside that armored word

And that word is anything but empty

Because if nothing is supposed to be a big vacuum

I think it’s time to change the bag

Because nothing can be pretty full

Like all those nights of forgotten promise

When nothing is the laconic response to what is there to do

Nothing

Nothing at all

So many unrealized possibilities in so many lives

Filling all those nothings

With something

Sometimes something can be a sweet nothing

Think about that

Empty calories is kind of the same thing, usually

But some sweet nothings use charm and wit

To create a thing that certainly isn’t

Nothing

Because sweet nothings lead to something else

Nothing doing

You can’t really do nothing

Because you still at least have to be

If you are you

You’re you, which is something not nothing

Not nothing at all

Nothing could be further from the truth

Since the truth is that nothing is ever nothing

Nothing is all

Nothing is all

Nothing is all

Not nothing at all

Not nothing

David Trudel  © 2013

Sundown

A rim of banked clouds fringe the horizon

Where the sun lowers itself into the west

I look out across lichened rocks and a curtain of trees

A river of farms rolls through the valley

Before hills that belly up in the distance

Becoming not quite mountains brooding darkly, distantly

There are no people here

No shouts or interruptions

Just myself and my own turbulence

Which settles into anxious thoughts

That I try to rationalize and quell as best I can

I breathe in deeply and exhale

Over and over

Until tranquility becomes my steady state

Interrupted only by birdcalls

And the rustle of the wind in the leaves

David Trudel   ©  2013

Inked

I prefer my emotional baggage internalized

Not overinked on my skin

If I had a tattoo for every love and passion

I’ve ever held and lost I’d be invisible

Beneath the burden of faded colors

That would blanket me with memory

Of past infatuations

Issues that are so last year

Dead ends

Sad partings

So my canvas is fresh enough

For your fingertips to trace new works

With the impermanence of yesterday

Brush me with your art

That leaves no reminders

Secure enough in its own truth

To need no signpost for the destination

David Trudel  © 2013

Gulls

These gulls are larger than the ones you see downtown

Feeding on binscraps of bloated tourist food

This trio are bypassing the city and heading up the coast

To tidal pools and tidelines where they’ll feast on authenticity

Now they pause to carousel a thermal

Corkscrewing in circle drifts

A fourth transcends out of the clouds and joins in

I look away for an instant

When I look back they have vanished

Into the gray sameness overhead

David Trudel  © 2013

Slamming

At first it seems absurd

Holding up score cards for poetry

Having been judged before for this and so much else

I enjoyed flipping numbers and holding them up

More than receiving the verdict of my peers

It’s subjective of course

But so much is in life

We sift and compare everything

Constantly saying this is like that

This is better than that

My favorite

On a scale of one to ten

Picking winners

When really, it’s ridiculous

Like saying that’s my favorite snowflake

Or that drop of water is better than another

Or that kiss was the sweetest

Who cares?

Can’t we just enjoy them all

No ratings or rankings to glorify some and denigrate others

It’s all good

There’s no need to stratify beauty into increments

Or rank each blade of grass in endless fields

Clouds don’t need our approbation to skydance

Each moment of wonder is its own delight

So if I tell you that your eyes are bright with starshine

Be happy enough with that celestial judgment

Without seeking comparison to other constellations I’ve orbited

David Trudel   © 2013

Top

I walked myself out of the buzz of a long day

A driving day where the highway crawls into your nerves

Each turn of the tires transmitting itself into some neural pathway

To lay fresh asphalt in the back of your brain

Upcoasting with amusement park thrills past beaches and castles

Into the sprawl of the Bay where highway lanes proliferate like noxious weeds

Filled with accelerating tension I’m soothed by the calm voice of the GPS

Who deftly selects lane changes until rush hour bogs us down

I found myself forced over a bridge that takes half a forever to cross and recross

Finally I reached a disappointment of a hotel and recovered my legs

Between Chinatown and Union Square

Found a bistro in the French Quarter with a jazz trio

Where I fed appetites to satiation

Then pounded some sidewalk to soak up the city

Digging the architecture

Recognizing Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature from a block away

Chilling in the sliding drift of crowded sidewalks

Absorbing looks and feels into placement location

Upscale and updone, I thought

Unbuzzed I headed back to the hotel

As I reached the corner a sliver of a plaintive wail pulled at my ear

A horn crying in the night

I turned and followed the sound

Found this dude and his horn

In a storefront alcove where he poured forth honeyed balm

I dropped a few bucks

After a while he stopped for a smoke break

We talked

“Name’s Top” he said when I asked

“Well Topcat really, but I’ve been around so long everybody just shortens it”

We talked some more like old friends catching up

Said goodnight and walked away

As I climbed into bed

A lick and a curl crept through the transom

Top was crying his blues in the night

And I slept soundly under his ragged blanket

David Trudel     © 2013

ECG

A thin woman waits across from me

Her long hair shaded halfway between blond and gray

White turtleneck covered by a raspberry pinked sweater

She sits bolt upright, eyes closed

Appears to be meditating

Or asleep, I can’t tell

Her feet anklecrossed

Hands lapfolded

I imagine a dozen fictions that have brought her here

I imagine my own fictions salted with bare facts

When I’m summoned the technician tells me her name is Claire

Like a server at a restaurant except that I have no menu to make choices from

I strip to the waist and get plugged in

This machine bears no resemblance to the first Philips recording device I recall

That amazing cassette recorder that allowed portable sound

Only the name is familiar

These sounds that emanate sporadically are tidalsurged

Fluidly sloshing through valves that whipsnap shut

Four voices to whisper their murmurs of truth and love

It’s intimate feeling her fingers on my chest, pressing

Moving methodically and gently, pressing

I wonder if she is so controlled and measured

When she lies supine and exposed while fingers press and probe

I am repositioned so that I am looking at the rise and fall of her breasts

A handspan away

I wish I could cup one for balance

I wonder if she can read that heart thought from the display

At the end, she passes me a towel

To wipe off the residue of our encounter

Tenderly intimate

With the familiarity of a touched heart

David Trudel    ©  2013

Victim

Victim is not a trait or an avocation

Happenstance happens

Random as powerballs dropping

Some bodies bear the sins

Of the wicked

Deluded

Immersed in their narrow outrage

Sympathy excluded

Detonation clears more than this air

Leaving victims

David Trudel  © 2013

Forever

Underneath oblivion are reverberations

Echoes of each soft footfall of the fallen

Every sigh still murmurs in the rustle of the wind

There are no absolute deletions from this reality

Just reconstitutions of new forms into others

Particulate transference that blends atoms across time

Continually renewing and consuming inexorably

Yet there are ripples of the past in everything

Deep down inside us live an infinity of forms

A mélange of all that ever was

From primordial sludge to mountain peaks

What we are is myriad moments of creation reassembled

Into more than just something new

We carry the history of each particle, every cell holding us together

All of us are the archives of reality from here to creation

And nothing is ever forgotten or undone

Forever

David Trudel  © 2013

Stories

A phalanx of soldiers rode off into the night

Is how it might have begun

I used to love adventure stories like that

Armies and abductions and long chases over rough terrain

Not that I had any inclination to actually do anything like that

No, I’d be ensconced in a comfortable armchair

Alone, after school reading action packed tales

In literary reveries of vicarious heroics

While outside the world waited with undocumented truths

And new heroes wrote their own narratives with their feet

Rallying against injustice

Or just caught up in the turbulence of life’s passage

Years went by

Library stacks and bookstore shelves fed my addiction

I got lost in so many distractions

That I dropped the thread of my own epic

Reducing heroic possibilities to clichés of normalcy

Bounded by custom

Covered by blankness

Self edited into the remaindered bargains

Sitting unsold at the back wearing layered dust

Telling its own tale

David Trudel   ©  2013

Shoes

521999_10152708563730694_696018766_nI wonder if they chose them deliberately

These shoes that are more than just shoes

Eyegrabbing, they pull your gaze away from trophied walls

To this floored installation of swaggered awkwardness

Still young enough their pose lacks the insouciant poise

Of polished divas, which makes it all the more charming

Slightly pigeon toed and wobbly

They rock their kicks

With a flourish of celebration

Splashing the gallery floor with pedal extremity rainbows

Ready to zombie stomp to the witching hour

Making each footstep a brushstroke that undercolours

This opening night

David Trudel   ©  2013

Photograph by Nancy Yakimoski.  Used With Permission.

Garden of Earthly Delights

When you unfocus your sight

Just so

Like staring at those 3D posters that just look chunky

Until they slip obliquely into view

For me at least, pausing in the middle of an oak grove

When I find the right unfocus

Bent and twisted branches

Transform themselves into a profusion of

Bent and twisted scenes

Where figures cavort in naked chases

Limbs akimbo

Open to the wind

I surmise that Hieronymous Bosch must have visited a grove like this

Before imagining that garden of delighted earth

That has charmed so many ever since

Except the prurient few

Who avoid gardens and earthly delights with equal displeasure

While I take the time to imagine new delights

Unraveling around me

Ancient pleasures of the bent and twisted

David Trudel   © 2013

Buses

It’s not as if I don’t know buses

Because there have been times when I’ve been a regular rider

Knowing the schedule by heart

Routes and numbers familiar as TV channels

I developed nodding friendships with other inmates of the rolling asylum

Locked into patterns of time and transport

I learned to hate drivers who kept the heat cranked up

Well into winter so they could wear shorts and short sleeved shirts

While the rest of us sweltered in our layers having to contend

With the reality of cold precipitation outside

I don’t miss the rush hour memories

Like the time we were crammed standing closer than riot police

I noticed my foot was wet

And saw that the woman beside me had a leaking bag of fish

Anointing me with a fragrance that persisted for weeks

Or the time two boys were sniffing glue from ziplock bags

In the seat behind me and while they seemed happy with the buzz

I just caught a contact headache, left at the next stop and walked

I remember the autistic lad who knew all the makes and models

Unfortunately there were some buses he really couldn’t abide

His distress was palpable when the wrong one came along

Those rides made us all moan and groan

Even if he was the only one to verbalize his feelings

I don’t miss those moments when the bus is early on its route

And you are half a block away unable to sprint to the stop in time

Or fumble in vain for the correct change

But for all that pain and all this whining

Buses have been there for me

Taking me safely from point to point

Providing space to make neighbours into friends

And if it’s not as magical as teleportation

Buses are just as moving in reality

David Trudel   © 2013

Poet

He’s really more of a choreographer

More Alvin Ailey than Nureyev in the way he wordplays

Creating ballets of verse that dance and fascinate

Sweet gibberish made magical by its intricate arrangement

He layers words upon words

Throws them across the room

To himself

Using every corner to conjure up more tricks

Riffing off sounds into a labyrinth of meaning and not meaning

Which charms this roomful of conspirators

Because he goes over the edge that they so very rarely touch

Lives a spirit life that isn’t anchored in security

Insecurity isn’t what drives him

In circuitry is where he creates

Security isn’t what he represents

The vicarious thrill of brilliant insanity compels attention

For how often do we witness invention

Or listen to the wellspring of creation

We sit at the same table and share observations

Insightful or oblique as they might be

As safe and solid singers of truth harmonize within the lines

Weighed down by gravity

We, the unruly, understand release

And how to be unhinged enough to transcend normalcy

David Trudel  ©  2013

Inadequacies

I am at ease with my words and all their inadequacies

That barely express my half formed thoughts

Shredded memories and momentary reveries

It doesn’t bother me that only a part of what I want to say gets through

From somewhere between my ears through my fingertips to you

Knowing that I can touch you with an emotion

Push a button or create an impression is a powerful thing

Even if it’s only an echo of what my mind is trying to shout

Still, I am happy enough in the attempt

To try to convey a truth or truthfully create an illusion

So I share what I can

With weathered words on roadsigns to other places

Promising a destination of sorts

Somewhere up ahead where I’ve mapped my own steps

With the comfort of being at ease with my inadequacies

David Trudel  ©  2013

Friends

There was one evening when my dad came home late

Which was hardly unusual

In those days when doctors still did house calls

This evening he was carrying a box

With some excitement and childlike passion

Look, Big Little Books,  he said

We had no idea what the big deal was

Since they no longer existed and we had never heard of them

But they were the comics of his youth

Chunky little books

One page of action packed text

The other an illustration in black and white

The right hand corner of each page had postage stamp insets

Animating a sequence magically into a mini movie

There were dozens in the box

Tales of GMen and cowboys

Movie star personas with more backstories than you could ever imagine

Titles that had survived in the papers or morphed into comics

Like the Green Hornet or the Lone Ranger

Which is the one I have here in my hands

The Lone Ranger and the Great Western Span

A little tattered and faded but still intact

Still a connection, even if he only carried in the box from the car

I’m not sure if he ever had the time to read them all again

But I did

Around the age he must have been when they first came out

So we were able to be friends in imagination

Across time and role

We hung out in Our Gang clubhouses reading Big Little books

Floorsprawled in depression dust

Sharing these homilies and parables

That made sense of the time

Time that I hadn’t seen but now could

Through these simple pages

Where remembering turns into discovery

David Trudel  ©  2013

Epiphany

I need epiphanies to blindside me

Not arriving ordered and packaged

But drenching me

Like cold water from a bucket that was carefully balanced

On top of a door that hits unexpectedly

I like getting tripped up by revelations

That come shockwrapped

Because the best truths aren’t simple or obvious

Or if they are

Its only clear after the camouflage is removed

What the truth is

I need to step on metaphorical landmines

Experience the pain of having old preconceptions ripped away

Because an epiphany should be like that

Like Saul becoming Paul on the Damascus road

There should always be some towering warrior angel

With a poised sword and the word of god on their lips

To mark moments where one truth is crucified

Then reborn as another

Before ascending into eternity

David Trudel  ©  2013

Harbour

It’s passing offshore

Silhouetted against the far peaks

Everything seems to be some shade of blue or grey

Except for the lightening silver of tossing waves

It’s some kind of warship from the naval base

Keeping the peace and doing a fine job

Since it’s nothing if not peaceful here today

Freshmowed lawns roll from road to rocks

Under the snapping flag that illuminates the breeze

The park is littered with dedicated benches

Each plaque a shorthand biography in brass

Seagulls cry and play in freshening gusts

Childs play for them after yesterday’s gale

I inhale virgin air off the Pacific

Cleansed by the long journey from that further shore

Dandelions and daisies cross stitch the lawn

One lone sailboat heels into the wind, making time

A young mother with a sports stroller airs out her child

Barely noticing the view as she texts and talks

And stares at the phone clutched talisman tight

The gulls upswell into a formation of imprecision

Looking for balance points where they hover briefly

Then it’s slip, slide and goodbye

In the parking lot cars come and go

Most doors never open

As this seems to be a place to wolf down a quick meal

Or a quick smoke

The warship slows and heads for port

Belching smoke as she powers down

I sit and watch a crow waddle across a grassy corner

At first tentative and hesitant it scares up worms to deftly swallow

Stopping occasionally in a prime location to feast

Like a teenager with a side of fries

A swathe of slate grey clouds push forward

Inner city sidewalk clearing in their youthful bluster

So I leave the bench and spring behind

When I turn to look, the crow has gone

While the gulls continue their resonant entreaties to the wind

David Trudel  ©  2013

Nightwind

The intersection of where invisible hits audible

What I hear

As I look up into the night sky

Invisible wind

In some friction with resistance

Releasing harmonic vibrations with dark immediacy

While I drink in that long ago light of each star

Imagining how close that past really is

Folded in upon itself

David Trudel   © 2013

Chez Victor

I was about ten years old when Chez Victor opened

A fine French chef in a greasy spoon on Davie Street

My dad took Thursday afternoons off

Every now and then I’d go along

When school got out

On his trip to the University record library

Where he’d select the next few albums to serenade Sunday

We’d glide into downtown in ragtop cool

MGBing overbridge into urban madness

Inside this grimed café a door opened into Paris

They would flower into Brel and Becaud

Sliding into a fraternity of francophone

We would feast on boeuf bourguignon

Drink Mouton Cadet

Of which I’d sip

Surreptitiously

But with the borrowed insouciance

Of the 14th Arrondisement

Whose child I wasn’t

But might have been

Traveling across possibilities into fractured reality

Quietly soaking up Gallic truth

Like the French bread in the broth

At the bottom of the bowl

David Trudel  ©  2013

Windsong

In the absence of dictation from angels

I search for something to say

But there’s nothing

I listen to the wind murmur its lament

Shaking songs from dark sentinels swaying overhead

Playing riffs on tree branches

Like it was the third set at Birdland

I can’t interpret this kind of jazz

So I blow that joint

Walk away

I wander over to the lake

Watch choruses ripplechase across water

Waterwalking splashes marking that dance

Above, clouds spout soliloquies

Dramatically written in raindrops or tears

Each page torn out and tossed away

Like I dismiss my random thoughts and fleeting fears

To listen to this moment and what it says

When I finally get it

I hear angels laughing

David Trudel  ©  2013

Still

Still

That’s the way it felt just now

Standing on my front porch

Nothing moved

The street was quiet

Pools of amber light were untrammeled

By skittish deer or sway hipped raccoons

No dog walkers either

Low clouds muffle the night

Nothing moves

Except lightwaves and the wind

David Trudel   ©  2013

Birdsong

Squeaks and whistles, twills and tweets

Surround the damp forest as it towels off

From a spring cliché

I have to smile at the thought

That these wrens, finches, sparrows

The whole avian population in fact

Are all that’s left of the dinosaurs

With their trumpets and bellows of shock and awe

Maybe you can imagine the surprise

A reincarnated dinosaur must feel

Coming back as a bird

After all those hundreds and hundreds of recycled soul experiences

Dinosaurs being around for ages after all

There were probably some pretty strong old souls

Travelling that destiny from fierce predation to some version of wisdom

But even the Dalai Lama of dinosaurs would be a little shaken

Reawakened as a feathered sprite

Darting from branch to leaf

The only thing large left to cling to is birdsong

Filling the space that once contained such majesty

David Trudel  © 2013

Quantum Computers

There are these quantum computers available

If you can spare the ten million or so it’ll cost you

They are able to go beyond binary thinking

Using supercooled processors they use the laws of quantum

Ambiguity rules since they can be yes, no, maybe so

Able to exist in the opposite state simultaneously

Turning accountants into poets

Who no longer have to be black and white about things

But can consider gray as a possibility (which will drive auditors crazy)

Unfortunately their clients have been mostly governments and corporations

Those quantum computers are probably being used for military purposes

Or developing strategies to maximize the profitability of resource extraction

And other even less benign schemes

But wouldn’t it be fun to get one for poets and philosophers to use

Asking eternal questions in quantum space

Exploring all the contradictions inherent in our flawed condition

We could distill all the music that really moves us into a single harmonic jewel

Peel away all the layers of fact until we’re left with just our own fiction

Watch pinhead ballets by infinities of angels

Or come to the conclusion that conclusions are illusions

So let’s crowd source an investment in one for fun

Set up an online philosopher’s café and an open microphone for the poets

Quantum computing truth in every dimension

David Trudel  ©  2013

Time Travel

Most of us are time travelers

Not just moving in a linear way from moment to moment

But anticipating and planning

Imagining alternate futures that are optimistically biased

Forgetting other imagined futures that fell short of reality

Since memory isn’t a very accurate recording device

Its core function not to scrapbook our pasts

But to foretell our futures, flexibly constructing scenarios

Likewise we reconstruct our spotty pasts from grime to gleam

Hope and happiness keep optimistic minds at ease

While the pessimistic fearful suffer side effects of low expectations

We all live with illusions and delusions

Make mine optimistic

I’ll wallow in happiness

Travelling to a brighter future

David Trudel  ©  2013

Best Before

Al Capone is responsible for best before dates

He hated the sour milk he had to drink as a child

So when he wanted to buy some goodwill

He donated a million dollars on milk for school kids

But insisted on the date being printed

Not wanting to leave a sour taste on young palates

He settled for whiskey sours for their parents

For tartness to march on

And so when you laugh at tired clichés

Like every cloud has a silver lining

Remember the old gangster

Who wanted to freshen up

And did

And does

Today

David Trudel  © 2013

Ectopic Poems

Ectopic poems cling to randomly numbered unsaved pages

Words that didn’t coalesce into completion

Although they seemed promising enough

At the moment of creation

Now these non-poems sit stillborn on my desktop

Bleeding out with momentary misery

So I shower more words

Lathered words

Warm words

Removing bloody stains of the unborn

To be swept away

But never quite forgotten

David Trudel   © 2013

Kintsukuroi

I have been broken into pieces during my life

Shattered by the usual run of traumas and disasters

Death

Injury

Divorce

Job loss

Rejection

Today I am made whole

Rebonded with lacquered gold dust

Each piece of broken me has met with kintsukuroi

Japanese art of golden repair

Through self-reflection and action

Intentional tranquility

And by taking time and space for nothing

Nothing at all

Nothing at all

Nothing at all

I am whole enough to celebrate fractures

My bitterness is purged

The map of this journey highlighted

Each crack and fissure illuminated with attention

Polished with poetic gloss

Repaired beyond doomed perfection

David Trudel   ©  2013

Taken

He was always conniving up some mischief

Scheming bastard was his given name

At least that was the name he was given

By the taken and the cleaned

There was a flicker of genius in his madness

Admirable, in a twisted way

How he’d hatch more plots than a graveyard

But never lift a shovel himself

Suckering the marks into digging a full six deep

Before they’d realize he had left with the ladder

And everything else that wasn’t nailed down

David Trudel   ©  2013

Cosmology

Everything is from nothing

Nothing is where it began and where it will end

Cosmic nothing, which is vacuum

But nothing is an illusion

As much as everything eludes its truth

Since the vacuum is full of energy

Matter and anti-matter constantly attracting and repelling

A never-ending quantum cocktail party

Cycling through loops of creation and annihilation

I’ve been at parties like that

But the party to watch is the galaxy’s 100 billion stars

Aswirl in brilliant radiance but dancing darkly

Or standing back even further

100 billion galaxies sweetly raving on until the bitter end

Yet out of all this cosmic richness normal matter is rare

The fact of the matter is that out of all these stars

All this space and animated dust only 5 percent is normal matter

Which is hardly normal since fully 25 percent is dark matter

While the biggest elephant in the room is dark energy

Mysterious and opposed to gravity

Which is a law of nature so dark energy

Is cosmic anarchy

Expanding and accelerating exponentially

Leaving dark matter haloes clumped in the nevervoid

Never emitting light on any wavelength

Driving the formation of cosmic structure

Quantum space/time foam bubbling with cosmic inflation

Quantum energy fluctuating with tiny mass irregularities

Within the cosmic web

While we listen for echoes

Echoes of the big bang

Cosmic harmonics send microwaves everywhere

So that the memory of creation is all pervasive

As are echoes of small primordial perturbations that grew galaxies

In the long nights of early days

Quantum ripples that will never reach a further shore

Since the fabric of space and time keeps stretching

Further than a politician’s truth

Into nothing, which is the end

David Trudel   ©  2013

Lake

Still water reflecting infinity

I use its surface for my page

Tracing words that become ripples

Submerging each thought

Into the wellspring beneath

David Trudel  ©  2013

Shrouded and Cloaked

This is the kind of day

Shrouded and cloaked in clouds and showers

A day with no exclamation marks

This is the kind of day when he would have called

To share a groaner of a pun

Match calendars for lunch

Or just to see if I was still alive

Which of course he isn’t

Some ghosts linger longer than others

I’ve had my share of losses over a lifetime

Sometimes it isn’t the pain of the loss as much

As it’s empathy with the bereaved

Like the time a classmate’s younger brother

Was struck down in a traffic accident

I will always be haunted by the memory of his mother’s eyes

Noticed obliquely a few months later when I was over at their house

Her eyes shiny as polished chrome but full of grief’s infinity

Some ghosts seem bound to places

Where they passed or where we shared a moment

Or maybe a song will shuffle its way into a tendril

Of sweet remembrance

A recollection of spectral intensity

This is the kind of day

When spirits walk beside me

Shrouded and cloaked

In clouds and showers

David Trudel   ©  2013

Looks

I would drown in your eyes

If you’d leave them unguarded

But you keep armed sentries on alert

To repel invaders such as me

Singing choruses of I’m not looking for a relationship

Which isn’t the first time I’ve heard that covered

You seem surprised

When others find you attractive

More than a little pissed off as you dance away

I would drown in your eyes

If you’d leave them unguarded

Since they leave me breathless anyway

David Trudel   ©  2013

Present

There is no time but the present

No half remembered yesterdays

Or prescient tomorrows

There is only now

From creation to annihilation

Time has no need to travel

Time stays still

While everything else parades

From then through now to future

Now is hub not wheel

Fresh forever

David Trudel    © 2013

Bittersweet

Sweet gifts charm a mother’s heart

Fistfuls of dandelions thrust into a glass

To brighten dark rooms like miniature suns

Yet the foreshadow of wilt

Curls freshness to swoon

With bittersweet knowledge

That one day dandelions will no longer be plucked

As votive offerings

One day glasses will be just glasses

For drinking bittersweet memories of innocence

David Trudel   ©  2013

Shavings

Dream shavings lie scattered on my pillow

Whittled to slivers of sparkle and shade

Curled up and disappearing into daylight

Brushed together into a handful of nonsense

Picasso’d deconstructions of unreality

Torn into scraps and gathered up

To be collaged into fragment fantasies

Other underworldly passages into dark divinity

Soul windows and secret passageways

That defy logic and reason naturally

With the assuredness of dreams

David Trudel    ©  2013

Cherry Blossoms

Clouds swirl haloes overhead

Petal flurries drift pinkly underfoot

Delicate snowdrifts form

Offering an illusion of winter’s memory

Snowballs formed from these blossoms

Fly apart upon release

Leaving scented fingers tinged like rosy cheeks

We make lavender snow angels tinged roseate

Beside sidewalks that haven’t known shovels

Since being laid

Here in this smoothcurbed place

Receiving benedictions of warm blizzards

Cherry blossoms granting glimpses

Of alternatives

David Trudel   ©  2013

Matter

Fact of the matter is that matter’s naught

Hard edges an illusion of suspended animation

It’s not about fingertips to fingertips

Or even tongue to tongue liquidity

When you get down to it

Really down to the minutia

Where solids become constellations

Small points within large spaces

We hold more room than we imagine

Voids of emptiness held together by faith and hope

Universes of possibilities contained within perceived limits

Even more outside

Beyond imagination where divinity normalizes

Everything

So that there are no limits to restrict potentialities

Infinity is alpha and omega wide

Everything and nothing

David Trudel  ©  2013

Someplace Else

Somewhere you conjure a multiverse dreamscape

You are the epicenter of gravity

I am your captive

No pretense of demure modesty

No frown faced mask but naked lust plays easily

Twinkling your eyes into diamond brilliance

Cutting through distractions to core attractions

Until we spin infinity orbits into blackholed mystery

Becoming zodiacs entwined

Writing celestial destinies on limitless skies

Words written in explosions of creation

Visible across voids and ages

Touching where our light intersects

Stellar vibration of recognition in cosmic flashes

Shared between us

Alone together in eternity

David Trudel   © 2013

Birdground

Weathered branches of a deadling tree

Play perfect perch for a trio of crows

Who fling themselves windsliding

Towards a freshet spilling onto lowtide sands18729_10151359427317036_2084155226_n

Further up and out seagulls work marginally

Beaking clams and mussels

They ascend just high enough

To jettison their dirty war prisoners

Shattering them on the rocks

Where’ll they’ll pick up the pieces

Out in the harbour two sailboats

Tack back and forth

Looking languid from here but on board its controlled frenzy

Hitchhiking a natural passage through wind and wave

Tight lines and sightlines and pressure being brought to bear

Higher still, thermal spiraling an eagle observes

Soars on and dematerializes into the blue

A moment of active serenity, observed

David Trudel    © 2013

 Image by the author (iPhone 3G)

Preview

Barely into spring along comes a preview of summer

A day that melts chocolate into fondue moments

Breezes that freshen but barely cool

So warm everyone unlayers to minimal threads

On the road, convertibles are a common envy

Their drivers made glamorous by the rolling role

While the rest of us crank down the windows

Or crank up air conditioners

Feeling toasted inside metal walls

Still, its too early to think of complaining of the heat

This welcome return after a long hibernation

We smile at the coming attractions

Waiting for summer blockbusters to follow

David Trudel    ©  2013

Kiss

Although we trade suggestive comments

We are so far apart

It’s safe

Even though we both know it’s not

I can imagine your thinlipped kiss

Filling me to distraction

Realizing that if ever there was a chance

I’d be hip to hip

Grinding

I’d be well past the introduction

At hello

Tongues intertwining

Voices weaving words into tapestries

Masterpieces castlebound

When others look at our love and exclaim

That should be framed

We’ll already be unbound

Undone and done

Over and over

Just the way I imagine

Your hip curving

Against me

As dawn fills itself

Illuminating love

Unbordered and unrestrained

David Trudel    © 2013

Deer

A deer leapt through the brush

Thunderlanding a few meters away

Relieved more than alarmed

I walked forward on my downwind path

Obliquely away from the deertrail

Which calmed the deer

Who was looking ahead

At the other one that I hadn’t noticed at first

Stock still against rocks and trees

I was relieved

Not having seen deer here for some time

One species among many that call this forest home

Or way station for island hopping windriders

So when they started grazing on rare native fawn lilies

I was only mildly pissed off

And sent them a psychic entreaty to curb their appetites

Until dusk shrouds surrounding suburban streets

Where gardeners obligingly plant deer salad

A raw deal

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

In The Garden Of Your Mind

Fred Rogers was a gardener of young minds

Planting seeds with greenthumbed assurance

Calmly waiting for nature to take its course

Never in a rush

Like we are mostly

Not wanting to plant seeds but buy hothoused plants

Already grown

Not wanting to learn lessons of experience

Or experience small attempts of repetitive failure

Since we’ve learned to value self-esteem above wisdom

Which isn’t very wise

Or even as smart as we think

But then again, how many of us take the time to think

Instead we short circuit nature through shortcuts

Too busy to observe reality

So we live in delusional fantasies

Where we think buying a floral bouquet makes us green

Or self-absolve our collective guilt through signing online petitions

All the while contributing to this excessive consumerism

This insanity that’s driving us to the edge

Which we don’t see because of that delusional mindset we bought into

So we don’t hit the brakes

When the lemmings up ahead cliffjump into annihilation

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

David Trudel   ©  2013

Prompted by this PBS Digital Studios Remix of Fred Rogers:

Patriotism

What a country!

The best country in the world!

God’s country!

Jingoism

Nationalism

Patriotism

We shout this nonsense to the wind

Reinforcing imaginary lines drawn by vested interests

Just like pro sports inventing hollow hometown fervor

With hired guns from far away

Lured to your town for higher pay

Fanning the frantic madness of beersoaked youths

And middle aged dreamers

Who distractedly fall for sequined circus charms

And acrobatic displays of impossible prowess

When they are dissected on the jumbotron

Everyone becomes a gladiator vicariously

Forgetting that they’ve paid for the excess excessively

Not just money

Time and effort and emotional investment

That’s been shifted from other possibilities

It’s a false reality

Just like nation states are a false reality

Let’s visit one of those overused cliché images of earth from outer space

No lines

There are no borders to be seen from up high

Countries are just ideas

Borders carve up territories for overlords

Becoming fences to keep us in

What significance do borders have for ravens or salmon or grizzlies

Not very much

Yet for us, overmuch

We yield our sovereignty to the imagination of colonizers

We let the oligarchy herd us into feedlots of junkfood and unreality TV

Anaesthetized against the trauma of truth

The truth that we are prisoners paying for the privilege of a fiction

Locking ourselves in

Turning away from any escape

Because we’ve been French kissing fear

Forgetting last night night’s rape

And the one yet to come today

It’s all personal when it comes down to it

There are no real lines

Carving up truth

David Trudel   ©  2013

Sovereignty

My sovereignty is my own

Beginning and ending at bodymind borders

I rule my own mind and no others

There are none I swear fealty to

In some medieval ritual of submission

What limited control I have over my physical body

Ends at my extremities

And if sometimes I can influence others

Control is not anything to aspire to

Since I’m busy enough keeping myself in check

Unruling the anarchy of my mad thoughts and contradictions

It is enough to be my own master and slave

Never abdicating responsibility for my own behavior or attitude

Or subject to the tyranny of others

My sovereignty is my own

A limited kingdom of singularity

Despotic in self-discipline

Seditious in errant thoughts

Creating my own ceremonies with serious amusement

While my ego breaks down into strutting courtiers

Who pander to baser instincts and shiny eyed pride

So I leave off building castles

To build self awareness

And cloak myself in goldclothed tranquility

David Trudel   ©  2013

Blackened

First you see them as hints

They come into closer view

And you think roadkill corpses

But it’s really just another exploded tire

Kind of like online posts

Lumbering 18 wheelers who occasionally let one loose

Passing gassilly

Passing gas silly

Leaving a blackened remembrance of your passing

On the littered roadside

Blown, literally

Living on as scattered bits of used to be

Souvenirs of unfortunately

David Trudel  ©  2013

These Days

If these are the end times, as biblically foretold

Or just the bubble of civilization approaching its burst

From climate change

Or the breakdown of dysfunctional political corporatism

Let’s appreciate them, the end times

Let’s make love as often as possible

Let’s love these days

These rare days when everyone with privilege across the globe

Can buy the same perfect apples in air-conditioned sameness

These commonplace days of global luxuries

Where winter just means having to fly your strawberries in from across the globe

Appreciate the luxuries that may not be around much longer

Since there seems to be sufficient portents to nudge me towards gloom

Thinking doom and doomsday plots

As reports flood in of massive ice melts, methane gas releases, shrinking glaciers

While dystopian planners hunker down in pinched fear gearing up for a fast ride to hell

And failed states release terror into the shipping lanes

Failed rulers cling noose tight to power with blood red iron fingertips

Overhead strange signs appear

Like grid patterns of chemtrails crossing lines from secrecy to sin

Leaving us at the mercy of a tainted wind

Droves of us mill about in sheepled delusions

Brainwashed by selective education and finely crafted propaganda

Called popular culture

Our behaviour manipulated to ensure submission into complicity

But understanding the inherent flaws in this grand monoculture

There’s still some room for righteous hedonism on the way out

Because there is a lot to be savored in this shimmer

And if there is some apocalyptic descent into chaos

Waiting in ambush around the next bend

Don’t we owe it to everyone to use every possible pleasure to its limit

And if this scrap survives beyond whatever ultimate disaster takes us out

To be read by some far futured survivor picking up pieces

To you I say, it was fucking awesome to be alive at the apex

David Trudel   © 2013

Sculptural Pieces

Weathered rocks scoured by ice and time

Derelict trees tumbled into dreams

Ripplesanded shorelines studded by rockshreds

Swayedback barns leaning into fallow fields

Rusted ratrods posing in jumbled yards

Skylines that pull you into horizons

Jig jaggedly climbing into impossibilities

Fences marking space and time

Held up or supporting a spray of twigged greenness

Invitations of benches

Offering views into eternity

Alterations made by serendipity or intention abound

Three dimensionally textured magic

Filling my thirst for the spectacular

Wherever I find the unexpected and sublime

I smile with intention

Breathe in and send an exhalation of applause

In the general direction of found art

Or art that’s found me

David Trudel    ©   2013

Ordinary

Most of our ordinaries aren’t ordinary

When you think about them

When you take away the context of today

Or personal familiarity

Shift your point of view away from privilege

Reconsider commonplace expectations

From alternative perspectives

Like refugee camps or cacao plantations

Where there are scant comforts and no need for glossy ads

Places where it’s ordinary to have nothing

Where the same old means starkness and struggle

Not the ennui of boredom

Where all the ordinaries grow obese

Fattened with empty promises

Spurred on through enhanced consumption of sweet nothings

Until every luxury and remarkable delight loses luster in our clouded sight

Where miracles are hidden in plain view

We don’t see them anymore

We think they’re ordinary

Common, unremarkable, usual

Extraordinary, cloaked by repetition

Extraordinary, masked by tedium

Extraordinary, muffled by a lack of imagination

Most of our ordinaries aren’t ordinary

When you think about them

David Trudel     ©  2013

Horses At Full Moon

My mind roves

Playing through my consciousness

Like wind through the trees

Sometimes it stops and writes poetry on pine needles

Which fall to earth in turn

Composting into the floor

My mind dances as nervously as paddocked stallions

When the wind gusts warnings of spindizzy

So I am spooked as they are

At dustdevil dervishes that seem to say

Something unhinged approaches

Instead I consider the burgeoning moon

Something full for a change

No emptiness that screams want

Something that hasn’t been starved into submission

A regularity that pulls me into balance

Illuminating darkness with silver radiance

Something to settle my mind on

David Trudel     ©  2013

Stars

There’s no need to reach for archived stars

Remember that deep beneath your feet

Lies a rumbling starbright furnace

Born from celestial light

Or look into your lover’s eyes

If you really want to experience the spark of divinity

That twinkle is just as worth observing

As historical star data

And is close enough to kiss

David Trudel      ©  2013

Mortal Forest

The mortality rate for trees in this forest is high

Wind tumbled trees crisscross the living

Or wait patiently at impossible angles for supporters to fold

While others slip into watery rest, undercut by current events

Wind tumbled trees crisscross the living

Everywhere in this forest a feast continues to be served

While others slip into watery rest, undercut by current events

Trees providing the main course or serving up appetizers

Everywhere in this forest a feast continues to be served

Giants brought low by the lowly practicing edible irony

Trees providing the main course or serving up appetizers

Sustainable gluttony on a grand scale

Giants brought low by the lowly practicing edible irony

Growth becomes a seamless death that provides an active rest

Sustainable gluttony on a grand scale

As each particle transcends itself in shared sacrifice

David Trudel      ©  2013

Simplicity

Not quite empty, in one corner of the room

A low table holds glass teapots and tiny cups

Flanking the door is a small futon chair

A mirror is propped in another corner

Candles provide most of the light

Which gleams off hardwood floors

And unadorned birdshell walls

The simple emptiness creates a calm space

Where it’s easy to breathe freely

In the almost emptiness of simplicity

David Trudel    ©  2013

Harmonic Balancer

A harmonic balancer is connected to the crankshaft of most engines

To reduce torsional vibrations and to be the pulley for the drive belts

I had never heard of such a thing

Since one had never needed to be replaced on any car of mine

Which is the only way I know about car stuff

By having to pay outlandish bills for parts unknown

I happened to see Bob my neighbor with the hood up

We started talking and he mentioned harmonic balancer

Whoah! WTF

Harmonic balancer made me think of some kind of Tibetan temple

Resonating with the thousand prayers of the robed faithful

I learned it’s true that at certain engine speeds the torque from the cylinders

Becomes synchronized with the vibrations in the crankshaft

Resulting in the phenomenon of resonance

Resonance that the crankshaft can’t withstand

I understand that cranky process

Having had both a marriage and a career suffer harmonic catastrophe

I get the chronic impact of torsion and tension

Of being twisted into an unbalanced state

 I know the horror of watching cracks develop

As energy builds up through lack of dissipation

Age, heat, cold, or exposure to oil or chemicals play their part

In the inevitable crankshaft failure

Which can be pretty spectacular

So I am developing my own harmonic balancer

Damping vibrations rhythmically

As I fire on all cylinders, barely resonating at all

Stress free

David Trudel   ©  2013

Late Twilight

Daylight was sticking around

Like that awkward guy at the party

A little heavy and ponderous

Not very colorful at all

Kind of withdrawn

Encountering the late twilight of early spring is surprising

Like meeting an old girlfriend

Falling for her like before

I’d forgotten how beguiling you are, I’d say

Remembering the quick fade to black of winter

I’ll see you tomorrow then, she’ll smile

It’s a date

David Trudel   ©  2013

Poetry

One day I woke up

I was in the middle of it

Poetry

A day full of considered beauty

Moments of revelation strung together with wistful threads

Tides of emotion that were just right for body surfing rolled over me

So I rode the breakers into the shore

Transcending the limitations of my heart’s tideline

I looked deep into eyes of others

Saw souls swimming in tears

Watched smiles ripple across rooms

Like the wind ruffling the surface of a calm lake

I was in the middle of it

Everywhere I went was a line worth noting

Each glance brought a fresh word

As easily as plucking apples

In the golden light of the garden of the Hesperides

I stood on mountaintops and leapfrogged over horizons

Breathed honeyed breath of innocents

Felt the embrace of a thousand Juliets

Mourned each passing moment like a tragic death

I was in the middle of it

Poetry

I was awake

David Trudel   ©  2013

For The Time Being

Just because you’ve been elusive

Hard to get

Doesn’t stop me from imagining you into my head

And after all, according to theoretical physicists

Linear time is an illusion at the end of the beginning

Or the beginning of the end

So if I need a moment’s inspiration

I’ll go skinny dipping in your eyes

Even if I have to wear a blindfold

For the time being

Whoever that is

Not a Tardis riding lord or clockwork automaton

But the embodiment of time

Segment slicer obsessively compulsed with counting

If I could find the time being

I’d ask to jump ahead to the thunderbolt moment

That instant when our eyes lock

And the bolt slides home

In recognition

David Trudel   ©  2013

Approximations

These are not the right words

Write words

These are just approximations

These are consignment store words

Worn by others and cast away

A little threadbare and faded

The words I’d like to use don’t exist

I need to cut new cloth and stitch them together

But the closest thing to an atelier in my mind

Is memory

So I take the easy way and use these indicators

To proxy my feelings and perceptions

Instead of inventing new words

New language

To transmit the feelings that flow through and over me

Or the look in your eyes when we’re nose to nose

A blink away from eternity

I can’t capture a sunset or a surprise

Not that I’d want the responsibility of taking prisoners

I prefer wild freedoms to careful domesticity

So I use wrong words for write reasons

Approximations of shadows rounded up or down

Calculated words that hold a caricature of truth

Approximations of what I’d like to say

David Trudel    ©  2013

Vernal EQ

This half measured day calls a timeless tune

Predictable as birthday cake candles

Negative ions dancing in the wind take note

Spinning into and out of control

Tripping over light’s fantastic reascendance

Keeping the quarter note beat

So movingly

In the silence of forever

In our steady state of becoming

Where everything changes inside the sameness

Improvising new riffs within a brilliant arrangement

Even your repulsion is attractive

Within this tethered bondage

David Trudel    ©  2013

Intimation

I hold this intimation close

So close it’s kept well hidden

Or if not hidden unlikely to be found

A thought that very likely isn’t

But might be

Just a conspiracy of suppositions

Fantasies of transgressions

Unrealized but never unthought

Thoughts to hold

Silently smiling

At unrealized perfection

Fingertips playing contrapuntally

Independent melodies played together

In the midnight light of a held thought

Tracing maybes in the dark

Intertwined fantasies wait patiently

Parked

David Trudel  ©  2013

Work In Progress

Some nights are more poetic than others

Like tonight

Because I hadn’t checked with my daughter

To see if she was going to see Buddy Wakefield

As I was

But when I parked a block away and found the end of the line of ticket holders

There she was with a few friends

So I fell in

Like the line I wish I’d written

Watching poets and poet lovers

Crowd the sidewalk like it was a Hollywood opening

When, on cue, up comes a disheveled character

Bleary eyed wanderer

Who picked us to stop beside to cease perambulating

Who started orating a tale of psilocybin topsy

Wearing a crown of pussy willows, feathers and broccoli

There used to be a dandelion

He said when questioned

But I ate it

Do you know how many dandelions you should eat each year

A whole fucking lot he said

He told us he was from New York and babbled on

Then said he’d been in prison just recently released

Seemed plausible to me

Then he claimed to be from Trinidad

Which seemed less so but you never know

Until he said he’d just returned from Egypt

And that was the next place we should go

Taking a swig from a bottle of Mighty Milk

Which wasn’t at all milky but everclear

Shining moonbright against the darkening shadows

So when his shadow became too dark to bear

I sent him on another orbit

Which made our wait a little brighter

Until the doors opened on a night of poetry

Spoken word revelry

With the buzz of creation echoing down through starlight

From eternity to now

The now where I have witnessed the slow motion replay

Of the big bang in reverse

Watched creation unwinding through a mind’s eye

Voiced into our consciousness like stone tablets tumbling down a mountain

Creating shards of truth that shatter reality

One small piece at a time

One small peace

Finding small pieces of peace

Amidst cacophonies of language waterfalling

This is just a little of the mist that settled at the bottom

And though I’d like to represent the torrent

I can’t

Except to say

Oh my God

It was Buddy Fucking Wakefield

On fire with words

Living in the moment and dancing the only dance worth putting on shoes for

And it was never just a dance

But a sure footed display of verbosity

Words pulled into fleshly existence

Words that kissed and slapped us on the ass

Words that went in one ear and out to wonder

Words spoken with a lightness that makes gravity a fiction

Some nights are more than just poetic

Some nights stand vertical time on its head

Like tonight where the truth became words

Words inside

Words outside

Colliding and sliding

Into poetry

David Trudel    ©  2013

Vegas

She had the Vegas of notions

About what she wanted

So she gambled on random

Got a row of lemons

The house always wins

Now she’s part of it

Chipping away at freedom

Calling hit me, hit me

And she cuts and she cuts

But only on the surface

Vegas is so superficial anyway

There’s not a lot of depth to that place

Except in depression

Or small pockets

David Trudel   ©  2013

Nostalgia

I don’t miss the racism

When I think about the past

Sure I’m nostalgic for the good old days

But they weren’t all good and golden

We taunted everyone back then

Watercooler jokes bit deep

Certain nationalities were pilloried with regularity

Enough to fill a Polish suitcase

And god help the brown skinned

So we would shout paki or camel jockey slurs

Across schoolyards or cafes

Not caring that we cut to the quick with meanspirited ignorance

So blind to our transgressions that we would point fingers

At South Africa or the deep south and decry the bigotry there

Self righteously proclaiming our innocence

Only because an African heritage was rare in our tarnished world

I don’t miss the bad cooking

When the Joy of Cooking was the only book in the kitchen

We boiled and stewed the same plain foods into daily submission

Thinking salt and pepper were the only spices necessary against bland

And if we watched Julia Child with amusement

It would be a rare day that her recipes would end up on the table

I am not nostalgic for the constant smoking

Blue hazed offices where each desk held overflowing ashtrays ad nauseum

And parking lots being used as garbage cans

Drivers upturning car ashtrays into shared space

Cigarette butts a constant presence carpeting our walks

More prevalent than the flowers we couldn’t smell over the stench

I am not nostalgic for misogyny

Which sadly hasn’t gone away entirely

I don’t miss the catcalling taunts or times

When every man or boy felt dutybound to visually strip each female in view

Giving free rein to saddle romping fantasies

Those times when stereotypes were a given and not questioned

I don’t miss the hidden abuse

Open secrets never spoken of

Bruises that flowered unquestioned

Times when silence was permission to continue the violence

I am not nostalgic for pesticides that we sprayed with abandon

Not caring that the green lawns and flower borders

We so blindly protected were an artificial construct of oppression

I don’t miss polyester double knit suits

That never wore out but should have

I don’t miss blue rinsed big hair

Buzzcuts or ducktailed tops

I am not nostalgic for the pain of the repressed

Or laws that forced love into closets

Or into the bloodstained offices of back alley butchers

I don’t miss ignorant hatred

How can I, it still exists

But the next time somebody celebrates forgotten freedoms

Of a golden past

I’ll take up a knife and scratch the gilt off

To expose the brass

David Trudel   ©  2013

Absinthe

 

It was small news

Under reported

The EU will no longer require absinthe to contain wormwood

So fans of Rimbaud and Toulouse-Lautrec

You need to come forward and protest

Or at least buy up stockpiles of the real stuff

Like I’ll do

In case I feel a fin de siècle mood coming on

Because if I need a zinc topped table to lean on

As the night travels into timeless

I’ll want the original

Old school cool shit

The ritual

I want the faint echo of the psychedelic that those old poems promise

I don’t want extra ethyl

I want dreams

I want the curls of worms

I want to see the dance of the green fairy

The green fairy naked

I want to write skewed poetry

Illuminate the edge of the crack that splits the glass

Open

I want the mirrorshard of memory

Tinged with the green fuzz of decay

To taste of absinthe

That takes me away

David Trudel     © 2013

Bound

I get caught up

Trapped in your lines

Wrapped inside the throwdown

Until I can’t get free

No hope netted

My skin scarred by the rope

Marked as your trophy

But not one you’d ever mount

David Trudel  ©  2013

Interruption

We interrupt this program to announce

An interruption, please stand by

We interrupt this program to announce

That your 15 minutes of fame has been cancelled

We interrupt this program to announce

Change that isn’t

We interrupt this program to announce

The end of the world, please stand by

Idly

We interrupt this program to announce

That we are really, really sorry about putting this program on the air

We interrupt this program to announce

Something important that we’ve just been told we can’t tell you

So carry on but you might want to pack a bag

We interrupt this program because we can

David Trudel    © 2013

Springtime

I really shouldn’t have worn gloves today

By the time I was too far away to go back home

I had to take them off

I stuffed them in my pockets

Dense morning fog left leaves glistening

Emotionally the gloves are off too

As fear and anxiety

And doubt and hate

Tag team me in the uncanvassed ring inside my head

Leaving me with my eyes glistening

As I walked on birdcalls burst through headphones

Reminding me about the real playlist I should be listening to

Instead of these pleasant distractions

Which is what a lot of us end up doing

Creating pleasant distractions of short term pleasures

In our lives of gilded leisure

Which leave us feeling a little guilty

A little hollow

A little unresolved

So I resolve to pay closer attention to strategic arcs

Move purposefully from goal to goal

Within some shapeshifting masterplan

That I’ll get to tomorrow

Now, the air stirs in the warmth of spring

I realize my jacket’s liner is no longer needed

Just the opposite, so I unzip and feel breezekissed

Tasting freshness on the wind

David Trudel   © 2013

Feature This

Someday I’ll be the featured poet

Not relegated to cattle calls but given top billing

Even though half the audience will bleed away at the break

Narcissistic preeners who have no interest in anyone who might shatter their self image

So good riddance

The crowd that stays knows quality when they hear it

See it

They’ll table thump and shout out the next line that they’ve learnt from Youtube

Where I’ve gone gangnam viral

I’ll let my words spill over the room like the best orgasm I’ve ever had

There’ll be a roomful of nodding heads

Mouths slackjawed open swallowing every word

While I let the stains soak into sheets of pure white paper

I’ll joke about the last award I never got

Or some festival in an exotic location like Drumheller

Where there was a festschrift to dinosaurs to die for

So I wrote an ode to albertasaurus that reanimated the fossilized remains

Thereby causing the death of a dozen poets and fans

At the point of a sharp toothed grin of a hungry Barney

Who was only penned in by a hundred rhyming couplets

Which refossilized the brute

Then I’d crack open another book and the words will self combust

Singing my lips as they burn ears

Carpet bombing the room with thoughts that might be the child

The child that Rumi would have had with Isadora Duncan

Living  model homed on Tralfamadore

In another parallel universe

The next one over from the one where I’m the featured poet

David Trudel  © 2013

Ida Nomore

I look into your eyes and see determination600373_10151333157542036_2060481016_n

I see courage born of oppression

Of knowing that the worst is only more of the same

And since you’ve taken enough shit for a generation

It’s not exactly child’s play

But it ain’t as bad as giving in

There are no more excuses

No more retreats

When so many backs are walled

A line forms

And damn it

You say, you know what?

Fuck you assholes

If you want to play that way

I’ll take you on

I’ll set the stage

On the granite steps of your monumental edifice

With a lawn chair

A few signs

And time

David Trudel   © 2013

First Position

First position

Feet placed just so

Shoulder roll into place

Second position

Third position

The one I like

Slam heel into instep

Into vogued strut

Somewhere in a manila envelope

In one of the dozens of boxes I have yet to sort

Is an eight by ten glossy of me at age four or five

Dance class

Me, black pants (long!)

White shirt with clipped on bow-tie

Surrounded by my leotard harem

Galaxied, I learn some steps

Mostly I’m just watching, transfixed

First position

Feet placed just so

I am apex and omega out-timed

Then second position

At intervals the teacher has us hold

She demonstrates the impossible

Then we do exercises

Easy at first but with each repetition a little harder

But easier than doing nothing

Discovering movement organized into patterns

First position second position

Hold

Hold that thought

Hold that memory

That acceptance of dance as a language

Understanding that fluency is subjective

So when I’m all alone at midnight

I start with the first position

Take it from there

David Trudel   © 2013

Grace Notes

My brief visit is a small variation

On your long song

Strictly ornamental but still an embellishment of note

I walk through my days giving and receiving kindness and favors

Feeling my way I seek the presence of the divine within

And the divine within you

I try to understand the purpose of my creation

And which desires are true to my soul

Rejoicing in the morality of kindness

Which becomes the key for self-realization

Unlocking the bonds of mortal karma

To exist in grace

Visiting small graces upon those who need support

A small note added to the symphony of you

David Trudel   ©  2013

Positively

My friend says I sound upbeat and happy

Assumes that all is well in my world

Which of course it isn’t

But I choose to be positive

Happiness can find its way anywhere

Even into dark corners

Flawed beauty is beauty nonetheless

So I choose rose colored glasses to distort my perception

Positively

David Trudel   ©  2013

Bohemia

In the real Bohemia

Not the Bohemia of drunken poets

White tailed eagles nest

Above the forests and wetlands

In my Bohemia

We play with words and jests

And yes, there’s some tail to be had

Not so much nesting

In the Bohemia of drunken poets

We make early morning returns to forlorn homes

Those not so wet lands

In the real Bohemia

Reed jungles in artful ponds guard predatory worlds

Recovering from excess civilization

In my Bohemia

We indulge our whims

Give in to desires

Naturally

Call me Bohemian

Naturally

David Trudel     ©  2013

IED

You are an improvised explosive device

Splattering me to pieces

I am crippled from now on

My mind is blown

Why were you so defensive

I just wanted to love you

You said you’d blow me

I didn’t take you literally

But I should have

Stat

David Trudel  ©  2013

2Haiku

Tidal pools wait

Waves churning against the rocks

Anticipating

Seagulls slide the wind

Crying hunger into space

Defiant gluttons

David Trudel  ©  2013

Gerald

He wore shoulder length hair like a proclamation

A rare moment of shorthand

Since he danced the dialectic daily

Using ten words when one would do

Each word multi-syllabic and layered in textured meaning

His leathers were unlettered and non-aligned

Unlike his politics which were both

He rode his bike like it was an Olympic event

Until it became a project

Disassembled on the basement floor

He didn’t believe in ordinary pleasures

So instead of cigarettes he smoked a pipe

Or rather pipes, amassing a collection of Meerschaum wonders

Which he’d fill with coarse cut leaf

Clouding rooms with lofty thoughts burned into the night

Where futures were told and untold

Pasts revealed and concealed

Words flying like flocks of starlings at dusk

Collective swirls of feathered mystery

Avoiding walls with alacrity

Careening through each successive enthusiasm

Full on

And fully there

David Trudel   ©  2013

Inner Dialogue

I hear scenarios playing in my head

Of conversations with you or without you

Anyone really

Anticipating next encounters

With dialogue that sparkles and dances

But disappears into the dark abyss of that mine called memory

Sometimes I’ll bring something back

A memory of a chance encounter

I rerun the scene editing out the bad bits

Take two, take three

Cues up the inner dialogue again

Then for a second I rewrite history

Imagining futurepasts and might have beens

Instead of the present where reality intrudes to tie my tongue

The present, where my verbal gift is reticence

I try to be in the moment

But not necessarily this one

David Trudel   © 2013

Naked

My naked thoughts wear these words loosely

These words aren’t haute couture

They’re jeans and a tee shirt

Covering my imperfections and strengths

My thoughts aren’t tourists

But they travel

Boxed by language

I send them away

Stripping down to nothing

Immodest, shameless and proud

Until I remember Eden and try to cover up

Stitching dissimulations into rags

Weaving barriers against your clarity of sight

I clothe my truth to ease my anxious fears

Obscuring the purity of perfection

With imprecision and misdirection

As language turns clean thoughts to soiled words

David Trudel    ©  2013

Pendulum

Just when you get all used and comfortable with down

Reverse kicks in

Back up you go

But we’ve all got lots of ups and downs

Going on all at once

Erratically pulling in different directions

When the stars align

Everything is either humming

Or coming apart

David Trudel   ©  2013

Gifts

Early morning in the gray light of late winter

He wore as many layers of dirt as layers of rags

Carrying his closet on his back

Drinking his breakfast beer

Held back from last night’s attempt at forgetting

Across the desolation of parking lot

Comes the dawn of beauty

Her blond hair radiating sunshine

Eyes blazing solar

She pulls him into orbit

With the gravity of grace

He shuffleruns to her side

She waits, almost alarmed

Not knowing if she should be afraid

Or just surprised

He plucks a fresh daffodil from the median bordering the lot

Hands it to her

” It’s sunny and beautiful, like you. Have a good day hun. Thanks for waiting.”

Returns to his bundled away from home, home

To finish his uptilted breakfast

While she is warmed by his pure gesture

Reminded that cleanliness doesn’t always bespeak of god

We are all just animated mud

And in the shared dirt of this earth

The best gifts are generous thoughts and smiles

David Trudel   ©  2013

Honestly

My vulnerability is that I’m not strong enough

To expose my weaknesses

I don’t do full frontal poetry

Just let the occasional moon poke through

I don’t write about late night drinking and passing out in the recliner

Or midnight toking when I don’t need another joint

But want an excuse to look at the stars

I don’t write about my precarious finances

Or the precipice I’m skirting

And I certainly don’t write poetry about

The web of relationships that ebb and flow

In my life

My sex life is so boring

That I’d be hard pressed to extract a haiku from that prompt

Five fingers stroking

Seven minutes pleasuring

Five small lonely deaths

I’m not strong enough to remove all my masks

Or tear down all the walls I’ve built to keep you out

My honesty is opaque and measured

I let the world uncover truths or insights that I pass along

Rendered words transforming fact to transfixion

But in all honesty

I’m not

I’m not strong enough to celebrate my flaws

So I question my own authenticity

Wondering about truth

Or if truth is ever fully honest

Wondering about authenticity and phoniness

Would Holden Caulfield, aged and wrinkled

Sneer at me over his walker and call me out

Hey phony, why don’t you write something real for once

He’d say

And I wouldn’t be insulted

Because I’d recognize the truth

In all honesty

David Trudel   ©  2013

Voices

So many voices singing so many songs

It all gets blurred so I can’t follow along

So many voices singing all at once

Creating a new language of united force

It isn’t always necessary to hear each word

When you feel a beat pulse inside your head

Some sounds will pull you into somewhere else

So many voices singing will open up your ears

To things you’ve never heard before

And let you rearrange your fears

So many voices singing so many songs

Harmonizing as the beat keeps going down

So many voices singing so many songs

Until the songs come down to just one in the end

That song that starts with each first breath

And doesn’t end until the final death

So many voices singing the same song

Listening to each other to follow along

So many voices singing the same song

David Trudel  ©  2013

Soliloquies

In my mind I plan soliloquies

For potential situations that never quite arise

Inside my head these words resound

Quite brilliantly, as you should know

But it turns out my vision of the future sucks

I build constructs of things that never happen

Populate them with conversations that pop and spark

But in the event, it’s dark

So these words dissolve into the cesspool of my rejections

Providing nothing more than compost

For a future that seems to be impossible

But I keep on thinking

Sometimes dreaming

Of the words I’d like to say to you

Soliloquies and sonnets

Brilliant thoughts and hopeful longings

I dream them through

To the end of true

Waiting for an answer

That isn’t an echo

David Trudel  ©  2013

Festival

If I was going to describe Victoria’s spoken word festival

I’d start with Missie’s eyes

Happy proud

Pixie bright eyes that see through today

Into a tomorrow of a possibility

Then I’d move on to talk about words made flesh

Words transcendent into moves and movement

I’d mention Mike McGee and his elemental intensity

I’d talk about the merging of ideas

Synchronicity

Recombinant expeditions into the territory called creation

I’d talk about self-sacrifice

Of giving up to get it in

I’d talk about dancing poets

Who flow their limbs into rhythms

Listening to sounds through heart-filtered beats

Abandoning safety and expected

For impulses and muses

Who move tongues and feet

Into the beat

If I was going to describe the festival

I’d speak rapture of the deep

Following signs into the unknown that warn of danger

Because poets like to go there

I’d unmask motivations and hidden delights

I’d describe impermanently perfect performances

Punctuated by fingersnaps and the approbation of crowds

If I was going to describe the festival

I’d end with applause

David Trudel       © 2013

Duster

If you find yourself with a bruised and broken heart

Dust it off

With phoenix feathers that rise from ashes

And a far-eyed eagle feather that knows how to soar

Some quail feathers to keep things grounded

And a little timid

Find hummingbird wings that hover and dart delightfully

Seek out a quetzal bird from Mayan jungles and beg

For a tail feather of rare and wondrous beauty

Look for a lyrebird to add its feathered song

Include a feather from the common crow to croak persistently

Add a salt-tinged feather from a glaucus gull

To scream a plaintive cry that warns of more shit to come

Gather your feathers and bind them with sinew

Torn from the corpse of your lost love

Dust off your heart with the promise of magic flights

Dust off your heart with the feathers of the gravity deniers

Let your heart find its way skyward

Where there is no dust to gather

 Just the delight of leaving the earth behind

David Trudel  ©  2013

This Was a Day

This was a day of no poetry

Subterranean randomness

Pondering things that presented out of the whole bloody universe

Into mine

Discovering the hidden hell of an island paradise

Where raped girls are lashed a hundred times

Draining joy from Eden

This was a day when I stared at a blank page

Blankly

This was a day of no poetry

Making nonsense through broken fingertips and deaf ears

This was a day of transitions and intersections

Going to an interview that wasn’t

Which led to poetic disclosure

So poetry hijacked the day

Weaving spoken word wonderment into

Hibiscus tea, steampotting aromatically

As the story of the leaves was written

In a worddance

This was a day of music

Music unleashed

This was a day of primal sound

Troubadour music

Where one singer with one instrument unveils his soul

Inside the shared breath of a small room of friends

New friends all

Because at a house concert the person beside you is a friend

Ipso facto

This was a day when poetry walked

This was a day for muses to laugh

This was a day for poetry to dance

This was a day

This was a day

This was a day like none other

David Trudel   ©  2013

Blanked

Some days when I stare at the next blank page

All I can think of are tired clichés

Or banal expressions of surface clutter

And then I think of all the misery that plagues us

Or the corruption at the top that keeps us infected

Which leads me to a heavy sigh moment

That sends a chill into my fingers

So I stare out the window and it’s raining

There’s no bright ray of sunshine illuminating the garden

Just like there’s no bright spark of love in my heart

Although it keeps sending out reconnaissance missions

While maintaining a cordon of armed sentries

So that blank page with its high-pitched whine starts to be irritating

I make a false start with ill-chosen words

Check Facebook and like a half dozen memes that friends have posted

Share two of them

I try again and still the page remains blank

I deal a hand of solitaire

I lose

I go to the grocery store

Hoping to find inspiration in the produce aisle

But I don’t

Even an endorphin-stirring workout

Produces sweat but little else

The page stays blank

I pray for inspiration

Nothing comes

So I write about blank pages and frustration

Nothing magical or inspired

But enough to spill a few words

Unblanking the challenge of emptiness

David Trudel   ©  2013

These Times

These are the days of remembrance

When all the yesterdays run backwards

Unspooling into starlight

These are the times of unclocked hopes

Times of desires and dreams

These moments are singularly fluid as they flow together

Washing over us

Sweeping us up in this unchecked flood

These are the days screaming of terror

Days of torment and torture

Days of lies and betrayals

Nailed with outrage

With the evil of indifference holding the hammer

These are the moments of indecision

When greed pleads to just keep on doing

Nothing

This is the moment of truth

This is the moment of untethered freefall

Plummeting from the edge of nowhere into hard fact

Knowing that an impact of some proportion is imminent

These are the days of chaotic destruction

These are the days of growth and creation

These are the everydays

Timeless times of everything bad and everything good

Running parallel in M.C. Escher mystery loops

These are the moments that get stitched together into patterns

Only to come unraveled and undone

These days are as permanent as a Tibetan sand mandala

Brushed and broomed into a corner

These are the days of remembrance

When all the yesterdays run backwards

Unspooling into starlight

David Trudel  ©  2013

Paper Boats

Float words like paper boats

Made from yesterday’s newspaper

Stories that carried marvelwords carried away

Gutterbound into a new memory

David Trudel  ©  2013

Marginalized

Sometimes its good to be in the margins

I like the ambiguity of not being this or that

Black or white

Instead I float in between

In the gray fog of obscurity

Where I can choose to venture into black

Or white

At my own discretion

Of my own volition

Returning to hedged half light

Where positions aren’t fixed

Where compasses swing madly

In uncharted territory

David Trudel  ©  2013

Between

Between fear and fearlessness

Are universes of untold stories

In the margins between dark and light

Consciousness carves a trail

David Trudel  ©  2013

Speak

The power of words isn’t fully realized

Until you breathe life into them

Static page bound words are nailed in place

Speak them to set them free

David Trudel   ©  2013

Word Dancer

Word dancer take flight

Grand jete across the stage

Or tango close to explicit

We will follow your lead

Intrepidly

David Trudel  © 2013

Unleavened

Unleavened words never rise

No matter how much they’re kneaded

Or needed

If these words get punched and slapped around

They’ll hang together

Suffering rough justice

Flattened into inedibility

Until they’re broken down

Composted into rich loam

Where fresh thoughts rise anew

David Trudel     © 2013

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will trade mysteries with myths

I will climb mountains that collapse into hills

I will listen to the earth

I will search for new words

I will look for the sayers

Truthspeakers

My ears will be as open as the sky

I’ll be as confused

As my mixed metaphors

But I will make connections

I will pull hearts together

Tomorrow

David Trudel  ©  2013

Tricky

I pulled into the driveway

Turned off the ignition

Went to get groceries out of the back of the car

A noise startled me

Could the car still be running, I thought

What’s broken now

Reflected in the rear window was the source of my dismay

Low flying raven beating its wings a few feet above my head

I looked up and watched as it settled into a tree across the street

To croak its urgent message

Which went over my head

David Trudel    © 2013

Calm

Calm bliss fills my mind

Peaceful tranquility reigns

Until boredom wakes

David Trudel   ©  2013

Big Bang

We used to have it so together

We were so attracted to each other

We lived, dreamed and co-existed so deliciously close

There was no separation between us

Your moments were my moments

Not that we counted because it wasn’t necessary

You were me and I was you

Until the moment that changed it all

Our timeless love collapsed

There was a new impulse to drive us forward

Repulsion

We flew apart

Getting out of each other’s way at lightspeed

Moving mountains momentously

It was all so strange

Not to be one with you anymore

Familiar stasis replaced with exploration of new dimensions

Still, we flew farther and farther apart

Getting loose

And travelling to the ends of the universe

Travelling to the end of time

Letting you carry your own baggage

Wherever you might be

Because I repulse you

You repulse me

Enough to create a myriad of new worlds

To escape each other in

And our only together is a telescope view

Of that moment

When it blew up

For good

David Trudel  ©  2013

Stormwalking

I will go stormwalking

Let myself be battered by wind and rain

Dodge wet branches torn loose and slapped to the trail

I will go stormwalking

To feel the power of the elements

Remembering who is in charge

Not some politician wielding a poison pen

But our capacious foster mother

Who is not afraid to rinse mouths

Or apply some discipline

I will go stormwalking

To feel her gentle slap of remonstration

To hear her out

In her own words

David Trudel  ©  2013

Mean

There’s a part of me that says I should be raging with anger

Hot with indignation at countless depravities

That’s what I get for paying attention to the news

I should be screaming at lawless plunderers

Who litter our world with torn up social contracts

But I don’t

I let myself linger in tranquility

There’s a part of me that says I should find the beauty of the divine

Slip into a timeless moment and uncover a truth

Hold it up for display and cloak it in magnificent words

But I don’t

I search for meaning and discover mean

Mean politics and people

Who sour the well for everyone

Mean spirited time hoarders

Who have closer relationships to fictional TV characters than to family

I discover vindictive revenge that stabs and rips

Jealous meanness that screams if I can’t have it than nobody else can

So I stop searching to return to tranquility

But I can’t find it now

It seems to have been scared off

Which makes me a little angry

David Trudel   ©  2013

Café

It was his fingernails that caught her attention

Most men have terrible nails

Chewed, nibbled and torn

Stained and dirty

His nails, on a so very other hand,

Were almost perfect as he tapped his iPhone

Although, she thought, not manicured

She noticed that he didn’t wear a ring

Unbidden, a thought entered her mind

His fingers stroking her nipples to attention

Stop it, she ordered herself

With practiced determination and the indifferent ease of an ice queen

She pulled out her own phone and checked her mail

When she looked up she saw that he was looking at her

Or at least at her hands

So she tapped her fingers on the table top and smiled

He held her gaze

Brought his hands together, clasped

Rested his chin on them and smiled back

 David Trudel   © 2013

Journey – A Triptych

1.    North

Traumatized and demoralizedimg007

I fled into the north

Heading to Dawson City to visit Tony’s sister

We had a few hundred dollars and a bag of weed

Journeying in my orange VW Thing

As we drove further north

The car became a curiosity, a rare thing indeed

Pulling conversations from the taciturn

As we watched gasoline prices exceed our imaginations

One night, while there still was night

On the Stewart Cassiar highway

We came around a bend and were stopped by a wall of gravel

That seemed impossibly high and wide

So we began to prepare for a long wait

Got out the Stoned Wheat Thins

Some cheese and a summer sausage

Figuring it was time for sustenance

When the wall was Moses’d

It parted

Bright lights shone cosmically

A D12 dozer was our rod and our staff

Parting the chaos of gravel mounds

With the smooth dexterity of a pastry chef

We followed

Looking more than a little ridiculous to grimy goliaths

Who you just knew only drove trucks

American ones

And probably didn’t eat Stoned anything

We were ejected into the blackness of beyond

Heading straight up the map

Through mountains of gravel

Northward we travelled in unhindered light

To a log cabin on the banks of the Klondike

The driveway was twenty miles long

Shared with wolverines and moose

And if it took time to get there

It was a place to feel at home

Secure in the knowledge that door to door salesmen

Would never bother to knock

We walked the wooden sidewalks of Dawson City

Avoiding the tourist trappings of Diamond Tooth Gerties

We drank sudsy drafts at backstreet bars

With wild eyed seekers

Big city retreaters

One day we impossibly piled a dozen new friends into the car

Drove to the Midnight Dome

Where we shared the last few joints and a pint of rye

Surveying the small outpost in relentless wild

Sensing possibilities beyond the horizon

So we made some possibles happen

Drove the Dempster to Eagle Pass

Where a full moon rose over our rough campsite

Then made way for the northern lights

Dancing starbright with the grace of a Bolshoi ballerina

We whistled them closer until we were covered in magic

Looking out across the arctic circle to the top of the world

We danced across the tundra

Past the dwindling line of pecker poles

Hopping from hippy head to hippy head

Forded icy rivers that ran with the speed of the chased

Rubbed shoulders with grizzlies and the grizzled

Whose independence was declared through the intensity of the gaze

As the summer wore on forest fires raged

Until the plumes crept over the next ridge

And choppers buzzed our lonely cabin

So we walked a few hundred yards up the twenty-mile driveway

Discovered a command centre

Staging ground for firefighters who could always use help

So we signed up and up we went

Commuting to the smoke where we strapped piss pumps to our backs

Grabbed shovels and watched as timbers candled

Hoping for the wind to shift in time for lunch

Since we had never eaten as well as in that rough camp

Or gotten quite so dirty

Blacker than a Welsh coalminer

Soot that found its way through clothes to every inch of untanned skin

To be scrubbed the next week at the metered shower in town

Since the woodstove and hauled Klondike water only barely sluiced

The top layer leaving us a dismal gray

But we made a few bucks and beat the fire back

Flew like warriors in Bell Rangered wonder

Over undulating mysteries

To see the sea of trees saved for another season

A season we wouldn’t experience

But left to the iconoclasts and the lonely

Those who could drift no further

Yet could wield an axe and feed a stove

So when the leaves turned and frost arrived

We turned tail and went south

But a piece of my soul remains buried in the Klondike

Part of the motherlode of the riches of my life

 

2.    Alberta

The first challenge was to fence a quarter section

160 acres

There was a tight budget so that meant recoiling downed wire

Of the fence we were replacing

Pulling staples and hammering flat the salvageable ones

Assessing posts for rot

Turned out that the convertible Thing was a handy platform

Sledgehammer blow by sweaty blow

For driving treasured new tamarack posts securely into the ground

Which we grew intimate with

Since our lodgings turned out to be a teepee

Nestled in the rolling flat lands of northern Alberta

We worked with the last family of a hippy commune

To keep their dream flickering

As we restored the back forty fence

Learnt the rhythms of this sullen prairie

Sacrificed a glade of trees for timbers for a barn

When you peel the bark off trees with drawknives

You can smell their death

Almost an offering in the crisp autumn light

At least we’d like to think so

Then came harvest and stuking the oats

An itinerant thresher arrived like a Rube Goldberg fancy in action

Hay wagons and itches filled dawn to dusk days

Next weekend the old Ukranian farmer from up the road

Oversaw the raising of the barn

He was barely literate

But knew what needed to be done

So did the dozens of others who we’d seen at the gas station

And the diner

Or not at all

But impossibly the walls rose

Chinked into place

 And if it wasn’t quite finished by Sunday evening

It was damn near quite enough as we all said

Breaking bread on long trestle tables in the yard

A few days later the vegetarian era ended abruptly

When Ralph, gentle Ralph the pig

A Charlotte’s Web kind of pig

Radiant pig

Met his doom graphically

Tony missed out on some really great meals

So he volunteered to crank the separator during dinner

Until the memory faded

One day a strange car drove up

Full of aboriginal youth

They wanted to check out the teepee

Having never been in one before

We said sure

Brought out whatever offerings we had

Booze and tokes

Which were warmly received

Reciprocated

As we shared the fire and laughter

Drank into a gentle inebriation

We learnt swear words with great delight

When one of our new friends tried to leave

Couldn’t find the door

We laughed

Then we all went outside to piss under the bright stars

Marveling at the moment

A few weeks later I was given a length of two by four

Dropped off at an intersection at some ungodly early hour

Told pay attention, they’ll be here in an hour

Make sure you turn them that way

Use the persuader

Turned out the orange Thing

Or maybe my crazed look

Was enough to turn that herd

 I didn’t need to smack some bovine upside the head

Thank Christ, as I remarked

To some farmer who passed me a flask a few minutes later

We learnt the art of waking up cold

Having to build a fire with one arm quickly thrust from down filled warmth

To last night’s drunken pile of kindling which is almost not enough

But desperation is a good teacher

Living in a teepee in northern Alberta

As fall met winter

We met our match

And the prairie winds blew

3.    McMurray

We knew we were in trouble

When we couldn’t even get a room at the Heartbreak Hotel

Which wasn’t on lonely street

But we felt lonely enough in the construction dusty hive

By the second day we had jobs

Laying pipe in the tarry clay

A one-armed foreman aimed a ruby-eyed laser down the run

Impressing us with advanced technology

We laboured rough and hard

Drank the nights dry at the Peter Pond hotel

Driving back to camp drunk

I gambled on which of the three bridges swirling in view

Was the real one, and won that bet

When the crew was laid off a couple of weeks later

Nobody panicked

Just got new jobs

In our case working for a masonry outfit

Building a warehouse in the cold

The site was tarp swaddled

Propane heaters roared

Inside it was shirtsleeve warm

Outside the snow came down and ground froze up

We discovered frostbite

Slopped pails of cement up and down scaffolding

Going from furnace to frozen like a menopausal matron

One day as wet snow blanketed everything

I had to hold long lengths of metal trusses for the roof

Perched on a flimsy skyhold

While welders arced the other ends into place

Electrical charges raced across and up my arms

Each jolt a nail driven deep

On weekends we’d drive back to the farm

Remembering the dream of that vestigial commune

In the cold light of a short day

Where tires freeze flat and if you can start the car

The wheels go clunk, clunk, clunk for the first mile or so

In order to start cars on an unwired farm

We learnt the art of placing coffee tins with kerosene soaked rags

Under oilpans and setting them alight

Which left time for a second cup of instant coffee

Which I’d drink while looking out the window

Hoping to not see more orange than I wanted to

As winter deepened the summery convertible became even more of a joke

I’ve known warmer refrigerators in my time

There were snowdrifts on the floor that didn’t melt

Until we hit the Coast

After high-tailing it back home for Christmas

With a few hundred bucks in our jeans

And unaudited revenues of memories made

Whose interest is still compounding

Even today

David Trudel   ©  2013

Spring

182676_10151292253112036_1169671596_n   Green fuses forced and driven

Flag the understory

Adorn long fingered branches like engagement rings

Promising a night to come when they’ll unfurl

Spread out deliciously

Throbbing with the coursing of sap through stem

To recline in the freshness of uncloaked nakedness

David Trudel   ©  2013

McMurray

We knew we were in trouble

When we couldn’t even get a room at the Heartbreak Hotel

Which wasn’t on lonely street

But we felt lonely enough in the construction dusty hive

By the second day we had jobs

Laying pipe in the sandy clay

A one-armed foreman aimed a ruby-eyed laser down the run

Impressing us with advanced technology

We laboured rough and hard

Drank the nights dry at the Peter Pond hotel

Driving back to camp drunk

I gambled on which of the three bridges swirling in view

Was the real one, and won that bet

When the crew was laid off a couple of weeks later

Nobody panicked

Just got new jobs

In our case working for a masonry outfit

Building a warehouse in the cold

The site was tarp swaddled

Propane heaters roared

Inside it was shirtsleeve warm

Outside the snow came down and ground froze up

We discovered frostbite

Slopped pails of cement up and down scaffolding

Going from furnace to frozen like a menopausal matron

One day as wet snow blanketed everything

I had to hold long lengths of metal trusses for the roof

Perched on a flimsy skyhold

While welders arced the other ends into place

Electrical charges raced across and up my arms

Each jolt a nail driven deep

On weekends we’d drive back to the farm

Remembering the dream of that vestigial commune

In the cold light of a short day

Where tires freeze flat and if you can start the car

The wheels go clunk, clunk, clunk for the first mile or so

In order to start cars on an unwired farm

We learnt the art of placing coffee tins with kerosene soaked rags

Under oilpans and setting them alight

Which left time for a second cup of instant coffee

Which I’d drink while looking out the window

Hoping to not see more orange than I wanted to

As winter deepened the summery convertible became even more of a joke

I’ve known warmer refrigerators in my time

There were snowdrifts on the floor that didn’t melt

Until we hit the Coast

After high-tailing it back home for Christmas

With a few hundred bucks in our jeans

And unaudited revenues of memories made

Whose interest is still compounding

Even today

David Trudel   ©  2013

Alberta

The first challenge was to fence a quarter section

160 acres

There was a tight budget so that meant recoiling downed wire

Of the fence we were replacing

Pulling staples and hammering flat the salvageable ones

Assessing posts for rot

Turned out that the convertible Thing was a handy platform

Sledgehammer blow by sweaty blow

For driving treasured new tamarack posts securely into the ground

Which we grew intimate with

Since our lodgings turned out to be a teepee

Nestled in the rolling flat lands of northern Alberta

We worked with the last family of a hippy commune

To keep their dream flickering

As we restored the back forty fence

Learnt the rhythms of this sullen prairie

Sacrificed a glade of trees for timbers for a barn

When you peel the bark off with drawknives

You can smell their death

Almost an offering

At least we’d like to think so

Then harvest and stuking the oats

An itinerant thresher like a Rube Goldberg fancy in action

Hay wagons and itches

Next weekend the old Ukranian farmer from up the road

Around a corner

Oversaw the raising of the barn

He was barely literate

But knew what needed to be done

So did the dozens of others who we’d seen at the gas station

And the diner

Or not at all

But impossibly the walls rose

Chinked into place

 And if it wasn’t quite finished

It was damn near quite enough as we all said

A few days later the vegetarian era ended abruptly

When Ralph, gentle Ralph the pig

A Charlotte’s Web kind of pig

Radiant pig

Met his doom graphically

Tony missed out on some really great meals

So he volunteered to crank the separator until the memory

Faded

One day a strange car drove up

Full of aboriginal youth

Back in the day it was simply Indians

Whatever

They wanted to check out the teepee

Having never been in one before

We said sure

Brought out whatever offerings we had

Booze and tokes

Which were warmly received

Reciprocated

As we shared the fire and laughter

Drank into a gentle inebriation

We learnt swear words with great delight

When one of our new friends tried to leave

Couldn’t find the door

We laughed

Then we all went outside to piss under the bright stars

Marveling at the moment

A few weeks later I was given a length of two by four

Dropped off at an intersection at some ungodly early hour

Told pay attention, they’ll be here in an hour

Make sure you turn them that way

Use the persuader

Turned out the orange Thing

Or maybe my crazed look

Was enough to turn that herd

 I didn’t need to smack some bovine upside the head

Thank Christ, as I remarked

To some farmer who passed me a flask a few minutes later

We learnt the art of waking up cold

Having to build a fire with one arm quickly thrust from down filled warmth

To last night’s drunken pile of kindling which is almost not enough

But desperation is a good teacher

Living in a teepee in northern Alberta

As fall met winter

We met our match

As the prairie winds blew

David Trudel   © 2013

Separation Anxiety

I pat my pocket and discover emptiness

Anxious panic takes off like worried pigeons

When I realize I left my phone at home

With a wry smile I laugh at myself for this modern disorder

Separation anxiety for a missing smartphone

The pigeons return

When I revel in the brief freedom of disconnection

David Trudel   ©  2013

North

Traumatized and demoralizedimg007

I fled into the north

Heading to Dawson City to visit Tony’s sister

We had a few hundred dollars and a bag of weed

Journeying in my orange VW Thing

As we drove further north

The car became a curiosity, a rare thing indeed

Pulling conversations from the taciturn

As we watched gasoline prices exceed our imaginations

One night, while there still was night

On the Stewart Cassiar highway

We came around a bend and were stopped by a wall of gravel

That seemed impossibly high and wide

So we began to prepare for a long wait

Got out the Stoned Wheat Thins

Some cheese and a summer sausage

Figuring it was time for sustenance

When the wall was Moses’d

It parted

Bright lights shone cosmically

A D12 dozer was our rod and our staff

Parting the chaos of gravel mounds

With the smooth dexterity of a pastry chef

We followed

Looking more than a little ridiculous to grimy goliaths

Who you just knew only drove trucks

American ones

And probably didn’t eat Stoned anything

We were ejected into the blackness of beyond

Heading straight up the map

Through mountains of gravel

Northward we travelled in unhindered light

To a log cabin on the banks of the Klondike

The driveway was twenty miles long

Shared with wolverines and moose

And if it took time to get there

It was a place to feel at home

Secure in the knowledge that door to door salesmen

Would never bother to knock

We walked the wooden sidewalks of Dawson City

Avoiding the tourist trappings of Diamond Tooth Gerties

We drank sudsy drafts at backstreet bars

With wild eyed seekers

Big city retreaters

One day we impossibly piled a dozen new friends into the car

Drove to the Midnight Dome

Where we shared the last few joints and a pint of rye

Surveying the small outpost in relentless wild

Sensing possibilities beyond the horizon

So we made some possibles happen

Drove the Dempster to Eagle Pass

Where a full moon rose over our rough campsite

Then made way for the northern lights

Dancing starbright with the grace of a Bolshoi ballerina

We whistled them closer until we were covered in magic

Looking out across the arctic circle to the top of the world

We danced across the tundra

Past the dwindling line of pecker poles

Hopping from hippy head to hippy head

Forded icy rivers that ran with the speed of the chased

Rubbed shoulders with grizzlies and the grizzled

Whose independence was declared through the intensity of the gaze

As the summer wore on forest fires raged

Until the plumes crept over the next ridge

And choppers buzzed our lonely cabin

So we walked a few hundred yards up the twenty mile driveway

Discovered a command centre

Staging ground for firefighters who could always use help

So we signed up and up we went

Commuting to the smoke where we strapped piss pumps to our backs

Grabbed shovels and watched as timbers candled

Hoping for the wind to shift in time for lunch

Since we had never eaten as well as in that rough camp

Or gotten quite so dirty

Blacker than a Welsh coalminer

Soot that found its way through clothes to every inch of untanned skin

To be scrubbed the next week at the metered shower in town

Since the woodstove and hauled Klondike water only barely sluiced

The top layer leaving us a dismal gray

But we made a few bucks and beat the fire back

Flew like warriors in Bell Rangered wonder

Over undulating mysteries

To see the sea of trees saved for another season

A season we wouldn’t experience

But left to the iconoclasts and the lonely

Those who could drift no further

Yet could wield an axe and feed a stove

So when the leaves turned and frost arrived

We turned tail and went south

But a piece of my soul remains buried in the Klondike

Part of the motherlode of the riches of my life

David Trudel  ©  2013

I’m Human

Anguish of regret

Hot flame of anger

Wistful envy

Depressive melancholy

Bitter resentment

I can’t avoid them

I’m human

So I let them wash over me

Even as I realize they’re unfounded feelings

I find myself right in the middle of them

I know they’re hollow

Insubstantial

Transitory learned responses to patterned inputs

If I wait a while I’ll laugh them off

For now, though

I remain pissed off

On edge

Out of sorts

I’m human

David Trudel   ©  2013

Working Out

It isn’t work

Rarely is it outside

Leisure in is a more accurate description

For my sessions on my home gym

As my strength grows

I get addicted to the endorphin rush

So maybe leisure in isn’t quite it either

Pleasuring falls closer to the mark

Just as misleading

Since if I started to talk about one hour pleasuring sessions

Well, you’d shake your head in wonder or disgust

So I’m happy if you’ll appreciate my flat abs flatly

That aren’t worked out or pleasured

But I won’t really care

I’ll just exercise

At my leisure

David Trudel   © 2013

Tall Time

Linear time runs on different scales

Seemingly different to ants and tortoises

Humans are too busy to listen to creaking firs and cedars

Moaning their long dirges over centuries

The rocks themselves

Compressed fire locked into form

Spellbound for millennia

Eventually even they’ll be broken

On the universal scale

Each single sound ever uttered on this earth

Is inconsequential

Collectively, all our sounds, all our prayers

Each heartfelt plea

Each scream in the dark

The droning bores of the banal and mundane

Squeals of delight

Laughter in starlight

Exhortations of nations

And all the music ever played

Collectively barely muster a microscopic chirp

Hardly audible to the heavens

Transitory

Passing so quickly that the meaning of it all is lost

Except for a proclamation of presence

No matter how ephemeral

We’re here

David Trudel   © 2013

Ocean Wind

Breezes fresh off the ocean

Cleanse my breath

Bringing with them a faint whiff of pineapple

Hints of cinnamon and spices

Only an echo of killing field turmoil

A guilty sniff of garbage gyre

If there is radioactive particulate matter still lingering from Fukushima

I don’t want to know

I’d prefer to think that evaporation and condensation

Across thousands of miles of ocean

Has restored innocence to the wind

But this wind doesn’t blush anymore

Having been stripped and torn asunder too many times to tell

I share each breath with all of humanity

All creatures

All living things

Breathing in

Breathing out

Recycling this invisible presence

Neither clean nor original but vital

So I fill my lungs with the belches and farts

Of a busy world

I breathe the last heavy sigh of nameless saints

Swallow the screams of the terrified

Smell fragrances of the forgotten rotting

Take in the essence of timeless past

Formless future

Exhaling into tomorrow

Invisibly connected to forever

David Trudel   ©  2013

Haiku

Cantering inland

Spirit horses crest the shore

Ocean ghosts sky ride

David Trudel   © 2013

Evidence

If I felt you move

It was an illusion

Because you stay rooted in your convictions

Regardless of evidence

You accepted a belief

That you cling to and proclaim

Regardless of evidence

You need to reinforce your belief

So you shout louder

So that the truth is heard

And if the truth is suspect

You figure loud volume will overcome that flaw

Regardless of evidence

Because there are so many others

Who fall inline

Regardless of evidence

Because the truth isn’t free

But it continues to be released

Regardless of evidence

David Trudel     ©  2013

My Words

My words are fragile as periwinkle stalks

Snapping apart when I grab them

My words are bubbles of gas that ascend from depths

To burst upon the revelation of surface plane

My words are leaves in the canopy I see overhead

Until they desiccate and float back down to earth

My words are proxies for the vote I’ve yet to make

Signed over in a blind trust to otherness

My words shuffle, stumble and fall

Homeless as the crazy-eyed binner that no one stares at directly

My words approach but never quite arrive

Never make it past the lobby to where they aren’t authorized

My words feed vending machines like a handful of change

Dispensing instant gratification if the price is right

My words are signposts to a destination

A mapless place positioned beyond terrestrial coordinates

My words are a journey and a joy

Carrying their burdens in a caravan of mystery

My words are just words like anyone’s

Trying to get the mind’s inside outside for once

My words are everything and nothing

Emblematic and ephemeral as graffiti in a back alley

David Trudel   ©  2013

Triplet

Candy my ears now

With sweet nothings I can’t hear

To forget the rest

Hold my hand in yours

Letting your touch sustain me

A light pull forward

Forgive my blackness

Absence of light a canvas

For coloured feelings

David Trudel   ©  2013

Valentine

If you will be my valentine

We can chase circuses in India

In the hopes of finding

A little elephant with very big ears

So that when he finally takes flight

You and I won’t panic or cower

But will give the little guy a standing O

If you will be my valentine

We can search out brassy steampunk apparel or make our own

Embellished with creative flair and panache

To wear cruising Europe’s inland waterways

Where we’ll dance on a stone terrace at moonlit midnight

To the echo of a string quartet across the lake

We could discover the magic we’ve been seeking

There will be no conquering, just mutual surrender

Not to one another but to love

If you will be my valentine

We can travel by passenger train to nowhere places

Where we’ll simply turn around

To have more time

Listening to plaintive whistles

Pullman coached swaying to rhythms

As old as the landscape rolling by

If you will be my valentine

We can discover each other

Like arctic explorers or interstellar missions

Or like finding a novel you’ve always meant to read

But never did before

If you will be my valentine

There will be magic

David Trudel    ©  2013

Trains

I was three years old

The end of the age of trains

Even though nobody knew

I wore an engineers cap

Striped overalls

Was the darling of the porters

Who knew the mysteries of transformation

Changing open windowed couch vistas

Into halled havens

Later

Along trackside curves

We belly watched as our coppers were flattened

Spat out from heaving rounders

The best were the ones you could still read

Barely, slightly curved

Then came the panorama car

Drifting at speed through mountain passes

Or through interminable prairies

Grain elevators

So many

Who knew?

Throughout it all

Whistle

Plaintive and unavoidable

Annunciation and warning

Get the hell out of dodge cause we ain’t slowing down

Kind of whistle

Imagining the cowcatcher

Which is long since gone

Fulfilling its function

Smells of train

Unique

Shuttered steam diesel

Unwashed flesh

Rich odiferous narrowness

While the images flash by

Of a country ignoring itself

David Trudel   ©  2013

Reading

I used to read incessantly

I’d feel anxious if I didn’t have a book on the go

And the next one on the shelf

I read James Joyce to work out a few kinks

Pynchon extended my reach

Russian novels frustrated and compelled

Proust flummoxed

Asimov and Heinlein soared

And I lived for an eternity in 100 years of solitude

Reading the usual suspects

Genre by genre

Historical fiction

Post modern lit

Remaindered bargains from Alice Munro’s ex

I was libroholic

Until I started blogging

Writing my own words

Hunting for fruits of inspiration

Thinking from here

Not there

David Trudel  ©  2013

Letter to the Editor

Your eyes flash starbright

Intent with interest

Open to something new

Or happy with familiar old

Observing the scene with a practiced literacy

Crowdreading

Pairs recombine into clusters

Then break up into singletons

Your eyes read past the headlines

Into the backstories

Carried by this mainstream flesh press

A broadsheet of humanity

Edited by fate

Published by reality

Freely available on any streetcorner

David Trudel   © 2013

Ten

Ten things I’m not

Bitter

Confused

In love

Waiting

Apprehensive

Sad

Anxious

Hung up

Obsessed

Yours

David Trudel   ©  2013

Pablo Neruda

Green pebble rounded by Andean ascent

Rolls the sky open

Convinced by the rightness of the left

Thorned champion of homeland torn asunder

Rolls the sky open

Diplomatic as a pouch

Thorned champion of homeland torn asunder

Fractious as a harsh critic with a crisp deadline

Diplomatic as a pouch

With a reputation as big as a flag

Fractious as a harsh critic with a crisp deadline

When counter-revolution comes CIAing with gunports blazing

With a reputation as big as a flag

No wonder that extreme malnutrition is a dubious demise

When counter-revolution comes CIAing with gunports blazing

At least he was spared an Icarus swift kick out the helicopter door

No wonder that extreme malnutrition is a dubious demise

Convinced by the rightness of the left

At least he was spared an Icarus swift kick out the helicopter door

Green pebble rounded by Andean ascent

David Trudel  ©  2013

Thoughts

These thoughts conspire to enslave me

Shackles jangling in the heated open square where we are mustered

I plead the fifth

Seek succor from the beneficence of power’s contrition

Which is withheld

So I stand freely

In fear and without fear

Compuctionless

Become neutral as Switzerland

And just as cuckoo

Marching with precision

To a dénouement of epic proportions

Waiting for the action/reaction

The moment when the chemicals collide

To create a new device

Synthesizing a new reality

Freely given

David Trudel    © 2013

Politics

Elusive illusions evade us

Uncatchable proxies of muddled truths and fractured facts

Each face a mask

Each word a misdirection

Lies piled upon lies

Questions answered with nonsense bluster

Political correctness redefined as skillful manipulation of the masses

Apparently this is called democracy

A paragon, worth fighting for

At least in mythic paradigm of popular belief

But if these are our representatives

Elected, chosen and selected

Then we must all be inveterate liars with bad manners

If at all

Fueled by anger and bitterness

Ready to cheat and maximize wealth

With no regard for anyone else

Since that’s the mirror held up to us

A sad reflection of tattered truth

In this tyranny of mean

David Trudel   © 2013

Reservoir Call

Mystery memories curl in upon themselves

Pulling tethered thoughts loose

Balloons that catch your eye up close

Than catch the wind to be lifted up

Away

There’s enough sky to wonder at clouds and worlds beyond

So it’s a springboard dive into reservoirs of inspiration

Where clarion calls trumpet and entreat

Where horizons dissolve into imagination

In a vertical moment

Where past, present and future make a strategic alliance

Truth prevails as inexorably as an icesheet scouring mountains

Revealing mystery’s dark shadows and unforeseen twists

David Trudel   ©  2013

Where I Sit

Boxed chaos surrounds me

Each one its own Pandora

So I weigh them down in flurries of poetry

Heady words scribed in leadfoot apprehension

In this high tech cloister

Where brilliant photons blaze universal truths

Electrically humming a nameless song

Warding off chaos for one more moment

David Trudel    © 2013

Feral

In my feral youth

I prowled unleashed

Climbed trees the size of skyscrapers

If a branch snapped I’d grab another on the way down

Not caring about the gravity of the situation

Rules only applied until we were out of sight

Property was a vague concept trumped by finder’s keepers

We weren’t afraid to use our fists in my feral youth

Trading body blows and hammerlocks fearlessly

We wore black eyes and fat lips instead of bling

In the summer I’d walk barefoot

Tom Sawyering along the riverbank

Sliding into swimming holes like bright eyed otters

Letting water run off my back in the sun

While the clean breeze of those innocent days

Was all the towel required

In my feral youth play was never supervised

Since that wouldn’t be play

Instead we’d stretch envelopes and deconstruct boxes

Aim our bows at clouds instead of targets

Playing chicken when the arrows plunged back from dot to danger

Prohibitions became challenges

Spot quizzes

So we’d incinerate aerosol cans for explosive delight

Steal cigarettes to smoke in treehouses

Pepper our conversations with salty wit

We bent, folded and mutilated

Rooted for underdogs

Cheered the counterculture

Waited expectantly for the revolution

Playing three chord rock songs on tinny transistor radios

Knowing that our moment was here

Oysterworld ripe

David Trudel   ©  2013

Toes

She paints each toenail glossy red

Creating ruby jewels in extreme

Even now, midwinter

When there’ll be no open-toed sandals to display these charms

She tells herself it’s for me

But deep inside she knows it’s for him

The one she waits for

The man who will look into her eyes

And see through heavy winter shoes to say I love your toes

Who will cradle each foot in his hands

Raise the high arched instep to his lips to kiss

While fingering each bright carapace with tender care

Playing digital delights on a journey that begins with a single step

And continues follicle by follicle to map her world

Exploring beyond boundaries into eternity

Then returning to treasure troved toes

To nibble and caress

And she anticipates the frisson of his tongue gliding over polished toes

The pull of his mouth

Warm enough to melt lonely lacquered layers

Curling her toes dangerously

Until the polish runs like lava

An eruption, a release

Foundational intimacy

Toe to toe

David Trudel   © 2013

Revelations

There are those fleeting thoughts that come to you

Brilliant and timeless

Tapped in to the divine spark of creation

They flare like fireworks exploding

And you can’t turn away

So they fade

You know you had them

For an instant

Eternal and timeless revelations of truth

Ephemeral as the bubbles in a flute of champagne

And just as heady

When you try to recall

Exactitudes of complex mysteries

Collapse ensues

Choose your metaphor at this point

Of a house collapsing

Could be cards or sand

You know there’s going to be a lot of dust

Any attempt to apply pressure causes an explosion

All that’s left is the sum of the parts

But not the equation

So there is no proof

You know you had them for an instant

Revelations and truth

David Trudel   ©  2013

Finding Hope

Despair captures me

Throws me into detention

A dark place where what little hope remains

Drains from me, drop by drop

I see visions of the apocalypse

Hear wailing cries of tortured lost souls

I choke on the bitter smoke of burnt treasures

I lose hope completely

As angry swarms of ignorant haters stomp innocents with misplaced beliefs

Choosing rigid false assumptions and crazed suppositions as rules

This is our world

Where we give up on hope

To revel in hate

Where injustice and corruption rule with iron fist finality

But a moonbeam finds a fissure to creep into my cell

A silvery signal that reminds me that hope is never lost

Just misplaced

So I try the door

It’s unlocked

I open it and regain my freedom

Freedom to choose hope and lose despair

Freedom to believe that love is always around the corner

I dress myself in optimism and wear a smile as my fashion accessory

Nothing detains me from finding hope

David Trudel  ©  2013

Desert Blossoms

Your kisses fall

Like rain in the desert

I flower

Each blossom a testament

To love

David Trudel     © 2013

Eagle

It came into view through the last wisps of fog

Then disappeared and must have wheeled

Because now it’s drifting obliquely and giving us the eye

Before slipping away

Winged blessing

Over this angular space where we share the air

Called by drums and elders

Circling, I see unity

Songs of power and healing radiate warmth

A small boy gives me a red felt feather that I pin to my jacket

Everyone is smiling

When the dancing begins the eagle returns

In spirit

The breath of the chanters flies up

Out of the cloistered square into the timeless sky

Reclaiming the echoes that reverberate to longhouses lost

Circling, I see pride

Beautiful regalia worn with serious grace

Shared resolve winding through us all

As the drums pull dancers into song hearts

Spirit moves

Smiles fly across the crowd

On eagle feathers

David Trudel    ©  2013

Indelible

There is no reliable marker to calculate the half-life of your affection

Which dissipates like a soft breath in a hurricane

There is no way to measure the forever of never

Or to calibrate calipers that demonstrate the depth of nothing

There is no form for the formless

There is no more normal in this bedlam

Where words wound deeper than paper cuts

And bleed your love like ancient surgeons opening veins

Until it stops

Until it stops

Leaving you chalkwhite

A blank page calling for a scribble

By a reliable marker

Indelible

David Trudel   ©  2013

Friday Afternoon

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

The cusp between work and recline

When responsibility hands it off to freedom

And leaves rustle from collective exhalation of sighs

Of relief

Followed by a deep intake of anticipation

A tendril of woodsmoke on the wind

Stirs campfire memories and Fridays that meant camping out

Putting up the tent in the dark

Half cut, saying don’t worry we’ll fix it in the morning

Or Fridays that smelled like the cornerstore

Stepping through the door to sugared treasures

Your allowance in your pocket and it smells like a promise

Because Friday afternoons smell promising

And if the rewards are sometimes stingy

There’s still the next Friday afternoon

To win that lottery

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

When you’ve been paid and you’re finally ahead

Even the grocery store is more fragrant on a Friday

And Friday afternoon smells like getting ready for a date

Hunters and prey precociously preening

Waiting for the race to begin

On a Friday afternoon that smells like hope

Smiling at the audacity of limitless expectations of promise

So breathe deeply on Friday afternoons

Inhale the scent

Let it fill you with happiness

Nothing smells like a Friday afternoon

David Trudel  © 2013

Stereo Types

Unexpected incongruities keep me smiling

I was at an anarchist bookstore fundraiser

Expecting the music to match the stereotypes

Black leathers and body piercings

Plaid flannel workshirts that never quite cover all of the tattoos

Or the hair, spilling out or down or over

Anarchists, my kind of crowd

Enthusiastic counter-culture rebels

Whose fashion sense lies somewhere between goth and steampunk

So when the show opened with bluegrass banjo

It felt discordant

But the crowd enthused and stomped along

And when the next chanteuse launched into Dixieland

And rolled up river to sing the blues like Lady Day

I had to smile as the loud girls behind me roared their applause

For gentle ballads of gracious peace

And I realized my assumptions were just that

Stereotypes are always incomplete

My expectation of the night’s music had been punked

Smiling, I roared my applause

David Trudel  ©  2013

Unsaid

It’s words you don’t say

Which speak the loudest

Silences that fill in blanks

Between a greeting and goodbye

It’s the journey never taken

Of hollow hopes and formless dreams

As I scrapbook empty pages

That holds memories never made

And the choir is all gathered

But there is no song to sing

Just a chorus of heavy sighs

David Trudel   ©  2013

Early Blossoms

You dreamt me awake

 I didn’t bother to dream

But I was bothered

Not dreaming

Looking for the first blossom

Worried about frost

A change in the weather

Dreaming

Awash in blossoms

Not bothered at all

No longer dreaming

Watching blossoms

Delicately

Later, I’ll dream

Of you

David Trudel   © 2013

Furrows

It’s a short view today into rolling gray

Distant peaks lost as a lonely minute

Cloudswathed

As I turn I spot the first invertebrates of the year

Harmless gnats hovering in my wake

A portent of an early spring

Perhaps

Or one of nature’s sacrificial forays

Playing the odds at a myriad of tables

Dogs have carved furrows into the moss

Tearing at my heartstrings in the process

I think how rare is this remnant meadow

A singular vestige of defining landscape

Marooned on this oaken hilltop

Surrounded by the ignorant

Who have only known cultivated playgrounds

And manicured lawns

Later, the fog will lift

Clarity will return

If only outside

David Trudel   © 2013

Aquarium

I had an aquarium full of tropical fish

Window on a slice of water

Filled with darting swimmers

After a long day’s work I’d watch them feed

My thoughts settled along with the flakes

Those that made it to the bottom

Some of my thoughts didn’t settle either

They got swallowed by circumstance or accident

But as the fish swam and fed

I let the memories of the day reverberate

Echoes drifting like clown loaches

Or dramatic as angel fish gliding

Aquatic plants swayed in the bubble current

As my bubble thoughts slowly popped

The day dissolved into familiarity

A slice of life observed

David Trudel    ©  2013

Diet

As my life unraveled I reached a point where all I could say was

Fuck it, I’ll have another cookie

I self-medicated with comfort food

In the lonely evenings I fed my longing with empty calories

But even though they were empty they weren’t benign

My gut started just below my chin and curved south

Like I’d swallowed a roll-top desk

I would get winded lacing up my shoes

The ring I no longer wore wouldn’t have fit anyway

I travelled the trail from stout to fat

Saw a signpost pointing to morbidly obese straight ahead

So I decided to pull a u-turn

At first it was like those supertankers

Taking half an ocean to turn around

As I cut out sugars and fats and switched licorice and sweets

For celery sticks and carrots

Each inch cinched tighter was a struggle not a cinch

I stopped channel surfing past Doctor Oz and paused to watch

Started subtracting familiar foods

Until my burgers were only lettuce and tomato

I slipped into rawness with the stealth of a paleo hunter

Now I buy new jeans every month or so

Smaller and smaller

The roll-top desk is gone

I barely break a sweat on the home gym

Which is comforting in the extreme of this extreme

I have become immune to commercials

I drive past fast food joints barely registering their existence

Hunger pangs are familiar friends I hang with

No longer feared but embraced

I smile into mirrors at the thinner inner me

Who was always there before but badly camouflaged

Now I knit new cloth

From the unraveled tapestry pooled on the floor

And barely remember the taste of cookies

David Trudel    ©  2013

Dirge

I would rather write lyric verses in praise of beauty

Describing the wonders of forest glades or sunsets

But I can’t

I’d prefer to get lost in love and play with cosmic metaphors

But I’m not

I’d like to write erotica about inclined curves and heated passions

Or find the meaning of life in a raindrop

But I can’t

I’m blocked by blockhead politics and hate

Intrusions of evil that turn gardens into killing fields

That never go fallow with rest and disuse

And the only renewable that gets attention is fear

So I won’t praise beauty today

Or dally in love’s embrace

Instead I mourn the clearcut memories of paradise

Celebrate the blackened lungs of wageslave toilers

Bemoan the fate of children locked in foul factories

Feeding a frenzy for the cheapest disposables

Wail my ululations for the funerals of slaughtered innocents

So while I’d rather write lyric verses

Today I can’t

Today I weep

And curse the evil that has blackened the once clear sky

Perverted by profit and plunder and imagined power

I mourn the battered face and broken bones of Mother Nature

Beaten down by man’s dominion

So today the only song I sing is a dirge

At this ubiquitous funeral

That never seems to end

David Trudel    © 2013

Indig Nation

My indignation grows with each revelation

Unparked parks whose parts are partway out the door

Riches of the land given away

Not for posterity but for an economic bump

Or quiet transfers to numbered accounts

Hidden deep within layered deposits of plundered gold

In this in dig nation

Where shovel ready corporations

Dig new troughs

Through watersheds and wilderness

Tracking mud and tarsands through the vestibule of nature’s cathedral

All for bottom line smiles for the few who reap corrupt rewards

While most of us don’t know what’s going on or going down

Used as we are to mediocre reportage that’s little more than spin

So we revolve to the beat of the boardroom

We get spun to whims of cold-eyed ledger predators

And watch as economists and financiers repossess what wasn’t mortgaged

But they’ll take it anyway with the blessing of rightwing ideologues

Who steal public resources for short-term greed

Carving up the country like a holiday turkey

And call for tax cuts or as they say, gravy

While my indignation changes into heartburn

From indigestible giveaways to the bloated

While too many go hungry and thirsty

Or rot in the jails of circumstance

David Trudel  © 2013

Victoria Idle No More

I wear my medicine bundle on this trek

A universe contained around my neck

A flake of the rock that rolled Sisyphus

Midnight warmth of a lover’s kiss

Seven dreams undreamt

A perfect snowflake

It gives me strength

I join the ragtag muster of this armless army

Whose weapons are but peace and righteous dignity

My passion is not as bitter as the cold drizzle

Yet there is enough bitter passion to go around

My settler feet fumble through the rounddance

Her hands fly up like birds to throbbing drumbeats

Songs that pull power up and out of the earth

Through the chests of the chanting elders in button blankets

And spongeyoung apprentices taking up ancient beats

From places whose names flow like poetry

Esquimalt, Gitksan, Ahousaht, Haisla, Songhees, Nisga’a, Qualicum

Songs that reverberate off the closed doors of government

Into the hearts of us all

Feeling the power of these words that connect to the memory of this place

Since displaced but never erased

Original needs no title to be authentic

Now is the time to support authenticity

Of people

Of place

So we come together in this parade of weaponless warriors

Fed by desperation

Sparked by indignation

To simply say that we’ll be idle no more

Because idleness is complicit in oppression

So raise a feather and be

Idle No More

David Trudel   ©  2013

Moon

Through a tunnel of gnarled branches garlanded with moss

She reveals herself

I am startled by the beauty of this tunnel vision

Fulsome goddess of the night

Waxing towards the full wolf moon

When the howls of the hungry grow sharp and ready to bite

Into the deepening dusk

She wears the washed out blue of the wintry sky like a holy mantle

As the dusky blue fades into graying shades

Each shadow on the distant surface grows crisp

Up, up she rises

Ascending her arc to balance the pull of those pinprick stars

And in that balance exert her own pull

On tides and blood and mood

Counting each repetition with predictable precision

Never late

Her face is clear and never needs makeup

So she doesn’t linger but glides with stately grace

Across the panoply of space

Reflecting the benediction of the sun

More than mirror she is balance

And unbalance

Beacon for lovers and the lost

Timemarking

Celestial calendar that needs no illustrations or mortal numbers

Dependable as tomorrow

Full of promises

Night’s goddess

David Trudel   ©  2013

Revelation

There is no revelation for me today

No cosmic insight

No intercession by celestial angels

Just another breath to take

One more step along the way

And if I pause to ponder

Maybe its just prevarication

Some kind of hesitation

Or simply procrastination

Which is a specialty of mine

I readily admit to

But I’m more of a generalist

Than a high paid specialist

So maybe this lack of inspiration

Just means I need a second opinion

Because my diagnosis is ambiguous

And clouded by imprecision

Since revelations continue to unwind

Just not here, in my lonely little mind

David Trudel  ©  2013

Unravel

Which thread is the one to worry loose

Then to pull until it all unravels

This fabric called life but meaning the familiar way

What we accept as ordinary

Even as we rationalize insanity

And trade hollow promises for forlorn hope

Surrendering time and trouble for bread and fishes

Giving up our own volition for the cold comfort of diversion

Misdirections and distractions meant to cloud and obfuscate

While we allow the pristine walls around our hearts to be tagged

With epithets of rancid hate scrawled past midnight by the delirious crowd

Whipped into a frenzy by the rhetoric of false prophets

Spewing fire and brimstone fears

Barking with bared teeth to corral us all

Or nip at our exposed flanks and heels to send us into the feedlot chute

Where we’ll be nailed and if you aren’t cross

Then you don’t understand the sacrifice

That we are all making by attrition and submission

To the nightmare dream of unholy fences

That perverts the promise of paradise

Into ordinary insanity that we call reality

So find a loose thread on the straitjacket to pull

Give it a yank and lets watch everything unspool

David Trudel  ©  2013

Sacred Mysteries

The sacred mysteries of my life are not found in churches

Or in the holy books of churches

Not even ivory ivied towers of reasoned thought suffice

To hold my mysteries

My mysteries are not concrete objects to be pinned down like rare butterflies

Instead they are ineluctable treasures

Skies painted with sunset hues

A lover’s gaze

The synchronicity of coincidence

Soaring chords of scintillating majesty

Warm touches

Smiles in the face of adversity

Joy

Trust

Kindness

Love

These are the mysteries I hold sacred

And if I don’t understand them completely or at all

It doesn’t matter

They are complete without my inadequate analysis

Tarnishing the brassy sheen of their beauty

So I accept them with wonder and delight

David Trudel   ©  2013

Sirens

Sirens scream their warnings today

Victims on route to hospital

First responders making time

Emerging tragedies and tales yet untold

But there are no ambulances for broken hearts

No police reports for stolen affection

No tow trucks here

To haul your sorry ass out of the ditch you were dumped into

But there’s always self-expression

Another poem to bind the gaping wound

Where your heart was ripped out of your chest

Or to act as a bandage for the minor lacerations of daily life

Poet, heal thyself

David Trudel  ©  2013

92

92

92

92 in 7

You’re 3rd up in the zone 92

When I drove cab it was radio dispatched

We lived as much in our imaginations as we could

Given the vivid reality of big city streets

Cabs were large and powerful

Built to pack passengers in on sagging bench seats

I’d cruise through traffic in downtown streets

Like a shark knifing through the waters of a coral reef

92 away south

92

Away south Vickie

Click click click

Gotcha 92

When I drove cab it became a confessional

People would open up and spill their guts

Tell me things they’d done that would leave me shocked

Until the crazies piled up so much I became unshockable

So when a dominatrix had her leashed and leathered slave

Cower on the floor

On all fours

All the way to the ‘burbs

I barely batted an eye

But couldn’t help arching an eyebrow

When she made him pee like a dog on a shrub outside their door

As I was recording the fare on the tripsheet

Every day, every night was an adventure

When I drove cab

David Trudel  © 2013

Florence

Relentlessly, her voice powers up and down arpeggios and scales

Like a Lambo on the autobahn or a Tesla on full charge

Providing some inner warmth

Against a thin winter’s day insipid chill

Bolstered by plucked accompaniment

Warm as a wainscoted room filled with all of Jane Austin’s heroines

Harps are evocative that way

Contrapuntal to fluid crescendos

A spring tonic of her golden voice powers synapses to fire

Making it easy to climb on for a velvet ride

A smile lights up my face

But my ears are burning

In a conflagration of auditory delight

David Trudel  © 2013

Dance

I dance in the dark

Lifting unseen feet from solid ground

To conspire with spirits with souls unbound

I dance alone

Or in a crowd

It hardly matters anyway

My music sings and calls to me

When I stumble and step on toes

I wander off to catch my breath

Regain composure and find the beat

Soon I’m back up on my feet

With a rhythm pulsing in my veins

That sings to me and calls your name

I swim the light fantastic floor

Carrying on like nevermore

So I dance the night into the day

Like Orpheus summoning the break of dawn

I dance the darkness into light

And then dance lightly towards the night

David Trudel   ©  2013

Curves

Ideals are always hard to live up to

Our mainstream ideal of womanhood is a false construct

Dreamt up by gay fashion designers in Paris, London and Rome

Who like the skinny hips of adolescent boys better than voluptuous curves

So they starve the girls into scraped and angled versions of an unreachable vision

And photoshop the images into Barbie doll perfection

Leaving countless women in despair

Because they have hips that are real

Shapes that are round and soft

Curves that flow

Breasts that function and nurture and don’t just titillate

So let’s celebrate the curves of real women

Who aren’t molded in plastic

And whose reality needs no airbrushing

Because real women are eternal

And ideal

 David Trudel  © 2013

Silence

No response

I wonder what it means

Which is a dangerous thing to do

Since there is an infinity of wrong answers to choose from

And I usually read too much into a silence

Or too little

Imagining the worst or missing the negative cues

Silence

Sometimes its frosty, cold as a shoulder turned away at midnight

Or just an absence of attention

A quiet acceptance of a moment of contemplation

But usually it’s just another lesson in patience

A question waiting to find an answer in a vacuum

And what I don’t hear

Is lost in translation

David Trudel  ©  2013

Normal

Somewhere between the depths of despondency

And the soaring heights of elation

You might find tranquility

If you are lucky

But normal is a moving target

Never centered between two convenient brackets

Normal can be marginalized

Into an extreme position

Often is

Sometimes normal needs a shakeup

Or even deletion

Better to experience momentary distress

Moving past familiar habits

Into a new beginning

Where nothing is normal

Except tranquility

David Trudel   ©  2013

Sports

Team sports

Televised and professionalized

Block voting

Mobs

Patriotism to the extreme

Allegiance, the scariest word ever

Waves

In Rome the factions were divided by color

For chariots

Or gladiators

And tangled in webs of corruption

Palatine Hill politics being as venal and sexualized then

As today

But what it comes down to

Is a great distraction

Emotional attachments to essentially nothing more than displays of uncommon skill

Microsecond reactions

Which help us forget the reign of terror

Absolutely

Lurking outside

At the gates

Which have started to shudder

David Trudel  ©  2013

Reading

The Tarot card reader looks disappointed

My brief show of interest is only that

Brief, and just a show

Since I have no intention of being read

I turn to go

She looks lonely and I briefly reconsider

But I don’t want to be influenced by the limitations of that deck

I want all my possible futures left unchecked

So I go

Moments later I find the room where the workshops take place

This one is a Group Auric Reading and Healing

As I find a chair the clairvoyant smiles at me

I meet her with a smile in return

She tells me I have a special energy

Thanks, don’t we all?

I say, trying to be polite

And with a conspiratorial glance we admit

We know most people never uncover theirs

And that’s fine, so we smile again and I settle into my seat

But this group has enough power

To light up the multi-dimensional space around us

In layers that are peeled back

With insightful observations that are pointedly personal

And generally general

Specific and vague and mysterious and true

So when its time to go

Its with gratitude and affirmation

Cosmically aware of infinity

And all its limitations

And mine too

David Trudel   ©  2013

Words

We had words

Big words

Words with sharp consonants

And barbed hooks that tear the soft flesh out of your throat

Words that fly out of your mouth and circle overhead like seagulls

Who feast on binscraps and bombard sidewalkers with unwelcome splats

Words

We had words

Eye popping vein throbbing temperature rising words

Words that ricochet against the walls of your closed mind

Like the deathlead heat of a thousand rounds

We had words

Words that are furyflung and meant to wound

Words that don’t listen for responses

Carpet bombs that blow any semblance of conversation into smithereens

Words that thrust and parry

Pointed words that slip deep into unarmoured flesh aiming for the heart

We had words all right

But it’s not all

And it certainly isn’t right

Those words were poisoned

Toxic words

Words that initiate chronic conditions

Flesh eating words

Whose wounds grow larger instead of smaller

Never scabbing over with the promise of a new thin skin

But become suppurating angry ulcers

And the only treatment is amputation or exile

So just saying that we had words

Is a little like saying a gang banged rape victim had sex

Those words had us when we had them

Because sometimes words do become flesh

Bleeding, infected, painful and mortified

And if I could take them back I would

And maybe it would have been better to cover my ears

Walk away in retreat

But we had words

David Trudel  ©  2013

Dolly

Heaven and hell co-exist

Here

Wherever that might be

True enough for me over the years

In both regards

But in a swirl of blackening balance

My pristine esthetic ambience

Has been visited by the dark side

Evil stalks even these charmed streets

Where a few blocks away

A miniature farm with miniature horses

That by daylight delights the drivers by

Was sadly vandalized by night

Terrorized

Leaving the broken body of a beautiful Falabella

Caramel and white pinto named China Doll

Dolly, as she was called

Only 75 centimeters tall at the shoulders

Fours years old

Broken into, literally

Left broken to die in the dark

No cause for panic, say the police

Who continue to investigate

But if not panic, how about grief, horror, disgust

Dismay

At this too close reminder

That as much as this earth can be a paradise

It has every layer of hell and then some

Around the next corner

David Trudel   ©  2013

Circus

She’ll wear sequined tights and a spandex body suit

Flying overhead to perch on next to nothing

And if there is a nugget of fear that sticks in her throat

The crowd will never see past the smile

That defies gravity

Or maybe she’ll canter ringwise

Standing bentkneed on thundering rumps

Whose flashing hooves punctuate the roar of the crowd

And promise danger in the offing

When she runs away to join the circus

All bets are off

But the grand parade might just live up to its promise

David Trudel     ©  2013

Slow and Easy

Slow is not always easy

Being a measured suppression of an instinctual rush

Slow requires attention

An analysis of action

Breaking down steps that turn to stumbles with hesitation

Worrying a natural sequence of fluidity into uncoordinated jerks

So if you want me slow

Forgive me for being a jerk

Who finds it hard to flow with the slow but goes down easy

And if I stumble down the steps of indecision

Lend me a hand to help me up, slowly

That’ll be attention enough

So hold me slowly and I’ll forget to rush

Until slow becomes vertical

And time ceases to have dominion

Sliced like specimens to be viewed under a microscope

Instead turning into crystal clear waters of creativity

Flowing wherever it needs to go

With unmeasured speed

So let’s take the easy way out

Not worrying about limits or conventions or expectations

But trusting instincts that flow naturally not slowly

Easing into the future

Easily

David Trudel  ©  2013

Uncommon Currency

My treasures aren’t vaulted

Or counted as numbers on a spreadsheet

My bills of exchange have simple denominations

Smile

Hug

Kiss

Love

My riches come in crystal moments of cosmic clarity

As varied as the combinations of clouds that dance overhead

Countless as the petals in a meadow full of wildflowers

Unique as a sunset

I don’t need advisors or bankers or traders to manage my riches

There are no substitutes or imaginary representations

To clutter the treasury of my heart

No hedge funds to make hostile takeovers of friendships

But I do pay interest for interest’s sake

And I’ve found that the more I share and give away this wealth

The more I get returned

Accumulating credit that buys nothing but happiness

Exempt from taxes and oblivious to thieves

David Trudel   ©  2013

Oasis

It’s not easy to believe in an oasis over the next dune

Miraged as I’ve been

Exposed to elemental forces

Burned

Relentlessly optimistic

I picture an aquifer beneath these parched sands

Cool water slumbering in the dark

Welling up and over the desert

And if it’s not this dune

It’ll be the next

David Trudel   ©  2013

Mirrors

Literalists find metaphors uncomfortable

Challenging mismatched images

Unable to see nuanced shimmers of halfway truths

Sadly frustrated by surreal representations of imagination

Hyperrealism is what they crave

Black and white

Honest transparency

Simplicity

Mirrored reflections of reality

But my reality is skewed and oblique

My mirrors were stolen from a midway’s funhouse

Making the fat thin and the thin fat

What you see is not what you get

And it turns out that life is so complex

Complicated

Mysterious

Weird, even

So in order to sneak up on a truth or a perception

A little gentle deception is a benediction

Bending life’s reflections around dark corners

Twisting truth into a Möbius strip

A single edge and a lonely surface

Masquerading as infinity

David Trudel  © 2013

Cold Truth

Cold winter stars

Overhead

Each sparkle a stab of frost

Into any crevice of your inadequate clothing

Incipient hypothermia but a slight discomfort

Inconsequential

Faced with such clarity

So many points of light

Gossamer webs and shreds of nebulae

Yet all so very antique

Ancient light, a message from beginnings

You try to absorb as much as you can

Feel the star particles

Anticipate

Imagine what the view must be of the rest of the sky

From the other side of the planet

Cold bites your fingertips

Brings focus

Micromacro zooming through metaphysical choices

Alternative realities

Nested universes

Infinity

Revelation shimmers in the night

The cold truth

David Trudel   ©  2013

Curves

Curves lead into new directions    IMG_1660

Bending the road

Cambered so the rain runs off

But you don’t

Accelerating into the corner

At speed

Each new view

Brings a new intention

And a reminder of limitations

Checked freedoms

Constrained choice

Infinity reduced to the obvious

Black and white as lane markings on asphalt

David Trudel   ©  2013

Image by the author

Crows

Murderous crows crowd the air

But in my diligent restraint

I watch the street and not the sky

Even though that’s where my interests lie

When I chance to look again

Murder has been reduced to an assault of crows

Winging it away on the wind

Until not even an insult remains

David Trudel    ©  2013

War

There’s a war going on

All over the country

There’s a war going on

But it ain’t been declared

And if you want to see who’s fighting

You got to follow the money

See who’s paying the freight and who’s running scared

There’s a war going on

Even though you don’t hear it

But check out the food banks and the cold city streets

For collateral damage and the bandaged feet

Look in the doorways of the closed up shops

For the huddled bundled bodies of the forgotten lost

There’s a war going on

Where we fight with words

In courthouse chambers and legislatures

We write in the papers and the magazines

Right against left, no in-between

This war of words rages

Stretched out on all fronts

There’s a war going on

We’ve dug these deep trenches

And laid landmines across no man’s land

And there’s no mediation

No sign of peace talks

Just smokescreens and camouflage

And the bombs that get dropped

There’s a war going on

And its mean and its nasty

It’s all about ownership and resource extraction

Distribution of riches and wealth untold

The few get the most

The most get the shaft

Devil take the hindmost

So better watch your back

David Trudel   © 2013

Alchemy

The call punches the air

Announces its presence with authority

Challenging, forcefully saying I’m here

I have power

But its also a calling out

Imploring

She raises the conch to her lips again

Transforms gentle breath

Into clarion cries

Letting the notes linger and fade

Waiting for a distant response

Or simply waving to sister islands

To the north and south

Thrust like a spear across timeless miles

To echo in those places

That have heard its song

David Trudel  © 2013

Repaired

We make these perfect objects

Precious works of art

That we treasure so much

We lock them away in the dark

Punishing their very beauty

With our fear

Seeking stasis and permanence

Forgetting to enjoy each moment

Mistrusting the inspiration that led to their creation

We build our perfect lives

Living up to expectations and borrowed dreams

Until the facade crumbles

Under the tension

Shattering illusions and exposing faultlines

So unseen

The broken chards of my life

Are soldered together with golden moments

When hands reach out to pull me up

When smiles come my way

Held together with hugs and kisses

Melted in the passion of love’s endurance

I am repaired

Not restored to a Platonic ideal of perfection

But celebrating my flaws by illuminating the cracks

Letting the light shine through them

To sparkle in your eyes

Through the beauty of reflection

David Trudel     © 2013

Page

This page was empty

Blank

Now I spread letters like confetti

Combined into words and phrases

Hard to clean up

But a decorative flourish

To mark a passage or

A radiant thought

A humble idea

An insight

But sometimes confetti isn’t tossed into the air

But placed quietly into a pocket

To be found later, inconveniently

Startling the hand

But raising a smile

Briefly

David Trudel  © 2013

Stream

If you create a riverbed   IMG_1615

Called trail

Wait long enough

Water arrives

Trail transforms into stream

IMG_1614  Bubbling

  Bubbling

  Bubbling

Air saturated with moisture  IMG_1618

Thick Pacific raindrops

Hammer winter’s tattered canopy

IMG_1622   Drops build on each leaf

  Waiting

   Waiting

   For the tipping point

Swept along   IMG_1625

This woodland watercourse

Flows freely

But not deeply

IMG_1628    I puddleponder

   Think of the relationship

   Between trees

            Earth

                     Water

                                  Air

Sunk in thought      IMG_1627

Once again

Words well up

With each reflection

David Trudel  © 2013

Images by the author

Coffee

I used to love the aroma of it

Waiting in line to buy exotic beans

Pungent shocks as orders were ground

Transformed into a floating miasma of awake

That was Galloway’s on Robsonstrasse

In the seventies

After buying a book at Duthies

A small price for a talk with Binkie and the intelligentsia

I’d head up the block for Joe to go

And while Galloway’s was a cornucopia of epicurean delight

Coffee was the smell that drew you in and

Followed you out

I used to wake up and have my breakfast

Coffee and a cigarette, ahh

Looking out at the frosted peaks of the north shore

Two rituals intertwined

Acquisition

Preparation

Inhalation

Consumption

And I was satiated for a moment

Then it became mundane

Drip

Drip

Drip

Until it was made over

Went upscale

Something to measure and judge

Baristas with followings

Ethical beans

Fairtraded

Coffee consciousness with layers

I thought I was a lifer

I used to love the aroma of it

But

One day

I woke up

Forgot the coffee

Only smelled the roses

And another day

Realized I didn’t miss it

Hadn’t had a cup for weeks

Love ends

Even for coffee

Grounds for divorce

David Trudel   © 2013

Huna Chant

Resonating with reverence

Primal sounds fill this blank space

Candlelit

Calm

Evokes an invocation

Of the moment of creation

We build vowel moments

Harmonizing

Together and apart

Present in this timespace

Sensing reverberations of the timeless

Connecting vertically

And in the wave

Each repetition building a pattern

Like ephemeral lines in the sand

Ha

Ha

Ha

Love encompasses

Ha

Breathing is a portal to goodness

Ha

Goodness pervades

Ha

Through the years, unthreatened

Ha

Basking in everpresent love, forever

            Ha

David Trudel  © 2013

Unlearn

Some lessons need unlearning

Like today’s headlines

“Man arrested for killing grandmother in argument over which TV show to watch”

I’d start there with the unlearning

Then there are the tyrants who blandly prevaricate

Red herring stories planted to mislead and inflame

Resource extraction replacing the language of environmental disaster

But not the consequences

I need to unlearn the lesson of false love

Mendacious half-truths costumed in a rented gown

Love’s hope giving it the big lie

Let’s unlearn fear

And give up our personal arsenals

Put aside the rage built of hatefilled passion

Unlearn the buttons that push blanket responses

Unlearn the herd

And learn to think independently for a change

Based on evidence, not conjecture and assumption

Unlearn the acceptance of the status quo

Unlearn unchecked consumption

Unlearn the lessons of the lost and damned

Unlearn the sad truths of despair

Unlearn oppression

Unlearn exploitation

Some lessons need unlearning

David Trudel   ©  2013

Idle No More

Ripples of rage spread from bridge to bridge

Flashmobs round dance to drums and chants

Enough, come the cries

From the mothers and aunts and brothers and sons

Enough, say the many

Enough say the dismayed

Taking away treaty rights by bullyboy tactics

Is one place to draw the line

Delisting protected lakes and rivers is another

Ramming it through in an omnibus bill

One more

But there are others

Like broken promises and dirty tricks

Payouts to the few

Kicking the down and out becoming routine

In the rush to sell out to the highest bidder

So there are lines being laid

Feet and fingers no longer idle

Led by leaderless first peoples

Supported by sympathizers

Here

There

Everywhere

Spreading like a toxic oil spill in a pristine valley

Just as hard to clean up

So they’ll try some softsoap platitudes

But eventually

It’s all about adjusting attitudes

So hold your meetings

But don’t hold your breath

Results and outcomes must be seen

Not more hollow wiggle words from wormtongued weasels

Elected or not

This country, this place, these places

Are not yours to subdivide

We, the people say no

Economic interests are transitory

Harmful and dangerous to the land

Priceless land

So back off, Jack

Back down and get real

Try some democracy

Try some justice

Try some honesty

For a change

David Trudel   © 2013

Unwinter

Grey gyred swathes of heavy weather slowspin

Pulling pineapple breaths

Up

Into coastal mountains

Pushing back winter

Just barely

But enough

David Trudel   © 2013

Uptown

What were they thinking calling the new mall Uptown?

There’s nothing up about it

The Wal-martians who frequent the anchor

Are certainly not upscale

Looking at them stuff carts with under-priced blood stained merch

Is a downer

Not an upper

Guilty glances betray those bargain hunters with a conscious

The politics of retail are real and failed

And we know it

Implicitly

Every discounted dollar

A lash of the whip in some unseen factory

Every price rollback paid for by exploited staff

Supply chains rattle with recriminations

But the cash registers rattle and roll

Chirping and chiming the victory of commerce

And if this big box delivers a body blow to the moms and pops

We turn our heads

With a bland justification of the family budget

No courage and no convictions

In this cold temple of consumerism

David Trudel  © 2013

Space

Somewhere between the ideal

And real

Lies an interpretation

Revealed

But no more than a mask

Illusory

Fractional

Controlled

Influenced by externalities

Set up in advance

Spun quite intentionally

Reality found wanting

Facts, whatever that means,

bear a second look

Or third

Since my fact isn’t yours or yours mine

And between the real

And the ideal

There is a lot of empty space

Space, the final frontier

Space, to stretch out

Space, lebensraum

Snap, snap, snap

Spaced, out

Space

David Trudel  ©  2013

For Susan

She uses so few words

To say so much

Her verbal dexterity

Is as precise as a gymnast


Defying gravity
 with a flourish

Creatively observing each object

And every action and inaction

Rhyme, reason and contradiction

With the insight of the ages

Sculpting verbal works of art

That should be cast in bronze

Or chiseled from Carraran quarries

By some modern Michaelangelo

But instead

Even better

Her words are winged electric

Appearing wherever they need to

Now

And now

And now

To you

David Trudel  © 2013

Baker

P1000152

There is this volcanic peak that dominates the view

For a hundred miles

A pyramid of stone and ice

Solid as the rock I’m standing on

Which isn’t really

Since this hill is a nub of its former self

Ground down and scoured by sheets of ice

Even Mount Baker, the dormant icon

Is cooking up trouble

For this thin mantle

A fragile crust which will be torn apart

And furies unleashed, hard rock to be melted once again

And the swollen fires of the underworld will flow

Unchecked by any vain defense

When the spoon stirs the pot

Run

David Trudel   ©  2013

Urq

I was going to write a self-confessional piece

Something along the lines of needing to add a new middle name

Unrequited

Or maybe just adopting that as a sobriquet

Like gentlemen in years past tacking on the appellation

Esquire to their names

And like esq, it could be shortened to urq

But then I decided that would be too fucking depressing

Exactly

So I didn’t

And I won’t

Because there’s always tonight or tomorrow

And hope is an old friend

Who springs up

Over and over

Like a demented jack-in-the-box

But it makes me smile every time

And if I smile I feel better

So I do

And I will

David Trudel   © 2013

Bruised

Where did this hematoma come from?

A discolored map of past pain

Painted on my inner thigh

No errant blow from a lover’s kneecap

Since my monastic cell is never visited

Yet I don’t recall a sharp blow

A slam that crushed capillaries

Flooding soft tissues with my unleashed blood

But it happened, evidently

I wonder what other bruises I carry, unknowingly

The ones that aren’t out in the open

Because I’ve been slammed and set upon

Roughed up and worked over

If I could peer into my chest

My heart is no doubt multi-hued

Black and blue and fading into yellowed inattention

My soul, scarred and in need of a fresh dressing

Badges of past battles

Medals pinned into my flesh

Even my bones are cobbled together with plates and pins

Holding me up to fight again

So I strap on my metaphorical sword

And go forward into this ever-present fray

Risking the harm that comes my way

To raise my voice and rejoin the battle of the everyday

David Trudel  © 2013

Sky

In my shameless vanity I stand up to challenge the night

Cloudless, for once unmasked

Unhidden during a celestial event

Early night conspires to lessen the glimmer

While I scan for lightstreaks and shimmers

Obliquely

Peripherally

Using the same non sense as when you look for sprites and shades

Wisps

Delicate traceries vanish backwards into infinity

I try to read the constellations

But I’m illiterate

Yet intrigued by this notion

Of looking into the deepest past to foretell the future

Such charmed illogic

Is quantum proof of time’s synchronicity

So I wave at the night

Connect and disconnect to a million myriads of stars and portents

One more vain speck

Alone in the universe

David Trudel  ©  2013

Fog

Slipping into and out of this dream

Stateless

Where reality bleeds into fantasy

Like fog on the water when the margins disappear

Gray on gray

My consciousness is that ambiguous

In this non-moment

One drop that neither falls nor ascends

Holding the promise of the universe

An ocean within a realization

Waiting for gravity or perhaps evaporation

For a moment of transcendence

From discretion to completion

From point to pointless

To oneness with everything

In this stateless dream

Where the margins disappear

Along with the horizons

And there is no other place to look

Except within

David Trudel   ©  2013

Workout

Endorphins swim to the beat of a forgotten playlist

I don’t remember putting these tunes together

But they work

Backbeats and all

Contraction followed by release

Working out the kinks in my soft tissues

Repetitively drumming home this impulse

For improvement

Firmly

Resolutely, yet nothing new but the order

David Trudel  © 2013

Odometer

Watching the odometer click over to a new start

An arbitrary point in time

But well-placed and rooted in the deepest past

Twelve times twelve ages have marked the sun’s ascension

From here dark begins its slow retreat

It doesn’t matter what number we tag it with

It hardly matters to this flying rock

With an exploding heart

Whose love runs like magma down its cheeks

This revolution in the extreme

This celestial flight we all share

Doesn’t pause for formalities

Never dressed to the nines

It rolls on down the road

Inexorably, to nought

But tonight I sense a newness

Thin and tender as the skin of my heart

Something tantalizing

Indescribable

Just around the corner

Worth waiting to watch the odometer click over

Just to savour the apprehension and anticipation

One more time

As one year passes

Into another

David Trudel    © 2012

Ode to Gabi

Goodness gracious

Is an apt description for my rare friend

Who cares for others as if we are all family

So I call her sister, happily

She relates to so many and so much

Not content with keystroke comments

She stands up and stands out

For freedom and justice and nature

A warrior spirit with a gentle touch

Ready to support a righteous cause

Generously

Or party past midnight until the Honeyjack is gone

Straight shooting, from the lip and the hip

Always making connections from her heart to ours

A heart holding many songs

An ear listening for new sounds

Graciously and good

Unbowed, with the courage of her convictions

And a smile that lights up the darkest day

Never just a face in a crowd

My uncommon friend is rare and earthy

More than worthy of these few words of honest praise

David Trudel    © 2012

Tonight

Tonight I slip between the shadows

A mere shade moving quietly between the trees

Inhaling the forest rot, the fecund stench of nature

Transforming into yet another iteration

Raw and real

The sharp slap of winter’s hand

Wakes me from my slumber

As I climb towards the heights

Overhead the nearfull moon rips through the tattered clouds

Canyons of translucent possibility

Revolving over an axis

Some vast whirlpool of wind

Cracking its whip

And I listen to the hums and murmurs of the city

Sirens and traffic

Wind in the trees

Against the backdrop of the silence of eternity

Illuminated by opaque cloudbanks

I wonder at the grand design

Grateful for this moment of serenity

David Trudel  ©  2012

Father of the Bride

Supporting cast roles are good to have

In this over dramatized life

Where I get grabbed and shaken plenty enough as lead

So I gladly relinquish center stage

To be the third spear chucker on the right

For this occasion

This ceremonial passage of public commitment

A name changing game changer for my little girl grown

Barely out of the nest but wanting her own

Time compresses these moments

Then releases them

To float like balloons into clear skies overhead

Where the horizon is limitless and unbound

As two dreams crystallize into a single one

So I wait in the shadows, in the wings

For the cue to step onstage and throw that spear

Adding one small dramatic moment to the ritual dance

Called marriage

David Trudel  © 2012

Solo Christmas

This is for the homes of the alones

The lost and lonely and bereft

Still mourning in their Sunday best

Or lounging in their worst attire

Whatever

Details aren’t as important as simply being solo

Hermits and rustics

The quirky and the mean

Fearful or fearsome

Many paths lead to this singularity

Homes where festive décor becomes a minimalist vestige

And the former glory remains in boxes in the dark

In the homes of the alones

Christmas creeps in and out of view

Never quite hitting the high notes

Or shining as brightly as those lost years

When doors banged and music poured down the stairs

Into a swirl of anticipatory frenzy

Lives twirling in choreographed ritual

So that each golden moment glowed with the magic collectively conjured

Not like now

When there is no more Christmas morning creep

When the few gifts under the miniature tree

Hold no mystery

And no matter where you go for Christmas Dinner

The silence of the morning

Flattens the rest of the day

David Trudel  © 2012

Cankle Socks

I wandered into Walmart

Was suckered by the cheap socks

They looked like dressy black ankle socks

But since I got them home

Their sagging nature

Has convinced me they were mislabeled

And should have been sold as cankle socks

But you get what you pay for

Really

David Trudel  © 2012

Ceremony

No Saturnalia for me, this hinged moment

Fringed with nostalgia

Hollowed by regret

The cold flagstones of vaulted transepts

Cool any thoughts of libidinous excess

While ethereal voices march in measured unison

Through scented air

Chaliced genuflections rumble the room

In the midst of chaos

Of doomed cries

Rivers of tears

We seek the comfort of redemptive ceremony

Even if it’s only half as much as we need

It’s a step

Forward, in the right direction

And in this muffled peace

I find a place to dream my prayer

And release it

To the heavens

David Trudel  ©  2012

Binary Code

It isn’t always black and white

It isn’t absolutely wrong or right

Binary thinkers get it so wrong

It isn’t just yes and no

Open and shut

In or out

Reality is so much more complex

There’s a lot of space between the lines

Space that gets pretty cloudy now and then

Gray and shadowy

And there are other numerals besides zero and one

Waiting to be factored in

So look for inspiration in the compromise of the unjudged

Where angels dance en pointe

And in the anarchy of a freed mind

Moving between ideas like butterflies on a honeysuckle vine

Without getting hung up on them

David Trudel  ©  2012

Cuh

cuh

cuh

cuh

cuh

could be anything, you think

Om

Om

Om

Om

Om mani padme hum

Po

Po
Po

Po

Po you, po me po you po me

Po you

Po me

Zshur

Zshur

Zshur

Zshur

Composure

Composure

Composure

Composter

Calm poseur

Commie poster

.com boaster

calmed boater

Comp hoser

Composer

Come closer

Come closer

Come closer

Come closer

Help me find it

It

It

IT

Point me in the right direction

Or left

Just help me find it

I’ve lost my composure

David Trudel  © 2012

Falling

Now this world comes into view

Below

Fast rising

And I realize I was falling

WTF

Holy fucking shit

Where did this come from

I thought I was dreaming
Now I’m screwed

No hands reach out for mine

I have no parachute

So I’ll tuck and roll at the last moment

Hope for the best

Flying to rest in gravity’s embrace

David Trudel  ©  2012

Winter Solstice

In this place the rocks can talk    IMG_1559

Eroded and fuzzed with lichen and moss

They live in slow motion

Groaning their conversations across the ages

They don’t waste time on pleasantries

When you find the right pool of water

On a day like the solstice

A little reflecting can go a long way

IMG_1560        If the light of the sun hits the oblique just so

     If your mind relaxes and stops its chattering

    A little reflection is good for the soul

    Looking deep into the shallow pool

    This teardrop lets you find a way into the rock

    If you can manage to not quite look

    Perhaps a vision might be seen

   And if you listen very slow

   Slower still

   You’ll hear the murmur deep below

And if you can step between the cracks    IMG_1561

You might just start to change

Become a different kind of bird

In a shadowland absurd

David Trudel  ©  2012            Images by the author

Dark Solstice

This darkened day

Limps into the light

Barely illuminating the gloom’s respite

But still, this is no harbinger of doom

No era ending kibosh on us all

Still here, still keeping on

We wait for tomorrow’s promise

Of the evermore and early dawn

As this day pivots on its quarter pole

Releasing the passing of this dark passage

Through space and time

To climb once more into the light

One step forward

One foot dragging

But moving out of shaded gloom

Into the comfort of the sun’s delight

David Trudel  ©  2012

Back

I hold myself back

Don’t approach my raw and private feelings

Like some poets who bleed their lives through their pens

Some topics scare me away

Too personal

Too embarrassing

Too vulnerable

I don’t want to share my personal hygiene moments with a crowd

But I have no fear of hospital wards

And being one groaning voice in a babel of painful moans

But no, I hold myself in

Not allowing the reins to drop

I chew the bit between my teeth

Still haltered to my expectations

And beliefs

I want to shake this loose

Self-censorship, restraint and fear

Fear that I’ll offend and overstep

Fear that I’ll drive you away

Through over exposure to my personal passion play

But at the end

Honestly

It really is about myself

What I feel

What I see

How to communicate my world to yours

Is the question

Its bound to be conflicted and incomplete

A brilliant imperfection

No matter what words I choose to paint a landscape of my souls intention

The reality is

It will always be a misdirection

And I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to expand

Beyond impressionism

But I have this brush

I have this hand

And even now I lift it up

Set tip to canvas with one bold stroke

Another attempt

Another try

Another reason

Or one more joke

David Trudel  © 2012

Chimes

Christmas shopping is no party

At least there doesn’t seem to be any dancing in these grim line-ups

Lots of chimes at the till

A festive ringing marking the triumph of crass

While worried hands search for emergency credit cards in cracked wallets

To add more debtload

More stuff we don’t really want to buy

But do, feeling obligated

Even though these gifts will be forgotten soon enough

It’s a wrap

David Trudel  ©  2012

Grey

This day dawns grey

Gets greyer instead of lightening up

Wave after wave of evaporated lagoons

Tropical surf

Ocean swells

Reconstituted Pacific rain

Crash against this distant shore

Rattling windows

Eroding my equanimity

A harbinger of imminent collapse

Apocalyptic catharsis waiting in the wings

Expectantly

David Trudel  ©  2012

Frost

On the hilltop swampy puddles are setting up icily

Overhead a crescent moon hooks my eye

By morning a transformation has occurred and crystalline wonders carpet trails

But as beautiful as hoar frost is

Its somehow satisfying

Laying Doc Martins crunch down

Hardstep by hardstep

For now its nightcalm

Stormwaiting

Cold as a lonely walk down a country road hauling four bags of groceries in the rain

So I don’t linger over the view

Or watch the swirlclouds paint the wind

But the troubles I carried up here to cast away

Trail along

Follow me

Until they overcloak me once again

Another layer of clothing for my soul

Under the cold crescent light of a winters night

At least they’re some insulation

David Trudel  ©  2012

Space Between

In my cosmology

Brilliant lights of countless stars

Are far surpassed by infinity’s black emptiness

Velvet backdrop for a color popping canvas

Contrasting depth to lights pure brilliance

And like the sky I see above

My life has vast stretches of emptiness

Blackness

Against which shines those starcrossed moments

The supernovas

Big bangs

Celestial events

But really I am much more familiar with the space between the moments

The lonely purview of a lost soul cast adrift

In a silent vacuum coldly floating randomly

A dark thought in a dark place

Unsparked and alone

David Trudel  © 2012

Place of the Hole in the Clouds

Place of the Hole in the Clouds

Is what they used to call part of this place

Back before colonization

And what we foolishly call civilization

When camas meadows spread inward from the shore

Uninterrupted by asphalt, all of us and more

When the aural landscape was a symphony

Of wind and wave

Instead of cars and people’s electronic chatter

Place of the Hole in the Clouds

This appellation still holds true

Now called Fairfield, its space above

Is still a pivot point for clouds

And from my not too distant hill

Shafts of blue and golden hue

Split the gray curtain of the storm

Opening a window into heaven’s face

And if I look with second sight

What wonders I will see!

But as I’m focusing my gaze

Clouds close in, my vision fades

Now it’s just an ordinary day

David Trudel   ©  2012

Flat

I’ll be your towtruck driver baby

Change your flats and keep you well pumped up

With the breath your beauty takes away from me

Gladly giving a mighty blow to reinflate your leaky wheel

If you ever hit a ditch

I’ll hook you up and pull you free

If you need a mechanic

I’ll pop your hood

Lubricate those hidden parts

Keep everything greased and running smoothly

Change your plugs and belts and hoses

When they need it

Each visit includes a 37 point inspection

It’ll only take a moment

To keep you running smoothly

And your engine purring

David Trudel  (c)  2012

Monk

In my solitary singularity

I am like a monk but my church

Is deconstructed

Its liturgy is limitless and lost

I follow no one

In my solitary singularity

Hermitlike, I inhabit my cave

Having one sided conversations with truth

Never winning arguments with silence

It’s ideal

But lonely

In my solitary singularity

David Trudel   ©  2012

Unbroken

This mare is skittish

Mistrustful of fences and ropes

She prefers to gallop with her colts

In the back forty meadow

Outpacing the wind, wildly

Her admirers wait

Fence watching

Lined up

Where she’ll saunter by

Taking an apple or a carrot

At her pleasure

But mindful that they have saddles and bridles

Waiting in those dusty pick-ups

I wait in the shadows

Beyond the rest

I offer sugared words

And carry no lariats

I wear no spurs

I have no saddle

Besides, I prefer her back bare

And if the price to ride with her

Is to bear her weight on top of mine

I’ll do it, with gusto

Hooves and all

Carrying on to the ends of the earth

Where noble Pegasus will lift a wing

To send us skyward

To be remade into a brilliant constellation

Shining brightly in the night sky

David Trudel   © 2012

Wind

One hundred feet overhead the trees are dancing

Their branches sing against the rise and fall of windgusts

Down below its almost calm

Spiced with the apprehension of falling branches

Then sliver winds find their way through the forest to the floor

Dancing coldslaps in the dark to me

Ascending, shadowed treewall thins out

Unfettered zephyrs chase across the hilltop

In the ragged light of squall cloud shudders

Reflecting muted misted city lights

Winds roil and blow

Creating a new hymn of change

In this tattered night

David Trudel  © 2012

Primal

We used to howl in the forest

Primal screams resounding through muffled groves

Always a little restrained though

Never quite agonized enough

Knowing that we didn’t fit the profile

But liking the release

Echoing misinterpretations of gestalt therapy

To justify the caterwauls

Being there, then

Now, burdened by my own cruel truths

A bottomless bellow might be cathartic

But the tranquility of a forest

Brings its own grace notes to my listening heart

So I simply listen and bow my head

To the murmur of the trees instead

David Trudel  ©  2012

Lone Eagle

Lone eagle soars

Half hidden from view

Grey clouds as rumpled, damp and tossed

As the bedclothes after a 37 minute moment

Lone eagle soars

Dis and re

Appearing

I wonder if eagles experience loneliness

Do they find contentment in solitude?

What are the passions that rule their eaglehearts?

Predation, the hunting drive must be one

But their method seems so desultory

Passionless

Simply soaring playfully, at best

Yet when the prey is zeroed in

The dive begins

Talons extend

And while I’ve never heard them cry

They must, at times, call out in glee

As they strike and take a life

Fins, feathers, fur

It hardly matters

It’s all fuel for the wing

David Trudel   © 2012

Timeless

A million years seems like a long time

For mortals

Yet in the Timeless Valley time twists

Turns in on itself

Becomes unraveled

Irrelevant to the magic of merged souls

Pulled into orbit from across celestial horizons

Not into a collision but a reinvention of the world

Transcendence to the sublime

No more waiting, outside of time

David Trudel  ©  2012

Moments

You say you have your moments

I agree

Mostly you see your life as mundane

Boring, even

Of course I don’t agree

Since I find value in the small

Beauty in the commonplace

I treasure quiet moments

Genuine living beats phony glamour in my estimation

Yet you say you have your moments

Your one percent times

37 minutes of white hot passion

Full frontal intensity

Making memories for eternity

Unbridled, you gallop as fast as the wind

As carelessly as a twister barreling across the plains

Ravaging everything beneath you, savagely

In the 38th minute you start to apologize

For the violence of your passion

But I press my finger to your lips

Pull you to me

This moment is a jeweled treasure

I say, softly

This moment is one I’ll always remember

This moment is brilliant cut

Sparkling

You are my diamond, adamant

This moment is forever

This moment can’t be traded

This moment is one to hold on to

Like you

David Trudel   ©  2012

Which Words

I don’t know which words to use

I’m afraid I’ll blunder

Say something wrong

Or come across as blowing thunder

To undermine this sense of wonder

But just knowing that you care for me

Is reward enough, it’s all I need

I just want to gain your love

And live up to your dreams of me

Dreamgirl, you are something else

When I see you my heart melts

I just want to be with you

Hold you close and closer still

I just want to be with you

But I don’t know the words to use

To convince you that my love is real

So I’ll just leave it up to you

To call the shots and take us through

To where we once and future passed

Embracing passion with a love that’s true

David Trudel  ©  2012

Random Killings

Desperate people inflamed by hate

Ruled by frustrated passion

Resenting all they see

So they grab a gun or maybe three

Take aim at others, randomly

Inflicting pain, inflicting death

Spreading chain reactions

Of deepest misery and vengefulness

And the commentators will wring their hands

And go on to say it’s not the guns

And it sure ain’t us

The hateful bile we offer up is just for fun

So when we say that its time to aim

We don’t really mean it

It’s just a game

But clearly things are going wrong

Hot lead flying in schoolyards

And all to make a specious point

About free speech and hate and fear

Underlined in blood

And drenched in tears

David Trudel  © 2012

Expectations

Unintended consequences can delight

Or spiral out of control

Into anxious fights

Cures that work but leave the patient dead

Instead

What’s the measure of success

For the spoils of iatrogenesis?

David Trudel  © 2012

Dreamgirl

I dreamt you into my dream

Or you slid into my sleep

Whatever

We spooned silently

Cuddled contentedly

No sense of urgency

Deep calm held me

Or was that you

Doesn’t matter, it was a good sleep

And a better dream

With you

David Trudel  ©  2012

Geography Lessons

 

Some days my words tumble out of me

Like a freshet in spring

Cascading through a leafy glen

But not always

It’s a struggle to maintain

Fluidity

It’s hard to climb

Peaks like these

Overwhelming heights

Deep crevices

Steeper slopes

No clearly marked paths

Changes happen

Ground shifts

And I’m discombobulated

My words back up

Stoppered

I climb an arid trail

Stumbling on rocks

Fearful of tumbling back

When I reach the top

I’m stymied

The gap is large

Insurmountable

At first

But others have carved a trail

To follow

So I do

I call on the muses

I call to you

I implore

Cajole

Grovel

Warmth spreads

Words unlock

I am blessed

Unleashed

Released

David Trudel   ©  2012

Love

My love metastasized out of control

Insatiable, and blind

Surgical intervention was inevitable

But that hatpin jab was no crisp incision

My heart was only frozen in recovery

Cancer isn’t an opposing army

But just love unrestrained

Selfishly

Cell fish spawn

So the cure for love and cancer

Is simple

Unconditional love

Love that gives itself freely

Cling free love

Love that doesn’t need reassurance or reciprocity

But simply says, be free

My love, be free

Quantum love

Wavewashing

Erasing the illusion of distance

Standing outside of linear time

It just is, simply

In the now of a forever more

Where I extend my hand to you

Offering a gentle brush of fingertips

Without closing my fingers around yours

Open to possibilities unplaced

Post-colonial love

Anarchistic love

Unbound by convention

But held up by respect

Is what I mean when I ask you

To let me love you

Freely

David Trudel  ©  2012

In My Reckless Youth

In my reckless youth

I jousted devils in the dark

Juggled the cold flames of untested passion

Skated on pond ice to sharp sounds cracking

In my reckless youth

I had no fear

Except of missing a good party

I thought love could blossom with each new face

That walked around the corner

I thought I could walk away with impunity

From not-quite commitments of good times

I laughed unreservedly at bad jokes and pratfalls

I tested boundaries

Went beyond them

Tempted fate and laughed at death

Looked into the face of the universe

To see my own reflection

In my reckless youth

There was no time to plan

No longterm strategies

Just hubris and innocence, comingled

David Trudel  ©  2012

No Comparisons

Apple, crisp and firm

Orange, soft and juicy

Incomparable

So let’s not try

Both are succulent

In their own way

David Trudel   ©  2012

This Day

This moment of inspiration

Floats, suspended in eternal grace

Briefly seen

It seems to disappear

But that’s just a trick of the light

Dancing flickerflames of love’s combustion

Cavorting to madcap rhythms

Long into the night

We dance, naked and defenseless

Now, barely brushing outstretched fingertips

Now, pressing together every inch of raw mortality

Now, synthesizing our separate selves into integrated newness

Sharing a heartbeat

Which is the only sound we hear

Our only thought

Is love

Our only feeling

Is love

The word made flesh

For this brief but everlasting day

David Trudel   ©  2012

For Ed

Your blood congealed and dried up 38 years ago

My heart’s been bleeding ever since

There are no stains left to mark where you fell

Just a handful of shadowed souls

Who mourn forlornly, evermore

Remembering your meteoric presence

Brilliance of a caustic wit

Depth of your great soul

Cut short

Cut down

In a moment’s violence

Your suffering was brief

Ours continues

My old and unaged friend

I water your grave with my tears

Like you misted your boston ferns

Moistly spreading such care

Freshening each desiccated frond

With love

David Trudel   © 2012

Pre-sedated

I was thinking of you on my walk

Not an uncommon pastime

But fraught with danger

But now I pre-sedate each thought

By chanting a safety mantra

Remote and unattainable

Remote and unattainable

Remote and unattainable

Before I continue thinking of you

Wistfully

Affectionately

And with a strange swirl of happy sad

Remembering fun

Creative passion fueling fires

Spinning thoughts and ideas

Bouncing words back and forth

Obliquely

Ambiguously

Like some kind of Olympic sport

But going from the light of a cosmic supernova

To a compact fluorescent

Is about as appetizing as eating an elephant platter

Hold the fries and pass a fork

I’ll dim the lights and light a candle

What’s that song, can you hum a few chords?

Hhhmmmm………

David Trudel   © 2012

Backchannel baby

Below the radar

Off the charts

Beneath the surface

We talk

Converse

Versify

Contemplate

Play footsy under the table

Backchannel baby

You shy away from spotlights

No need for public pronouncements

Or commitments

Just a freeflow of hidden thoughts

Unshared

Except for you and me

Constrained by nothing

And everything

David Trudel  ©  2012

Onychophagia

Onychophagia

Is being included in the American Psychiatric Association’s

Classification of obsessive compulsive disorder

I used to be so afflicted

Nibbling and nipping

Surreptitiously sculpting digit ends

But never to the point of clinical severity

Bitter polish never worked

Admonitions merely deafened my ears

It took tranquility and a change in lifestyle

Didn’t even think about it

Until one day I noticed I had ten nails

Unchewed and growing on my fingertips

Since then I have encountered the disappointment of snags

Pain of a broken nail

And the need for a good emery board

To keep these tappers tapping

Smoothly

David Trudel   © 2012

Refraction

Rainbow skies

Splash some vibrancy in slategrey clouds

Moments of rainscour broken by brilliant arrow shafts

Light twists

Turns hard as diamonds

Then dials the burnish down

To dull

Spectrum fades to memory

As clouds close ranks

Promises of golden payouts

Disappear with a faint shimmer

And rain returns again

David Trudel   © 2012

Posed

Posed with poise

Just so

Precious as a porcelain cameo

Singular beauty

Windswept shorewalker

With an eye for the divine

Wistful horizon looks

Imagining the beyond

Beyond reach

But so tantalizing near and fully realized

Obsessing was never so much fun

Unrequited love is still love

And so hard to fall out of

David Trudel   ©  2012

State of Mind

A cloak of ennui

Tries to settle

On my shoulders

I shrug, repeatedly

The poets’ old friend Melancholia is in the room

I bet there is some laudanum

Hidden in those capacious folds

Gives me a nod and a wink

Conjures up images of dissolute wastrels

Scrawling desperate verses in squalid

Indifference

Easy to succumb to those tempting prompts

But easier still to open the door and say

“Stay if you want, I’m going out for a walk”

David Trudel   © 2012

Bang

Whir words launch into being

Just to collapse in fragments

When the pressure of over-inflation

Hyper stimulation and excitement

Explodes the trial balloon into tattered fragments

Turning a party into something to be cleaned up

Lonely letters scattered under foot

Tripping up passersby

Unintentionally

David Trudel    ©  2012

Fractures

There are so many fractures

In this marble slab

That any sculptor with any sense

Would pass on by

Just say

Good bye

Wouldn’t even want to try

But there is enough stone left here

To chisel one last line

Uncover one last look

Another page in an unread book

Another way to look at life

Another door to open

So chip away my friend

Flake away until I transcend

I’m just waiting

For your chorus

David Trudel  ©  2012

Virtuosity

I lead a balanced life

I have my flaws to weigh me down

A gravity of sins

I embrace my sybaritic pleasures with the gusto of a beer commercial

Rooted in Bacchanalian rites in open oaken groves

When we howled at the moon in our rootless youth

But for all my gilded guilty pleasures the other sorry lot

Exert enough centrifugal force to spin me silly

Relentless indecision

Procrastination

Self-doubt

Laziness

Fear

            Arrogance

But the force of gravity is not compelling enough

To hold me down forever

Sometimes my soul soars

I strive for virtue

Tranquility borne of following my heart

Satisfaction through service

Acceptance of what’s been given

And what hasn’t

Actively improving the world I walk through

Not just complaining about it

Finding beauty in small places

Transforming the ordinary into the special

Learning enough to barely comprehend what I don’t yet know

Listening to the world

Appreciating the silence of calm

Loving life

And the people in my life

So I freeclimb this mountain I’m on

Not roped in or on or to

Just fingertip by fingertip

Finding each balance point

Clinging and then moving on

Finding my own traverse

In balance

David Trudel    ©  2012

Amusing

Museless, this pen falters

Hesitates

Scratches a line not worth keeping

I explore hollow thoughts and formless dreams

With no success, it’s passionless

And hard to find grand themes in the mundane

My fuel is running low

No last chance service station in sight

When I drift to a halt

I’ll get out and walk

To the museum of passionate love

Looking at static displays of grand moments

Living vicariously

For a moment of white hot intensity

Lost in memories

Lost regrets

But before I leave

I’ll check the lost and found

For a muse

In case

David Trudel   ©  2012

Ex’s and Ohs

I was looking out the window at service trucks

Orange draped workers looking puzzled

Placing pylons around storm drains

My former house seemed to be affected

And the rest of the old cul de sac

This should liven up the annual strata meeting

I was thinking, from the greener side of the street

When the phone rang

It was my ex

Needing a point of grammatical clarification

Which happens with some regularity

My ghost writing continues to be needed

Meanwhile the invasive surgery on the drains continued

Until the blockage was cleared

Everything flows downhill

No more barriers

It’s all fluid

Moving

David Trudel   © 2012

My Hunt

I hunt for inspiration

Searching out flashes of insight

A clever turn of a phrase

New ways of describing old things

I listen for a muse to whisper in my ear

Or lift my fingers at the keyboard

Just so

I listen to random conversations

Or the wind in the trees

For something to transform to the page

I look for images

That I can capture

And decorate with words

At times, I join forces

Hunt in packs

Reaching out across the world

For inspired collaboration

But mostly it’s a solitary search

Patiently waiting in my blind

For easy prey to saunter into view

Where I can skewer them with my pen

Or gun down with automatic weapons

Machine gun rattle of keystrokes bursting open stillness

My trophy wall is pages deep

Shimmering ideas pinned beneath a frame

Evidence of a successful hunt

A promise of more to come

I am on the hunt, constantly

David Trudel    © 2012

Hunter Gatherers

Primeval forces drive us

Daily

We stalk through forests of merchandise

Hunting for bargains and our dreary dreams

Gathering piles of stuff we’ll soon tire of

Things that never quite live up to the promise

So we keep hunting, hunting

We hunt for food

Get taken in by seductive ads and misdirections

Ambushed by the platter

Consuming empty calories that never satisfy

Overstuffed but always hungry

We hunt for parking spots

The fastest route on a slow commute

Better jobs that usually aren’t

Houses that cost just a little more

Than affordable

Until all we gather is extra weight and extra debt

No longer hunters

Corralled in this feedlot life

Where the real hunters make out like bandits

But we are too tired to notice

I gather

David Trudel    © 2012

This Path

This path I’m on takes twists and turns

I never know what’s going to be around the next corner

Wonders or horrors

Danger or delight

This path broadens into elegant passageways

Then narrows to a goat trail

That leads to a farseeing place

Where the horizon vanishes, and

You can see straight through the earth’s mantle to the other side

Sometimes it’s busy

Thronged with others

But mostly it’s a solitary walk

This path climbs rock faces and skirts precipices

Flirts with danger

Keeps me edgy

Sometimes I deviate from this path

A little deviant behavior can lighten any journey

But I always find my way back

Before the dust settles

This path is circuitous

Always taking me back to where I started

But never quite the same way

David Trudel      © 2012

Now

Muffled twilight of a too early dusk cradles me

In my perambulations

Under a sharply pelting tropical express

Condensation of half the Pacific unleashed

This island being a tripwire to the continent

Broad black brim of the stetson

Provides the most immediate drumskin

Percussive patterns tiptap across each sodden view

Backbeating drops splash waxgreened arbutus leaves

Moss modulates the rocky snare

As I stare

And stare

Into the darkening distance

Hardly seeing the lights

Pondering

To the rhythm of rain’s ratatatat

This point of singularity

This now

Nowness

Immediacy in the moment

Now

Alone

Now

Alone

Now

David Trudel   ©  2012

Melt

The melt is on

Great swathes of glacial freeze coming unstuck

Flowing downhill to destiny

Many drops

For even all the seven oceans to swallow

Making the deep blue sea deeper still

Mixing up global chemistry

Shifting currents in new directions

Crawling up shorelines

Burying beaches

New King Canutes issue vain commands

With as much effect as the original, ultimately

Some places engineer barriers, seawalls

New structures to contain the tide

Some places are abandoned

Crumbling seaward

Or ripped apart in storms

Under the waves

Migrations and extinctions

As aquatic ecosystems fail

But the party continues

Everyone distracted by petty politics

Mindless crap fed to sheeple by the great bamboozlers

And the oil keeps getting pumped

Coal filled mountains get moved

Moving the resources around gets some attention

As much out of concern with local contamination

As the real problem

Global retribution for anthropomorphic sin

Soon, storms will swirl with abandon

Twister alley will be renamed an expressway

Hurricane season will be held over and they’ll run out of names

Earth will cleanse itself

And us

David Trudel   © 2012

No Time to Mourn

There is no time to mourn

This brutal passing

This silvered flash

This sacramental transformation

Before this salmon had respite from its journey

Eagles tore it asunder

Feasting on the choicest morsels

Cleanup gulls sweep up the rest

Bringing fishfragments to new life

High above, circling

While rain drums down

River overspills lawn

Everything a lot more fluid

On this gray day

Cloudcleansed and riverscoured

Nature serves holy communion

All around

David Trudel    © 2012

 

Catch and Release

This rare fish needed no bait

To swallow your smooth hook

But you slipped the hook out deftly

Tossed the fish back

Not wanting to deal with the guts and innards

Too messy you thought

Not realizing that this fish

Self-eviscerates, commits ritual seppuku

Over piscatorial honor

When you trailed your fingers in the water

This fish returned to digit nibble

Tried to coax them

To a tummytickle

Which would have resulted in a netward leap

And a net gain

Instead, a splash of cold water from your hand

Sends the fish back upstream

Where you see it breach the surface

With a rainbow’s flashdazzle brilliance

David Trudel     © 2012

Owls

A chorus of owls fills the night

So frequent I feel close to cracking the coded information

In their fluted hoots

They’re hunting

As the moon cracks the clouds

They launch

Usually for nothing

This time I hear a faint yelp

The owls quiet down

The owls are not what they seem

The snowys have moved in from the mainland

Crowding the barred and the screech

Tonight they all seem to be on the hunt

For fresh meat

Tonight

The owls are not what they seem

David Trudel   © 2012

Optimism

My optimism rises

Like a solar transverse, daily

In the face of disaster

Looming on all fronts

I see hope

Slim chances are better to grab onto than despair

And if we can’t stop the incoming tide of a rising sea

We can prepare the shoreline

For its new shape

We can disregard the fearmongers

The deniers

Those who say it’s all too much

We can choose optimism over pessimism

Daily

David Trudel  © 2012

Love’s Language

They say French is the language of love

But it’s inadequate for us

We create our own language

Written in golden flames

Of spontaneous combustion

When our smoldering passion is fueled

We speak in tongues

And with our tongues we write poetry

On each others skin

Spoken word in raw extreme

Our language is fluid, slippery

Soft as a feather brushing a naked thigh

Sharp as teeth tugging on swollen flesh

We spread applebutter erogenously

On the blank pages of untanned skin

Organic appetizers before the mains

We speak a language of sighs and silences

Of breaths inhaled

Our punctuation is done with looks and touches

Ours is a complex grammar

That brooks no shorthand

But longs for the shortstrokes of a conclusion

Our language is incendiary

Evaporating in the heat of our love

Leaving a faint trace of smoke in the air

Burnt passion etched into each look

David Trudel  © 2012

Exasperation

Sometimes you exasperate me

With your half responses and ambiguities

Leaving a myriad of inferential

Possibilities

Long silences

Unanswered questions trailing away

And then you reappear

Fully

Joyously

And ultimately contagious

There is no vaccine or antidote

To your exposure

A topical disease

Of some renown

Is the usual outcome

I am not immune

David Trudel    © 2012

Thank You

Thank you for your interest

In these words of mine

Thank you for comments

On those posts I made online

Thank you for the likes you clicked

On stupid things I posted

Probably I put them up

When I was pretty toasted

David Trudel  © 2012

Creed

What we think of as reality

This plane of existence

Is but one in a continuum

That extends into infinity above

Likewise, each piece of us

Contains a universe of universes within

My life is full of strange coincidences

Synchronicities

Much more than random chance

Good trumps evil

By supporting the forces of good

I’m supported and shielded from harm, to a degree

Other planes of existence are outside of time and space

Where life is not like here

Discretely limited individual consciousness

But is instead a vast collective awareness

A wave not just a drop

Transcending our understanding

Into truth

The alpha and omega of the great wheel

The wheel of physical space and linear time

Is a platonic ideal of the pantheon of the gods

A council of twelve,

Within each of us is a link, a key

A path back to one of those ultimate beings

Presiding over each reflection and shadow of reality

Music can open the door to transcendence

Harmonic vibrations can send sacred messages

Love is all

Everything, everyone is worthy of love

The more you give away your love

The more you discover you have

Love is the ultimate motivator

David Trudel   © 2012

Holy Cow

I knew things were special

If only because of the names

Father Angel, pronounced angle

Was the first priest I had

He was succeeded by Father Masse

Who only abused the bottle, not us boys

Our undertaker was Mr. Whitebone

Whose funeral parlor sign turned the heads of unfamiliar visitors driving by

What strange novel am I living in?

I questioned my young self

Who passed out the scripts and why didn’t I get one?

I’d think

This is so weird

Somebody must have made this up

But at least they have a sense of humor

I’d conclude with a chuckle

David Trudel  © 2012

Serving

When I was an altar boy

It was less about faith and prayer

And more about theatre

Ritual playacting with exacting precision

Being part of the focused attention

Of each small action

And if I wasn’t any closer to god

I was closer to community

With a role to play

So play I did, in the long ago days

Of starched surplices

Dressed up dogma

Plaster of paris saints who all looked the same

Under their different paintjobs

David Trudel  © 2012

Word Power

Poets are word powered

Using green and renewable energy

Hardly any infrastructure required

Just a slip of paper and a favorite writing tool

Or even a capacious memory in a pinch

Taking letters and syllables and slippery sounds

Shaking them up and boiling them down

Creating spells through spelling

To boggle the mindful

But this energy isn’t always clean

It can be dirty when those words are unfiltered and unscrubbed

Fouling the atmosphere

With emissions

That heat the planet with unbridled passion

Melting even glacial hearts

Warming the climate of aloof self interest

Sending storms to batter quiet shores

These wordstorm wielding pens cut quick and deep

And though they don’t use carbon fuels

Poets leave a big footprint

David Trudel    ©   2012

Love’s Beggar (revised to include Intoxicated)

You intoxicate me, with effervescent verse and beguiling charm

Your honeyed nectar is all I need to upset my equilibrium

Leaving me unsteady on my feet

Panhandling for your love’s small change

Grateful for each thinworn dime

And if I have to use the tin cup of the sightless

It’s only because I was blinded by the radiance

Of your soul’s delightfulness

I tap my way to the town square, sightless

White cane in hand, searching

Finally, a granite curb curls around the wishing well

Where I unbundle my light burden

Collect my tin cup and its measly treasures

One by one I cast each thinworn dime and stinted penny

Over the edge with an unspoken wish

Staying silent in a sacred exchange of spells and coin

Needing all the magic I can find in this sightless blackness

I cast my wishes, hopes and dreams into the void

Sight unseen

And when the cup is emptied out

I stand for hours casting wishes

Without the silvered price of hope’s admission

And as the wishes fall beneath still waters deep

I turn away and begin another lonely walk

To where I’ll camp outside your door

My cup proffered for your rewards

Hoping that this is the day you’ll invite me in

To share your warmth and ease my pain

And with your gentle touch, cure this blindness

To let me see your sweet face again

David Trudel   © 2012

Love’s Beggar

I tap my way to the town square, sightless

White cane in hand, searching

Finally, a granite curb curls around the wishing well

Where I unbundle my light burden

Collect my tin cup and its measly treasures

One by one I cast each thinworn dime and stinted penny

Over the edge with an unspoken wish

Staying silent in a sacred exchange of spells and coin

Needing all the magic I can find in this sightless blackness

I cast my wishes, hopes and dreams into the void

Sight unseen

And when the cup is emptied out

I stand for hours casting wishes

Without the silvered price of hope’s admission

And as the wishes fall beneath still waters deep

I turn away and begin another lonely walk

To where I’ll camp outside your door

My cup proffered for your rewards

Hoping that this is the day you’ll invite me in

To share your warmth and ease my pain

And with your gentle touch, cure this blindness

To let me see your sweet face again

David Trudel   © 2012

For Susan

Those lips aren’t thin

They are bursting with words

Beestung with sweet nectar

Your lipbalm is royal jelly

Those lips spit verses

As frequently as sailors fling curses

Those lips aren’t thin

They taste the earth

Kiss love’s wounds

Brush countless courtiers with

Benedictions

Those lips conspire and inspire

Fulsomely

Those lips are thick with poetry’s delights

Those lips aren’t thin

They’re just right

David Trudel    © 2012

Sweet

She sashays down the street

Her hips rolling

Each step a revelation of sensual certitude

Lighting up this quiet town quicker than a cowboy twists up a smoke

Attracting looks and veiled glances

That strip her naked in seconds flat

She chuckles at the reaction

Flattered and just a little fearful

That her musky pheromones are attracting all the males in town

Thankful for the restraining hands

Wives reaching out

Pulling their men back to their slackened breasts

Catching their arched and jealous looks

Quicker than a shortstop’s golden glove on gameday

Smiling, she lets them think what they will

Knowing that her shadowman is waiting

With the only eyes that matter

Long away

David Trudel   ©  2012

28

I deduct the years of my failed marriage

From the age on my birth certificate

So now I’m only 28

Just 28 years old

Despite the rust and wear and tear

I’m only 28 today

That worrisome bald spot has disappeared

Beneath this cascade of golden locks I’ve unleashed

So I jump back

Performing spoken word in raucous rooms

Sending letters to imprisoned anarchists

Listening for music, everywhere

In the wind

My friends are many

Across the globe, on Facebook

Or down the street, in person

I work the smartphone to mensa beats

Multiple conversations going all at once

Cryptically commenting

Posting

Everywhere and nowhere

Ubiquitous buzz

There’s a lot to do

Before I hit thirty again

And once more can’t be trusted

Busted

David Trudel  © 2012

Aspire

My vision is not of today or tomorrow

It spans the generations

Assuming some semblance of this civilization sticks around

Manages to survive

After all, think back a hundred years ago

To when women had to fight for the vote

When prejudice and bigotry ruled

Social injustice prevailed and corruption was endemic

Not just sporadic

All things considered there’s been some progress

Civil society usually is

And the aspirations of some long ago version of myself

Would be mostly met

Looking at our normal social behaviors

So when I see a world free of violence

It isn’t a world of today or tomorrow

But one of years and generations away

When the adolescent zeitgeist of today

Has a chance to mature

To realize that negative energy, of whatever kind

Defeats the purpose

Drains the reserves

Serves no good purpose

And in that realization, society will transform into

Cohesive freedom of shared responsibility

David Trudel  © 2012

A Call To Disarm

It’s time to disarm

Violence rocks this world

Tragically, in so many ways

In so many places

Wars of oppression and wars of suppression

Singular violence

Assassinations

Mass murders

It’s time to disarm

Torture

Gangbang rapes

Shootings in movie theatres

It’s time to disarm

Police brutality

Gang violence

Genocide

It’s time to disarm

Stonings

Beheadings

Acid thrown on faces

It’s time to disarm

Armies running amok

Barbaric as ever

Sanctioned hit squads

It’s time to disarm

Hot lead flying through bedroom walls

Blowing the brains out of sleeping babies

Apartment blocks full of families

Blown up to kill a lone soldier

Assault weapons sold to insane haters

Who riddle the innocent with bullets

Road rage driven angerbombs

Pulling out protection to settle arguments

It’s time to disarm

Violence contains a lot of energy

Negative energy, for sure, but vast

So there’s that law we’ve forgotten

Newton’s third

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

Which means that the cycle of violence

Is a perpetual motion machine of bullets flying back and forth

Unless we can poke a stick in that wheel

Break free of the tyranny of the gun

It’s time to disarm

Start controlling access to mass murder weapons

End the sale of assault weapons, period.

Impose national and international gun control regulations

Limit access to the psychologically fit

It’s time to disarm

State sponsored terrorism must stop

All nations must reverse their insane military buildups

Dismantle the bombs

It’s time to disarm

Empty the prisons by investing in schools, hospitals and people

It’s time to disarm

David Trudel  ©  2012

Solar Flare

I thoughtprobe behind my eyelids

Seeking a way to touch your mind

Reaching out mentally, desperately

Attempting to ascend the astral plane

To launch my soul’s essence on a wave to you

But I am stymied

Bound within myself

My core exploding countless thoughts and dreams

Each moment contains a universe unleashed

This heat and boundless energy corralled

By the gravity of the overburden of this life

In the crucible of flame all is pulverized

Reduced to the essentials

Those isolated particles dance and bounce

Conspiring to send love’s photons on their radiant journey

But first they crawl

Held back and blocked

By burdensome thoughts

Fears and barriers unseen

But the radiance of love persists

Inevitably navigating to the surface edge

Where, with explosive flare

Love bursts the tension of existence

To fly across time and space

To shower warmth on your sweet and gentle face

A celestial greeting

A solar kiss

David Trudel  © 2012

Intoxicated

You intoxicate me

With effervescent verse

Beguiling charm

Your honeyed nectar is all I need

To upset my equilibrium

Leaving me unsteady on my feet

Panhandling for your love’s small change

Grateful for each thinworn dime

And if I have to use the tin cup of the sightless

It’s only because I was blinded by the radiance

Of your soul’s delightfulness

David Trudel  ©  2012

Unworship

Gentle rebel angel of trailing tears

Join me

Join me in praising

Truth

Beauty

Joy

Delight

Compassion

Empathy

No need for intercession

To some imagined celestial throne

The universe exists within as much as without

Prayers need no translation

Let’s sing freshened hymns of the down and out

Of caged prisoners who know liberty through its absence

Of the desperate

Let our dancing words lift them up

Glory is all around

But not always apparent

So let’s shout cosmic love into

Crowded voids

Shine the bright light of perception

Into infinity

Bring the formless into view

Tear down walls of doctrine set up to divide

Lose the shackles of moribund rules

Let freedom reign, consorting with love

Join me,

Join me my friend

David Trudel  © 2012

Alternating Current

I run scenarios in my imagination

Of all the ways that this might end

A Stoic exercise of negative visualization

Imagining disaster and unpacking pain

Misery

Sadness

Depression

A gut wrenching sense of loss

Work out my potential responses

Seeing into possible future states

Knowing that I’d always find a way to work things out

And come to a place of acceptance

Where I discover the healing power

Of the love you’ve given me

Armed with this security

I go through my day

Powered by a constantly alternating current of

Yes she will/no she won’t

It will happen/no it won’t

Equilibrium achieved

Since it all ends

In your love

David Trudel   © 2012

I Will

I will unbitter your heart with honeyed words

I will unsour the taste that lingers in your mouth

Through my pure and gentle kisses

I will restore your trust and unbreak the broken

I will heal your soul

With loving ministrations of tenderness

I will give you strength and tranquility

I will support your struggles

I will guard your back

Against all comers

I will unbitter your heart

I will make you new again

David Trudel  © 2012

Composing

I choose words carefully

With fretful consideration

Balancing meanings with sound and form

Trying to capture elusive half thoughts

That dissolve and crumble at the slightest touch

Interpretations of mystery

Pictures of the unseen

Symphonies of silence punctuated by the tap of time’s baton

Taking the measure of the day into

Account

David Trudel   © 2012

Patterns

Cultural forces normalize

Create zeitgeist

Spirit time

Paradigms that channel thoughts down passageways carved over millennia

Ordering our ideas into binary sets of good or bad

Creating standard subjectivity and judgmental negativity

What we like

What we don’t like

Standards of beauty

Behavioral expectations

Perceived handles to lift reality

Yet so often these devices, crude constructs of mob mentality

Fail

Fail to take into account random chance

Fail to recognize evidence contrary to expectations

Cultural norms seep into our consciousness

Making us lazy as we take refuge in the safety of numbers

Dumbing us down

From the real geniuses

Who created the first civilizations

Who didn’t rely on normal

Since there wasn’t any

That would come later

At first, at the beginning

There were no shortcuts for the neural pathways

Each moment was a discovery and a delight

Each observation adding to analysis and evaluation

Creating patterns, not following them

Yet we cling to the illusion that we’re getting smarter

Even as we keep getting farther from the truth

David Trudel   ©  2012

Emotions

Emotions can be dangerous and risky for anyone

But a poet’s emotions are the very wellspring

Of creativity and art

Brightly hued maelstroms of passion

We tend to go off the deep end of the pool

We don’t just fall in love

We do swan dives off that cliff in Acapulco

Where you have to time your leap

Waves crashing over the rocks

Or set high altitude records leaping from the edge of outer space

That’s a long way to fall

But one hell of a ride along the way

Even negative emotions like fear or anger

That philosophically you know aren’t valid

Based as they are on false assumptions

Or an incorrect assessment of the data

Sweep you up and tumble you around

Some kind of hardwired impulse drive inside your mind

Pushing every wrong button there is to push

And in the centre of your consciousness

Its like you’ve been paralyzed with some Amazonian poison

Just like in action movies

You watch it all unfold and you can’t move or even speak

You can’t unpush the buttons

So you ride it out

A thundering ride on a barely broken meanspirited bronco

Heading for the Grand Canyon

Where he’ll try to buck you off

Emotions can be dangerous

But exhilarating, too

Thrilling your senses to full alert

Mere stories made epic

Common currency made precious

So I’ll enjoy that ride

Even though I’m terrified

Some risks are worth the trouble

Some rewards are genuine

David Trudel  © 2012

Juiced

Maybe we’re apples and oranges

Maybe that’s okay

I’ll peel your skin

With just one touch you core me

We aren’t afraid of being cut-ups

Sliced and diced

Lets get juiced together

Pulverizing any walls and divisions

Reduced to essential elements

Blended to sweet froth

Recombined

Smoothed

Stirred

Poured out as one

Together

Atoms commingling

In a loving cup

David Trudel    ©  2012

Sonnet 29 Redux For the 21st Century

 

When I’m depressed and feeling crappy

And I’ve been unfriended by those who know me

If there was a god I’d pray to him or her

But since there isn’t I wallow in my despair

I dream of winning the lottery

Becoming a one percenter chased by paparazzi

A superstar walking life’s red carpet

Receiving a Nobel Prize for brilliance

But of course I’m not, I’m nowhere near

My self-loathing sets me spinning into misery

When by lucky chance I think of you

And like a tweet gone viral on the internet

I shake away the blues to sing your tune

Since your sweet love is all I need instead of worthless money

 

 

David Trudel  ©  2012

 

My poem was inspired, in part, by this masterful reinterpretation of Shakepeare’s 29th sonnet:

 

When times are hard and old friends fall away

And all alone I lose my hope and pluck,

Doubting if God can hear me when I pray,

And brood upon myself and curse my luck,

Envying some stranger for their handsome face,

Their wit, their wealth, their chances or their friends,

Desiring this one’s brains and that one’s place,

And vexed with all I have that makes amends,

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, –

By chance I think of you; and then my mind,

Like music from deep sullen murmurs rising

To peals and raptures, leaves the earth behind:

For if you care for me, what need I care

To own the world or be a millionaire?

 

George Santayana

The New Republic, 1915

 

The original, and still champion, version goes like this:


Sonnet XXIX: When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

 

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

(Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

 

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

 

 

Highwire

I tried to unlove you

But I couldn’t

So whatever sliver of affection

You have for me

It’s enough

I am teetering on the edge of elation and despair

Like walking the highwire over Niagara Falls

One slight misstep could spell disaster

But I stop in the middle of this hard crossing

Drenched in the bitter spray of the mist

To pledge my love once more

Saying, simply

I love you

And I place one foot in front of the other

Take another step

And another

Alone

In this turbulence

Buffeted by strong winds

But unassailable in the truth of my love

One step

One more step

One step at a time

Waiting to see your hand reaching out to me

Ready to pull me up

Into your embrace

David Trudel  ©  2012

Sparked

That fire had burned long and hard

Incendiary, at times glorious

Flames stretching up into the sky’s eternal night

Approaching to almost the stars above

Yet, as all fires do, it died down

Burnt out in the morning after glare of the rising sun

Drenched with a torrent of cold water

Dashed

It was out

No smoke no fire

Yet a coal must have slumbered somewhere in that fireplace

Some ember deeply embedded in some nook or cranny

Perhaps some new fuel was thrown onto the grate

Or blew through an open window

Like dried leaves on a courtyard floor

Swirled by dust devil windsprites

Conspiring to spark something up

Some warmth to take the edge off

Cozying up to the idea

Setting a flame dancing again

David Trudel  © 2012

Times

Sometimes

Now there’s a concept

Some plus times

Segments

Slices

Sections

Arranged by some unifying force

Like space

Space between the moments

Empty

Black

Quiet

Sometimes silence is what we need to hear

Sometimes blackness is what we need to see

Sometimes emptiness is what we need to be

David Trudel  © 2012

Sad Parade

A sad parade of the grim and guarded

March in front of me

Looking slightly haunted

Carefully unwanted

Starchpressed into body armor

Favored by suburban matrons

Repressed fear of affection

Glittering in tense faced glimmers of quiet lives

Holding tight to lapdogs and convention

Caught up in bland expectations of pop culture happiness

Not realizing that satisfaction requires passion

Forgetting that passion exists or even could

Risk free grazers at a wilted salad bar

I wonder why they are here

Pushed and pulled

Dragged kicking and screaming

Perhaps

Or has the emptiness of their conformity

Left them hollow

Eggshell thin, cracking

Looking for moments barely remembered like

Untethered gallops in the moonlight

So I gather my passion

And repack my curiosity

For another time

Long away and long gone

From me

David Trudel  ©  2012

Remembrance

Rainswept

I stand alone in darkness

Letting the soft erosion of a million tears

Wash over me

Remembering the ones who no longer live

Feeling the gentle tug

Of the fallen

Unlived dreams

Love unlived

Dissolution of so many hopes

Laid low

Face to the wind

I am scoured by cold droplets

Machine gunning out of headstrong clouds

Swirls of memory dance, beguiling and bittersweet

My skin is taut

Thin enough to burst if I allow the depths of my emotion

Free rein

So I restrain the mad sadness

Tamp it down like a musketball of old

Let the memories fade

Declare an end to remembrance

Sign an armistice within my feuding thoughts

Rapprochement

As tears mingle with broken heart blood

Washed away into the night

David Trudel  ©  2012

Kelly Pflug-Back

A drunken young lout

Pushes a streetperson under a bus

Literally, not a metaphor, but an action

Called manslaughter in the courts

Gets twelve months for taking a life

While the anarchist poet who protested

Against the corporate system and the billion dollar circus

G20 power broking gun-toting overlords

In the course of doing so managed to beat up a cop car

Laid the boots to it

But no flesh, just lifeless metal and plastic

Well, she got 15 months for that

Says a lot about our cultural values

That juxtaposition says cognitive dissonance

Our scales of justice need recalibration, surely

So poets and friends gather

In support

Fellowship with the oppressed

Reaching out across miles and through the bars

To say your words matter

Your poems shine

Her voice echoes through the mouths of others

But soars in brilliant splendor no matter who stands in

These words slice scalpel sharp across the bloated flesh

Of an overstuffed corpse

Cadaver of capitalism

Poets versed in spoken artistry bounce her words sharply

Scoring three pointers

Effortlessly

Then nervous friends

From the streets and shelters

Couch surfers

The struggling, independent, non-conformists, radical thinkers

Step up and eloquently speak her words in angel breaths

Redemption found through struggle

Change manifesting itself through art

Comrades all, tonight

David Trudel   © 2012

http://kellypflugback.wordpress.com/these-burning-streets/

Stoned

Molten hot

Dragonbreath scorched

This place

This sacred site

It bit back

Turned dragon to stone

Hidden in plain view

Forever

David Trudel  ©  2012

Yesterday

It was a day that unfolded

Like whole chapters of Marcel Proust

Round moments of particular intensity

Playing out in the sunshine glow of a renewed day

Each moment building to a different

Intensity

Delight

Conclusion

Searching for lost time

Searching for a memory or a foreshadowing

Seasoned with poignancy

Where art and politics converge for a quick liaison

Hardly an affair

Where the smile of just kissed lips

Collapses into a sigh

Beneath time’s weight

David Trudel    ©  2012

Ferns

Ferns have been around a long time

Eons

Deep reaches of fossiltime

Watching them erupt and uncurl

Provides a pathway to primordial memories

Spores left in DNA

Back to the garden

Back to innocence

When evil wasn’t a valid concept

Joyous green fronds

Laughing at falling leaves

Seasonal offbeats

Reaching up

Catching elementals

Sun and rain

Cycling through life and death

For eternity

Or now

David Trudel   © 2012

Bridge

Crossing over

Rusted beams

Holding fast to falling dreams

Walking together

In stride

From here to there

This to that

If it rains

Carry an umbrella

And carry on

David Trudel   © 2012

I plumb the shallows of like

I plumb the shallows of like

For banal inspiration

Attempt elegiac verses

Based on

Passionless affection

But it’s no use

Tamed and neutered emotions

Barely ruffle the surface

Of this drained pond

I swallow Bacchanalian dregs

Bittersweet, the taste

Sours my mouth

Words stick

Come undone

Mere letters

Collapsing

Falling

To rest

Alongside

Broken heart pieces

On the floor of my soul

Crushed

Grinding love’s promise to

Despair dust

To be flushed with tears

One teardrop

One teardrop

One teardrop

At a time

David Trudel  ©  2012

There Is No Love  (repost)There is no love for you and meNo, there is no love at allI want to reach out and embrace youBut I just sigh and turn aroundThere is no love between usJust a look that says goodbyeAnd a memory of a spark that burnedBefore the trying got too hardAnd here we’re sad and lonelyWalking down our separate pathsEmbracing only lonelinessIn a world where love comes lastBut far away up in the heavensOr on a different astral planeYou reach out to touch meAnd we light a lovers flameAnd we kiss each other deeplyWalking forward hand in handAnd thank the spirits that led usTo a love that understandsBut we are all alone togetherTrapped on lonely planet earthWhere we are too smart for lovingAnd where the dreaming always hurtsDavid Trudel ©March, 2002
BeepBeepBeep BeepBeep beep beepBeep  BeepBeepBbbBbbDavid Trudel  © 2012

Autumn

Autumn, in northern climes

Is seen as a time of

Downshutting

Death is around the corner in the fall

The end of growth

Yet here in the west

Where the air is hot and moist

As a Saturday night hot date

Autumn rains trigger growth

Fern fronds erupt

Green sprouts shoot forth like an unbridled chia pet

On my rock

Parched soils soak up the beneficence of the rains

Shoot forth abundance

Green furze creeps

Spiders crawl

Birds scream their interest

Dive bombing

Insects

Dive bombing because they can

Screamflying wingmasters of the wind

Cheerleaders to new growth

Fallferns

Greencarpets

Drip

Drip

Drip

Replenishing the cycle

Sacrificing

Accepting

My fall contains rebirth

My fall is not into decay

But growth

David Trudel  ©  2012

Shem

Ascend the fiery stones

Find your way to heaven’s keep

Daughter of Astarte

Daughter of Ishtar

Daughter of Inanna

Fly to the far off place

Where we will raise a stela

Inscribed with epic deeds

Together, let us unravel celestial mysteries

Explore the cosmos

And each other

David Trudel  ©  2012

On Dispensing Treats at Halloween

How hard is it

To disregard sugar rich chocolate treats

Near the front door

Hard

Damned hard

For a recovering chocoholic

Nuts and seeds

Fill in

Second stringers off the bench

Playing over their heads

Thump

Thump

Thump

Another knock

Thanks god, another handful depleted

Take more

Leave me no temptations

But then again

A test of resolve

Is a test worth taking

If I can overcome that

I might be able to overcome

Other foibles

Weaknesses

Flaws

And seek redemption

In your love

David Trudel  ©  2012

Circular Moment

The future will take care of itself

Because it already has

There is only one now

Here

This moment

Philosophers and scientists agree

That times true nature is not linear

But circular

Past, present and future co-existing

Now

So I will say/say/said

I love you

I love you circularly; past, present and future

Multi-dimensionally

Cosmically

Beyond conformance with local norms

Confounding expectations

Disregarding nervous arbiters of false reality

Slipping through perceived constraints

Of mortal paradigms

Reaching celestial heights

And within this love

Discover the divine

David Trudel   ©  2012

Not Quite Right

Had an appointment

With happiness

A sure thing

Predictable

But was dissed

Instead

David Trudel  ©  2012

Aftermath

Weatherwet

Tears aren’t even noticed

In the deluge

Survival is no game

Life and death

Isn’t an algorithm

Team colors aren’t an issue

In dark battles

Against terror

There are no divisions

When faced with disaster

Just more hands to help

But in smugwarm backrooms

Plotters plot, divide to conquer

Based on groundless fears and baseless lies

David Trudel  ©  2012

Epic Tales

Epic tales

Worthy of the name

Come with long odds

Labors

Storms

Battles

Evil sorcerers

There’s always ambiguity to contend with

Hidden pathways

Leading to hidden treasures

Setbacks

Adding dramatic tension

Turbulence

To shake things up

Yet, a thread of hope

Weaves throughout the tale

Persistence

Turns the tide

Deeds are done

Villains overcome

Conclusion follows with a triumph

That tickertapes from the Field of Mars

Through Caesar’s Rome

All the way to

Home

David Trudel  © 2012

Extra-terrestrials

Speculative wonderers

Search the skies

Looking for starlight companions

Precursors

Yet, perhaps those UFOs

Chariots of gods and goddesses

Aren’t from some distant planet at all

But from a different time

Simply human after all

Slipping through time

Unburdened by the linearity commanded by Cronos

Who was slain, after all

Eons ago

Or following another line of thought

Notice the similarity between star maps

And our own inner space

Maybe we are part of infinite chain of beings

Nesting Russian dolls

Leading inward

Leading outward

To a platonic ideal

Of twelve companions

Sharing an infinity together

Outside of what we know of time and space

Staving off boredom

Through observing the complexity of life

Human struggles

To them

We are the night’s show

Just part of the multi-channeled universe

David Trudel  ©  2012

Goldstream 3

Arched guardians

Beckon acceptance

I follow the trail

Over root crowded corners

Leafy aisles

Autumnal shades

Golden experience

Overhead

Supplications

Branches beckoning

To skies

Stars

Moonlight

Coda;

A letter

Scripted organically

David Trudel  ©  2012

Goldstream 2

Frondswept trails beckon

Pulling me further

Into

Prehistoric splendour

Antedeluvian

Dinosaur plants

The short and curlies of the rain forest

As sensual

As the delta

Of your thighs

David Trudel  ©  2012

Goldstream 1

River pulls me

Primal call

Water flowing over roundrocks

Freshet of sound and life

Through groves and thickets

Cliffs and ferns

Filtering distractions

Leaping

Rushing

Heralding refreshment

David Trudel   ©  2012

Between

Sandwiched between earthquakes and hurricanes

My tranquility remains unshaken

Apparently unstirred

Untouched by tectonic shifts

Unmoved by perfect storms

But that’s just the external

Local weather

Internally

It’s all rocks and hard places

With precious little room between

Lavaflows mark the passage of the eruptions of my emotions

Turbulent winds have uprooted old growth forests of thoughts

Today it’s calm, though

When I balance just right

Almost serene

David Trudel    ©  2012

Two Hearts

When I see you and you see me

Finally

Time will cease

Walls will disappear

There won’t be anybody else

Just you and me

Our eyes will lock

Our arms will reach

I’ll kiss your lips and hold you close

The only sound we’ll hear

Is our two hearts

Harmonizing to a single beat

It won’t be you and me anymore

After that moment of a when

We’ll be us

A plurality of non-conformity

And you don’t have to treat me like a king

Just be my lover

Be my friend

I will love you

Like nobody else can

To the ends of the earth

From the depths of my soul

So answer your own question

The one you sang so sweetly

When will I see you?

When will I see you?

David Trudel   ©  2012

This was inspired by:  http://socramama.blogspot.ca/2012/10/will-we-ever.html

Mild Corruption

Mild corruption is what I propose

Sleeping in past 6:00 a.m.

Having a beer in the afternoon

A toke on the after dinner walk

Mild corruption

Like sex in the afternoon

Just because

Like a hand on your thigh

At the family restaurant

Other eyes focused on the fries

While I

Disturb you

I want to mildly corrupt you

Get you drunk on champagne

Keep you up past midnight

I want to run the red lights of your heart

I want to tag the underside of bridges

Armed with cans of spray paint

With you leading the charge

I want to go to Walmart with you and not buy anything

And tell the greeter that they didn’t have what we wanted

I want to mildly corrupt you

Make you feel almost like you’ve sinned

But not quite

David Trudel   © 2012

Invocation

Grant me inspiration

Wash me in the river of creativity

Let my eyes see truth

Let me appreciate beauty in all its many forms

Grant me the grace not to hold tight but to give away

Allow peace to enter my heart

Let me give away my love unreservedly

Let me receive love unconditionally

Illuminate my path in the dark of night

Shade my way in the heat of the day

Grant me wisdom borne of struggle

Bring me tranquility in tragedy

Grant me inspiration

David Trudel   ©  2012

Scotch Mist

We called it scotch mist

Lightly falling rain

On dimlit days

Pewtered skies leaking wisps of fog

Dampening forest symphonies

Chillwinds crawl puckeringly slow

Up arms

Over shoulders

Settling with icethuds

Beneath my clothes

Screaming me into now

Cathartic

Cleansing

Redeeming

Chill winds and autumn mists

Scour me clean

Remove heldfast past

Start again

Become supplicant to skies

Searching for benediction

Hope

Completion

Seeking purification

Without ceremony

Intervention not required

My ear

Close enough to ground

David Trudel   ©  2012

Self Portrait

I’m pretty transparent

You can see right through me

I’m organic

An environmentalist

I like hats

And I carry a big stick

David Trudel    ©  2012

Compass

I have the compass heading

That will guide me to your heart

There are no oceans or lonesome miles

Big enough to keep us apart

And I want to cross the border

Past the frontier of your love

Together we’ll make memories

Better than paradise above

I feel the pull between us

And I know that you do too

So reach out and embrace me

Put your hand upon my back

Pull me closer when I kiss you

And when you kiss me back

I don’t even need a compass

To find my way to you

We’re joined at the heart it seems

In a way that’s long but true

David Trudel    ©  2012

Message 2.0

Where are you?

Flashed the message on my screen

On my return

Moonbeaming poems and falling stars

I keyed

And?

Came the fast response

No luck no magic tonight

Enter

Just silvered clouds with gaptoothed grins

A hint of winter in the air

Faint whiff of woodsmoke on the wind

Pungent scent of rotting leaves

Enter

Felt spiderwebs drift cross my face

Heard crunch of gravel in misty space

Along the way I heard the rustles

Tell tale signs

Potential trouble

Maybe a cougar

Or a bear

One night last year

Almost got trampled

By a deer

So noises in the night

Beware!

Enter

 

Distant sirens pierce the silence

Emphasizing the point

Announcing some new violence

Enter

Overhead, luminescent clouds roll by

Obscuring meteoric showers

Backlit by a quartermoon

Cloudfaced trolls fly overhead

Noble Aslan cloudshows next

A pig wings its floyd way home

Enter

Looking down across the city

Final urban push

Before the sea

A panoply of lights descends

Distant towers preen in full wattage

Dimmed streets outlined in orange fuzz

Illegal fireworks arc briefly there

Distant echoes boom

More police chase across the view

Looks more urgent

Than what I’m doing

Finding falling stars and poems

But maybe not

Maybe not

Enter

David Trudel  ©  2012

Your Kiss, Squared

Your Kiss takes me

Reeling to the ends

Of the Earth—

Challenges the facts

Of my death,

Of my birth—

Speak Renowned Oracle,

Of the absence of sin,

For tasting your waters

Makes me Seventeen Again.

-jenn long

http://socramama.blogspot.ca/2012/10/fountain-of-youth.html

Your Kiss purges all doubts

Removes all fears

Carries us beyond this plane

Into a realm so pure

That mortality is shed

Along with other years

Until we stand outside of time’s constraints

To share a moment

Of unequalled grace

David Trudel  © 2012

Middle Class Slaves

Shut down faces in locked up cars

Grim visaged sufferers

Moving from one hell

To another

Tensely gripping wheels

Locked, loaded

Despairing

Staring ahead at lonely roads

Going nowhere

Stop and go traffic

Moving like a tide

Armies of the self-shackled

Working overtime

Willing slaves salved by soporific

Entertainment

Dumbed down slumber inducing excuses for not thinking

So bring on the next

Distraction

The next sleight of hand trick

To fall for

As long as it maintains the stasis of inaction

David Trudel  © 2012

Sweater

I am your favorite old sweater

Keeping you warm

In the night

I am scratchmade chicken soup

Ginger ale

Loaf of freshly baked bread

The dog at the foot of your bed

Feeling crappy

Shivering

Then baking

Throated battleground

Trench warfare

Misery

My arm

Gathers you in

Support

Strength

Find enough to soldier on

Take care of the kids

One step

One step

 One step at a time

Cup of herbal tea with honey

Hot bath

Fresh pj’s

Why does my body betray me

Feel the force

Drive away the inner demons

Drive away the pain

 

Stares down cold threats

Finds strength within

Finds a reason to go on and on

That’ll never be a sin

David Trudel  ©  2012

Skyped

Electric charges flow through our bodies

Part of the life force

Animating our lives

When I see you on the screen

Miles away but as close as a kiss

Turbines roar

My grid heats up

Circuits fry

Fuses blow

Shorting technology

In a burst of charged feelings

Fade to black

For now

David Trudel    ©  2012

Stroll

Sunday stroll around the lake

Time to air

Tumbled thumped

Feelings

Dripping wet

With worry sweat

Up ahead dog walkers

Tangle the trail

A woman

Struggles with her leashed hurricane

Who obviously wants a full on canine

butt sniffing hello

Not a polite passing

Looks a lot like Congo, I thought

As I approach I realize

That it is

Congo

My ex-dog

My ex-wife

And the new boyfriend

Nice day for a walk we agree

Slip the dog a treat

Walk on

Briskly

Unsettled

Emotional spin cycle

Cleanses

Extraneous worries

Trusting gravity’s

Pull

Watching

New moon rise

On the horizon

Invigorating things, walks

David Trudel  ©  2012

Protest

This rabble needs no rousing

Cold winds keep us fresh

Awake to possibilities

Alert to threats

Against the land

Against the water

Against the people

So we raise our voices

Shout our opposition

To economic interests

That disregard so much

Short-term profits

Don’t trump sustainability

Stewardship means standing up

Speaking out

Finding warrior spirit

A backbone and

Resolve

David Trudel  © 2012

Graveyard of Dreams

I mourn the passing

Of the unchosen future

Regretting deviations from sacred path

Transforming transcendence to mere radiance

I sing eulogies

For the never weres

Bury bright moments

That beckoned warmly

Spurned dreams

Upset by harsh stark

Responsibilities and fears

I mourn the passing

Of unchosen futures

Unraveling quantum joy

In the graveyard of dreams

David Trudel  ©  2012

Message

Where are you?

Flashed the message on my screen

On my return

Moonbeaming poems and shooting stars

I keyed

And?

No luck no magic tonight

Hit reply

Just silvered clouds with gaptoothed grins

A hint of winter in the air

Faint whiff of woodsmoke on the wind

Pungent scent of rotting leaves

Foundational sensations

Reply

Felt

Spiderwebs drift cross my face

Heard crunch of gravel

All along I heard the rustles

Tell tale signs

Potential trouble

Could be a cougar

Or a bear

One night last year

Was almost trampled

By a deer

So noises in the night

Signal beware

Reply

Distant sirens pierce the silence

Emphasizing the point

Announcing some new violence

Reply

Overhead the clouds roll by

Obscuring meteoric showers

Backlit by quartermoon rising

Cloudfaced trolls fly overhead

Noble Aslan next

To cloudshow

Then a pig wings its floyd way home

Reply

Looking down across the city

Final urban push

Before the sea

A panoply of lights descends

Distant towers lit completely

Dimmed streets outlined in orange fuzz

Illegal fireworks arc briefly there

Distant echos

Boom

More police chase across the view

Looks more urgent

Than what I’m doing

Finding falling stars and poetry

But maybe not

Maybe not

Reply

David Trudel  ©  2012

Invasive ElementsInvasive elementsCrowd out natural spacesNatural speciesDisrupting micromacro websLifeforcesGrown over agesInterconnectedEradication of invaders is hardNext to impossibleSeedpods scattered in the rocky earthRemain viableGood to growFor 60 years or moreSo that even if we totally got rid of today’s plantsCountless more would spring up from the groundOver and overLike evil minions in ancient mythsStill, we persistFighting backPullingClippingHauling awayEven if it’s futileIts rightSo we fightStare down defeatEven ifInevitableDavid Trudel  ©  2012

I Am The Flower Warrior

Fingertapped awake

My heart flutters

At your distant touch

I awake supine on my chac mool bed

Ready to be sacrificed to feed the light of your love

Anticipating your obsidian fingertips

Reaching into my chest

Pulling my still beating heart into the first light of dawn

To fuel the rising of the sun

Giving my self

Giving my blood

So that love’s harvest

Will satiate our unquenchable hunger

For each other

David Trudel    ©  2012

Don’t Get Me Wrong

Don’t get me wrong

I love written word

Slow

Thoughtful

            Deliberate

Composition

Cerebral ramblings of mystic thoughts

Works of beauty

tiny pieces

art

Set forth just so

on a page

Or a screen

Written solo

Read solo

Oneness

But then we come to the Spoken

Word

Spoken Word

Spoken Word

Spoken Word

Where auditory channels are opened up by some kind of poetic stent

Unblocking those clogs

That threaten the heart

And where we don’t need no stinking bypass

This is where we jump off the high cliffs into glacial water

This is where we bungee jump

Naked

This is where we say

Shut the fuck up, assholes

Listen

Listen to truth

Listen to lies

Doesn’t matter which

Here

Bathed in a benediction of sacred ideas

As random as the rain of shit of the pigeons from St. Mark’s Square

On the pilgrims beneath

Raining down like caustic bleach

Stripping away false pretense

Ideas cobbled together with stale gum and broken string

The flood of words

Erupts like fire over ice

Torching neurons

Then, in a flash

I’ll disappear

David Trudel      © 2012

Breeze

I am the breeze that blows across the plain

Caressing with an unseen embrace

Raising goosebumps on your skin

Surrounding you with spirit care

Dancing

A dust devil jig across your yard

Flapping the flag on the pole

Running an unseen hand through your hair

Pervasive

Sneaking into your clothes

Touching you to your core

And with each bemused smile on your gentle lips

I send another gentle wisp of wind

In silent communion

A spirit kiss

David Trudel  © 2012

Turn Signals  

What is it

About left turn signals

Those flashing green arrows

That mean

Turn left!

Turn left!

Turn left!

That so confuses some people?

Have they really been unaware of this rudimentary technology

For so long?

They hesitate

Equivocate

Should I go?

Should I go?

Inch forward

Really?

Really?

Maybe I shouldn’t

Sorry

Slowly

Slowly

Slowly

All the while the two dozen other cars

Rev their engines

In the line behind but

See their chance disappear

Behind this idiot

Who’s losing time

Gumming up the works

Giving us the gears

David Trudel  © 2012

Transcendent

We each have an inherent potential

Within us

Beyond us

Among us

To transcend this pinprick yelp of our brief lives

In so doing, dissolve into a rippling field

Become a wave

Not a singular place on the wave

But the wave itself

Big

Losing sense of self

Completely

Jumping past

All earthbound limitations

Just like the shamans and mystics

Of the past foretold

Imagination holds the key

To fire neural passageways

To missing synapses

Forgotten genes

Revealing

Cosmic mysteries

Through this wisdom now revealed

Vibrate on waves

Of distant starlight

Crossing time across the night

Just disembodied thoughts

Transcending timebound physicality

Or is this is just an errant thought?

Are we shackled here and now

To this cruel paradigm

Of accepted thought and shared belief

In cause

Effect

                   & Evidence

Firmly anchored on the ground

No chance ever

Of soul’s release

Or do intuition and the heart

Hold sway?

David Trudel  © 2012

Oscillations

Oscillations

between skitter scratching anxiety

And deep calmness

Incredible frustration

And satiation

Despair

Relief

Stasis shackled

I wait

Wait

Wait

Emotions compressed

By anticipation and fears

Heightened by faith

The cage doors are all open

The lions have all fled

My demons have left the building

Driven off by promises

Of the release that lies ahead

David Trudel   © 2012

Celestial Duet

Rainbow Promise

We sleep together.

I nap at twilight

As you turn,

Still dreaming in the early morn.

Only the letters of your name I see,

For I have never beheld your face.

Terrified to pronounce their sounds,

The darkness of their type comes straight

From the hammered bracelet

Of the asteroid belt,

And the purest ink

Of Neptune’s dark rings.

But the pressure on my bodice is real.

The bias of your love, I feel,

As light pierces the dark water,

And forces the rainbow.

-jenn long

http://socramama.blogspot.ca/2012/10/rainbow-promise.html

Skywaltz

The pull is undeniable

Nothing between us but an idea

In a vacuum

A few fragmented particles

Pinned down

By this stately dance

A measured quadrille

Through the panoply

Above

Around

Beneath

Spinning under control

Balanced in a fingertip embrace

Through mystic time’s

Eternity

In deepest dreams of mythic space

David Trudel    © 2012

Rainswept

Summer dusted glaze

Slurrystreams down the path

Washing dust

Broken leaves

A few faded hopes

Dreams

Memories of heat

Away

Raindrops crash all around

Few managing the full descent to the trail

Canopied by the exhaltation of the forest

Branches stretched in supplication

Victory

Protection

Hat topped and impervious

Striding stewardly

Through shadows

And the falling leaves

At peace

In this dark landscape

Realizing this gift of safety in the night

Security

Fearlessness

Innocence

Is rare, so very rare

So deserving of my delight

Nightsmiling I ascend hilltop high

Watch the glow of the city

Spread out below in shrouded glory

Appreciating

This uncommon beauty

Of a rainswept night

David Trudel  ©  2012

Allergy

So many food allergies

That we all worry about

Parents and teachers

Conditioned to no more peanut butter sandwiches at school

Whole neighborhoods learning to use Epi pens

Inhalers as common as calculators in hallway lockers

But my allergy is worse

My allergy is pretty drastic

My allergy covers the menu

Artisanal loafs of seven grain bread

Truckstop breakfasts

Cinnamon buns

Grande lattes with little works of art inscribed in the foam

Pulled pork and baked beans

Poutine

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Nachos

Roast lamb

Thanksgiving turkey

Even the stuffing is off my menu

Heaping mounds of pasta? Gone

Garlic toast

Clubhouse sandwiches stacked high

With fries

Escargot baked in mushroom caps

Jambalaya steaming hot

Sodas in a frosted glass

Fructose, glucose and corn syrup

Chicken pot pies

And of course, pizza

Whether deep dish

Whole wheat crust

Or baked al forno in a brick oven

Gone

Gone

Gone

What are the symptoms you may well ask

They include

Double chins,

(yes that’s an intentional plural)

Stout full bellied profile

Shortness of breath when you bend over to tie your shoes

So you have to buy loafers and slip-ons

Incipient diabetes

Thighs as big as the trunks of trees

Cellulite deposits growing faster than suburban sprawl

It gets worse when you outgrow the gym clothes

And you can’t find anything larger

Even at Walmart

Sigh

You have to trade in the subcompact with great mileage

For an F150 with good springs

Sideways glances mark your slow progress when you venture

Out

Pitying glances

Arrogant sneers

Nods of commiseration from the others so afflicted

Until finally

You pull yourself away from the table

The diners

Bars and grills

Drive-thru burger joints

Fine dining restaurants dimly lit

Delis serving lox and bagels

Not to mention the frozen food section

Say goodbye to all that

Start to lose the body fat

Fruits and veggies

Nuts and seeds

Are pretty much all that’s left

On which to feed

So the symptoms fade away

Your swollen shape retracts

Returns to form

And you realize

That your allergy has been subverted

Cured

David Trudel   © 2012

Gravity

Gravity pulled me into your orbit

Spinning me around

Holding me in place

Geosynchronously

To share this ride through

Time and space

Forever gazing

At your sweet face

David Trudel   © 2012

Quantum Love

Quantum physics explains a lot about love

Wave theory certainly applies

As starbright breakers roll over us

Souls swept up in a tidal rush

The heat of our affection

Obeys the law of thermal equilibrium

And the principle of equipartition

Cosmic inflation of feelings occur

The big bang

Leads the way

To unification

So when the quantum of my love collides with yours

Meltdown

Is inevitable

David Trudel  © 2012

Sometimes

Sometimes my little boy

Unevolved self

Takes over the command center of my brain

Screams jealously

Craves attention

The rational side pleads

Be quiet

She’s busy

For good reason

The little boy

Whines

Stomps his feet

Where is she?

Shouting anger

Resentment

Jealousy

Then, the deeper me emerges

He laughs them off, those petty urges

Smiling as the boy becomes the man

Concerned about

His rash impositions

Flawed attempts to communicate

Lack of empathy

Inability to be at the table of white towel waving fans applauding the banjo lady

And worried that these unalterable deficiencies

Might be noticed

Noted

Subtracted from the sum of the good parts

When all he really wants

Is to give away

His heart

David Trudel   © 2012

PinPricked

Pinpricked

The bubble leaks its charmed air

Ssss

Ssss

Ssss

Begins to collapse

Twists

Turns

The magic of the spell is broken

As the elasticity of this gift

Crystallizes

With each outflow

Hardens

Contaminated

By doubt

Indecision

Blunt reality

Fears

So the bubble bursts

Dissolves

Disappears

Becomes a memory

Of a pathway never taken

Another might have been world

Never explored

Dream trumping reality

Wins another round

David Trudel     © 2012

Too Much Information

There is this flood

This cascade

                        This torrent

That overwhelms me

Daily

My levees are breached

The dykes have failed

And no small army of earnest volunteers filling sandbags

Will ever hold back this tide

Some days it’s so bad

Its like those images of the tsunami victims

Being pushed around in their sinking cars into pure hell up ahead

And that’s how I feel

With all this information

These articles and essays

Rants and raves

Links to books

I mean the whole fucking Library of Congress holdings

Are out floating around there somewhere

Not to mention the Youtube videos

Everything that you could ever imagine

Like how to put snow chains on your car

Or throatsinging techniques

Or fifty years worth of TV commercials.

What we all really love about Youtube

Are the music videos

Originals and covers

Studio and live performances

All coming at you like a monster wave

And you’re in that curl

And you know its going to break

But not quite yet cause that’s the moment we’re in

The bubble moment

When time stops

Everything starts floating weightlessly

You look around and see page after page after page

Of information

Stretching out in double helix patterns into infinity

Row after row of filing cabinets a mile high

And a river deep

Countless coils of fiber optic cables

Connecting supersystems

Server farms stretching across the great plains

All of them crammed and overflowing

Constantly growing

Next!

Next!

Next!

Creatively self-replicating assembly lines

Spreading information

Ideas,

Fact and fiction

Hate and love

Wisdom and

Ephemeral pieces of crap that clutter the clutter.

Delete

Delete

Delete

In that bubble moment

You recognize the value of the small handful

The rare

The shining stars

Truthtellers

Shamans

Wise Women

Sages

The ones you are privileged to know

Their very scarceness

Makes it easy to bundle them together quickly

Hold them close

Don’t worry about the rest of the ocean

And when the wave breaks

It’ll be just fine because

It’s just a metaphorical wave

Not a real one

Not a real one like in Hawaii

So imagine that you’re a surfer,

The same as before

The biggest wave in history is crashing down

But wait!

A magic force field represented by a blue bubble

surrounds you

protects you from the violence

The force

The inevitability

Oppression

Tyranny

Of all this relentless information

That’s the bubble moment coming to the rescue

Fending off certain death and dismemberment

It is trust

Trust in those spirits you’ve gathered together

Who choose words wisely

Deliberately

That creates the bubble

That conveys the strength

Required to withstand the full blown force of a cosmic ocean

Falling on your head

So that you can keep your head above water

And

Simply breathe

Survive

And grow

David Trudel  © 2012

Onion

Each discovery

Each peeled back layer of tear inducing

Onion skin wrapping

Surprises me

And yet not really

Since it all feels so

Right

Familiar

Similar

Yet different

In a mixed up

Crazy kind of way

Esoteric interests

Growing like the weeds between the paving stones

Of our acculturated minds

Commitments, the mortar holding us in place

Moments of revelation

And release

As we dance across

This coldlit room

No touching here

Strictly clinical approaches

But through my craft and blameless art

(Never sullen)

I have contrived through artifice and rank desire

A place for Eros to conspire

So we do

Conspire and inflame

Discover thoughts we thought were lost

Discover feelings never named

And as the onion sharpens tongue and drives the tear

That tracks my cheek

I feel you so near

Through time and space’s equilibrium

So a wormhole

Must appear

To send you on your way to me

David Trudel    ©  2012

Cars

You see faces looming up for a brief instant

As you hurtle by one another

Whoosh

Whoosh

Whoosh

Onrush of air stirs a

Sweet kiss moment as tons of

Metal

Glass

Plastic

Careen inches away

But for an instant there’s a flashbulb moment

Both of you look to see who’s sharing the space

There, caught in flagrante are the nosepickers

Booger mining

They don’t seem to care that the windows are transparent

Engaged in some major excavation of the nasal cavity

While on public display

The problem eaters, pushing into their slathering mouths

Junk food packets of varying size and heft

Spew inducing confections only mildly poisonous

Reckless texters playing with the ubiquitous devices

Going down with all thumbs

Wardrobe adjusters moving the girls or adjusting the package

Dolled up dolls

Applying eye shadow

Mascara

Lipstick

Looking at the rearview mirror instead of the road

Some of them have spotless cars

Some cars are full of trash

Or beanie babies glued across the dash

You hurtle by this kaleidoscope of faces

Speculate on who they are

Imagine a date with that cute one

Try to guess occupations

These days a lot of faces are blank

Inured to the weight of troubles

That burdens their souls

A lot of faces are red faced angry

Neck straining

Eye popping

Steam blowing

Red faced angry

I like the singers a lot better

Who are never off key

Belting it out with gusto and abandon

Passengers who prop their dirty feet on the dashboard

Or dangle them out the window

Likely for a good airing

Smokers chugging away

Like those old steam engines they used to have in the westerns

Some people are crying

Tears streaming down their faces

While their white knuckled grips

Are about to snap the steering wheel into pieces

Some faces smile back

Share a moment with a grin

And a come hither flirt that flies from eye to eye

Mutual seduction instantaneously

Two cars passing

In the night

David Trudel  © 2012

This Line Live

Follow the link to find my performance of This Line.

Poetry Duet Redux

 

Charmed

He’s prepared this daydream for me—

Allows me to see him for this moment.

Gloriously adorned,

The universe hangs

Glittering around his neck.

I am stunned,

For he is stunning,

I quiver to think how badly I’ve underestimated him,

(And spoken so casually.)

But he is so above

All of these conditions,

Detached from the results,

Yet, within my nature, so at home.

He takes my hand,

Curls it to his lips,

And gives me the tiniest, little peck.

It’s a good thing that’s all he gave me,

For it’s more than I can handle.

I sense that he has more to give

When I am able to bear.

The promise is Titan planetary.

It dangles on his necklace.

But for now, a smooth worn pebble will do,

And a ribbon for my hair.

-jenn long

http://socramama.blogspot.ca/2012/10/charmed.html

 

Charmed Dreams

Some dreams are sent with mythic intent

Flung from a distant Olympic height

To sow conspiracy for love’s delight

Propel the faintest glimmer into life extant

From my wild sky open temple

Built on stone cold ropes that once reached the very stars

Amidst oaken groves I wander

Wondering at the pendulum descending

From the thin black string

My fingers clutch

Realizing that this string is no more

Nor no less tangible than the invisible one

That binds our hearts

That pulls our thoughts

Across a universal void

To Elysian fields where we will find

Sweet solace in love’s embrace

And share our dreams through each pore and cell

Annointing one another with the balm of peace

Until the dream shall cease

David Trudel   ©  2012

I was playing chess with my brother

I was playing chess with my brother

We were using a plastic fold-up travel set

The pieces had little magnets in their bases

So no matter how turbulent the game might get

In the myriad travel adventures one might have

They’d stay put

The board would never be upset

No matter if the plane hit an air pocket and stuff went flying

Even if the oxygen masks popped out in front of you

The chess set clutched in your hand is safe

Its pieces unperturbed

Undisturbed by petty forces like gravity

No matter if the cheap Greek ferry you should never have taken

Is pitching and rolling its way across mythic waters

While you are puking your guts out over the railing

The damned chess game will be safe

Where your green faced brother

Waits in a deck chair for your return

I was playing chess with my brother

In Tahiti

A layover between Bora Bora and Auckland

5 star hotel for a change

Better than that first night on Bora Bora

Being attacked by hundreds of land crabs

In a thatched roof shelter

We were sheltering on park benches in the dark

While the crabs went clickety clack at our feet

And we regretted our lack of reservations but

The chess set was unperturbed and not shaken at all

Back in Tahiti and uber civilization

We wandered the lobby and grounds

Looked for a quiet corner to play chess for a while

Which we did

Relaxing in tropical splendor

The air redolent with an aromatic assault of fragrance

And foliage that spewed forth everywhere

Lush beyond the understanding of a northerner

I was playing chess with my brother

In a hotel in Tahiti

I was playing chess with my brother

In a hotel in Tahiti

When the area around us was invaded

By badly dressed

Middle aged at best

Loud obnoxious tourists

Who sat down at the other tables we had barely noticed

The courtyard seemed to have grown a stage magically

A flourish of light and sound announced the arrival

Of some touristy Polynesian show

I was no longer playing chess with my brother

I was watching a show

You know, the kind of thing they do on cruises

A Disney dizzy rendition of a corporately approved version of the folkloric past

Bumps and grinds dressed up in National Geographic yellow and black

I almost enjoyed it for a while

No longer playing chess with my brother

Until the show got to the part where the dancers

Get off the stage and head into the audience to pick partners

That’s when I found myself onstage

In a 5 star hotel in Tahiti

Taking a Polynesian dance lesson

To the great delight of a happy crowd

Boisterous package tour tourists

Me, wishing I was playing chess with my brother

Who was clutching the unperturbed chess-set

While I made a good natured but failed attempt to comply with the commands

My hips and knees and elbows moving in disarray

Hoots and hollers, guffaws ensued

For a brief moment I was embarrassed

Then I remembered that these were just the same odious tourists

I had rolled my eyes and arched my eyebrows at

Mere moments before

So I relaxed and rolled with it

Was sent back to my seat eventually

Eventually they all packed up and left

We exhaled

I was playing chess with my brother

David Trudel   © 2012

Riverpathing

Riverpathing

Alone with my thoughts

Anxieties in deep recession

Bolstered by flattery

Attention

I sense something new

A warm feeling, warm as the sun on my back

Name it contentment

And climb clinging trails carved along the rocky gorge

To marvel at the beauty in this world

And you

David Trudel   ©  2012

Charmed Dreams

Some dreams are sent with mythic intent

Flung from a distant Olympic height

To sow conspiracy for love’s delight

Propel the faintest glimmer into life extant

From my wild sky open temple

Built on stone cold ropes that once reached the very stars

Amidst oaken groves I wander

Wondering at the pendulum descending

From the thin black string

My fingers clutch

Realizing that this string is no more

Nor no less tangible than the invisible one

That binds our hearts

That pulls our thoughts

Across a universal void

To Elysian fields where we will find

Sweet solace in love’s embrace

And share our dreams through each pore and cell

Annointing one another with the balm of peace

Until the dream shall cease

David Trudel   ©  2012

This Poem

This poem is a promise

A promise that says fealty

As much as the annual recitations of the landless to the landed

The foreswearing of commitment

This poem sings your praises

Heaping halleluiahs on the sighs of angels

Listening to the echoes of your bright truth

That you call forth so effortlessly

In stringed communion with these comfortable friends

This poem says we stand together

Guarding each others back

Against the slings and arrows of fortunes outraged

Yet holding fast, at last

This poem walks you home

This poem is a promise and a hope

This poem invites you to stay

David Trudel  ©  2012

Duet by Two Poets

Sweet Arrival

I’ve ever felt a closeness

To something unspeakably good.

A presence that, without moving at all,

Beats me to my arrival.

But not goading as a competitor,

Or gloating as one so much better,

He drops sweet petals,

Airs the place,

And dispels the shadows alone.

Then he waits for the likes of me.

It makes me wonder

How I can turn so easily,

And even consider something so temporary,

And so lacking.

-jenn long

http://socramama.blogspot.ca/2012_10_01_archive.html

Perfect

This is such a perfect poem

It calls out for

deserves

requires

The perfect poetic reply

The first is too awkward

Delete

The second too obvious

More than a little trite

Delete

Next, a little humor

It’s misplaced

Delete

Soon the trash basket overflows

My words inadequate for the task

I surrender the page

Weave a basket

Visit Monet’s garden

Gather timeless blossoms

Select sensuous Georgia O’Keeffe buds

Flowering in exquisite color in the desert of New Mexico

Accept tall and slender calla lilies

Offered by Diego Rivera himself

Explore the meadows of Persephone’s abduction 

Craft a garland of the bounty of primordial spring

Find a Delphic laurel branch

And in the golden light of sunset

Pick mythic apples of the Hesperides

And with these tokens

Simple notions

Spread petals at your feet

David Trudel  © 2012

Deep Passion

Deep passion runs unchecked

Across borderless fields where words gallop

Like thundering horses

Across the high sierra and

Straight up the continental divide

Deep passion taps primal forces that aren’t modulated

That can’t be dialed down

Toned down

Faded

Muted

Reduced

To something less than the full on force of a cosmic emotion

That has you on a roll

A roll a roller that’s an insane coaster

Looping loops and corkscrewing

Climbing straight up

Plunging over dropoff cliffs that rival the grand canyon

So you can’t stand up in your seat

Wave to an attendant to slow it down

If you did you’d die for sure

And though this feels like being an instant away

From being splattered on the ground

You trust that some nameless engineer

Actually knew what they were doing and

Built this ride to bring it on home

Bring it on home

Bring it on home

To where deep passion runs unchecked

David Trudel   © 2012

Closer

 

 If I was to follow my passion

I’d be in my car tonight

Careening down the interstate

On a highway bound for you

But I’m stalled here

Hanging time

As we wait and wait and wait

Just another hold up

Getting in between the two of us

While we wait for the world

To catch up

To where we’ll end up

Just when you think it’ll never work out

I call your name

And you wake up

David Trudel   © 2012

Heroes

Heroes go above and beyond

My heroes are single moms

Who wake up early

Get their kids to school

Figure out ways to pay the never-ending bills

Are there for homework

Or just to toss a ball around

My heroes are the single moms

Who wake up early

Go to bed late

Who listen carefully

To fragile hopes and heartfelt prayers

Even as their own hopes fade into a forgotten

Shadow of neverwere

My heroes are the single moms

Who are singular

Worthy of applause

From the rest of us

But who never hear it

My heroes rock

And deserve so much more

My heroes

Are your mothers

David Trudel   ©  2012

Pushed

Funny, isn’t it

How negative emotions

Strong feelings

Become adrenaline fueled body rushes

Which have the power to turn digits

Into wild animals that crawl over the keyboard

Like skittering scattering cockroaches

My breath gets shallow as a sports fan’s mind at playoff time

I try to regain control like a swami

But I’m no eastern mystic

Some buttons can’t be unpushed

Those cockroaches need to crawl back

To their dark corners

Before tranquility returns

David Trudel  ©  2012

Eruption

Words cascade like flowing lava

Tumbling in a red hot fireglow

Out of a parade of mouths that strain

Implore

cajole

inform

subvert and shock,

Not that anyone here

Shocks easily, this room resists tectonic movement

These poems come crammed full of ideas

concepts

inner truths

self-loathing and

self-love

These words spill out overflowing

Like a broken levee spilling turgid water onto sodden streets

The more the better

Jam packed

Into impossibly long poems read from a single page

And I think that the font must be pretty fucking small

And their eyesight must be damned sharp

For one page to contain this jambalaya of wordfeast

While what I set down on my pages is sparse and spartan

Graphically arranged

Where phrases and words all need their space

And the space between the spaces informs the composition

While these chatterbox beat fiends fly paper kites in the light of the moon

Powered by the breath of a muse

These poems arrive in rhythmic cadences delivered

Naturally as a vaginal birth

Or pulled protesting from the womb in c-sectioned blood

While dilated irises betray the nervousness and fear

That shake fingers clutching just too tightly to a page

These lines explode over our heads like fireworks on a summer night

Briefly illuminating our dark thoughts and secret places

Synapses firing like bullets over Damascus

Punctuated by gentle heckling and raucous rebel yells

Roaring applause

Snapping fingers

Table thumping

While the red hot stream congeals into rock

A rock that will be mined and crushed and used for

Ornamental landscapes

Driveways

Pathways

Recalling the fluid past when rock was molten

Flowing in tongues of fire from the crater into the night

David Trudel  ©  2012

35 Hours

35 hours

Down a long road

Is what I’d need to cure this pain

Across the water

Through the rainforest

Rolling hills

Mountain passes

Plains

Careening down divided highways

Bridging this great divide

Stopping only for fuel, food

Sleeping at cheap motels that hum

With the throb of 18 wheelers

35 hours of swallowing miles

To swallow my heart

Which seems to be in my throat

Or on my sleeve

This condition won’t respond to ace inhibitors

But needs a laying on of hands

To cure

Hands that are

35 long hours away

David Trudel   ©  2012

Long Horizon

There is a long horizon

Under the waxing moon

Pale rising

Over the city beneath me

Where

Amber lit avenues

Gridscape through the trees

Ten thousand points of light

Prick the darkening gloom

While I search that long horizon

For a straight line

To you

David Trudel  ©  2012

Missile

This thought is launched like a guided missile

Aimed at your heart

Its accuracy is precise

The effect devastating and immediate

Over a thousand miles away

You survive its strike but your complacency is shattered

Even as your own thoughts

Are sent on their retaliatory mission of

Mutually assured

Seduction

David Trudel  ©  2012

Conspiracy No double entendresNo beaten down bushes hiding our true thoughtsOur words come uncloakedBareExposedOur words harmonizeVerse to verseVoice to voiceDirect and trueCompelling as the night’s full moonPull of the tideOur words conspirePulling us forwardAlong for the rideDavid Trudel   ©  2012

Resurrection

Forget the wine

Forget the day

Forget everything that

Crept up to this moment

Flesh on flesh

Eye to eye

A life within a sigh

You urge me on

Like I do to you

We race like warriors

No quarter given

Simply driven

To exceed what’s expected

So we do

Until we lie satiated

Panting

Full and empty

Waiting for resurrection

David Trudel  ©  2012

 

Dreams

Dreams are doorways

To so many possibilities

Some touches are ephemeral, barely felt

But imbued with weight nonetheless

Longing conspires with desire

To add gravity to attraction

To settle

Stratified

Below

David Trudel  © 2012

Half-moon
Half-moon rises in twilight skyPulling halfway crazies in tow

As the year turns, spirits shake loose

From sepulchers and hidden halls

Slipping into the frosted light of dusk

Sliding from time to place and place to time

In time and out of it

Placed and displaced

Disturbing wobbles of another dimension

Not quite in focus

But enough to set the dogs barking

Hackles rising

As they sniff that faint whiff of sulfur

Crackle of ozone

As I too feel the ripple of the veil

That shades our world

David Trudel  ©  2012

Long Dance

Bifurcated trees show up quite a lot

In these parts

Sometimes they look like a tall thin giant ent

Has just dove right into the dirt

Buried its head and arms in the ground

Maybe its stuck

Other times it’s more like a strange twinning

Locked for decades in a never-ending embrace

Dancing through the winter storms

Holding on as one

I imagine all the doomed lovers

Who have missed their chance

Being given this form as a just reward

Swaying skywards together

Joined at the base

Joined basely

Sap dripping

Plunging deep roots into the dirt

Where they hold on

To bedrock

Below

David Trudel   © 2012

Fall

Fall arrives looking a lot like summer

With a few differences

The parking lot at the lake isn’t very crowded

Like it is in July

There’s only one crowd of drunken teen cliffjumpers

Not the usual dozen

Less noise

I assume as much since I’ve got the tunes cranked and the earphones on

Today the shuffled top rated playlist actually seems to be random

For once

Whirligig seeds float to earth from the forest canopy

Briefly caught in columns of golden light

Dogs frolic on the beach, now that the season has turned

In the shadows of the forest the air is cool

A frisson of cold foreshadowed

Makes my bare arms shiver

With anticipation of the deepening cold

But today, stepping through the door into autumn

It looks a lot like summer

David Trudel  © 2012

Beguiled

She has a smile

That beguiles

A laugh that’s halfway to a sin

She blushes when someone sings her praises

She is a friend of mine

She corrals those crazy horses

Rides the pedal to the metal

The wind barely ruffles

Her blazing mane

Though we’ve never met

A meeting of the minds

Is so much more sincere

Than so many masks we wear

She is a friend of mine

She has a smile that beguiles

A laugh that’s halfway to a sin

Lighting up a room

Lighting up my face

All she has to do

Is look my way

She is a friend of mine

She questions what we find

Pushes boundaries and limits

Just can’t get beyond

The ocean in our way

David Trudel   © 2012

Close the Door

I close the door on summer from an exterior room

Spiralled rock ascending like a celtic rune

Scooped stone marks the heart of this hill

Former mountain

Ground down by the rolling glacial might of thousands

Thousands

Thousands

Tons of ice

At the cusp of the equinox

Leaves already swirl their way to litter the ground

I close the door on summer

Feeling how thin the afternoon’s warmth has become

Sitting at the top of what’s left of this hill

Former mountain

Absorbing the depth of this rock that plunges

Deep within the crust

Anchoring itself against the shifting of the plates

Fissures, quakes and lava flows

Tsunami waves thundering down the straits

I close the door on summer

Thinking that we made it through another season

Tomorrow I’ll climb back up

To open up the next door

David Trudel  © 2012

Soundly

So many sounds

Are just illusions

We’re good at delusions

Ascribing this to that

Cautious as diplomats

Naming things not what they are but

Something else instead

I thought I heard the wind one day

It wasn’t the wind at all

It was just the trees protesting

Clinging tight before the fall

What’s the sound of a heart being broken

Is it a cry in the night or a sob in the dark

A slam of a door, or a catch in your throat

What’s the sound of passion

Rub of skin on skin

Shh, shh, someone might hear

Intake of breath in your ear

So near

Impatience sounds like fingers drumming on a tabletop

Torture begins with nails on a chalkboard

Ends with a choked wail

Happiness is children splashing in a swimming hole

Shrieking in delight

Mystery shrouds a foghorn’s moan

Or a train’s long whistle in the night

Applause means appreciation

Where did that begin

Who thought that slapping palms together

Should declare approbation

And why, when we’re asleep and dead to the world

Virtually deaf

Why do we say we sleep soundly

Even as our snores resound around the room

David Trudel  ©  2012

C Change

Selfishly, I like the warm September

But the Arctic melt

So dramatic

Presages

Catastrophes to come

Climate change deniers

Your time is up

From floods to fires and

God knows what else

The cats are long gone from that old bag

Enjoy your house while it still stands

Enjoy the forests that surround your land

Before you know it

They’ll all be gone

Before you know it

They’ll be long gone

So say goodbye

To what we know

And say hello to a horror show

It’s shaping up to fall apart

Just wait and see

And say hello

David Trudel  © 2012

Unplain

It’s plain to me

That you aren’t, at all

As I uncover your tastes

Explore the blank page

That you have yet to turn

A page to write together

In kisses and caresses

Which are as organic

As the raw silk sheets beneath you

As close to fabric as we’ll get

You are all the cover I need

Not much at all, in fact

We’ll trace journeys in each other’s flesh

Stoking fires that burn out of control

For days

While we feast together on love

A banquet of raw desire

Cooked up hot

Steaming

Not an empty calorie in sight

Full bellied we’ll laugh in exaltation

As the long night is burned away

By dawn’s promise

Of a brighter day

David Trudel  ©  2012

Happy Birthday Susan

Let’s begin with the bow

Big and mauve and perfectly tied

Handmade by Martha Stewart herself

She even signed the ribbon

Cinched around the box

The box is a perfect cube

Wrapped in champagne silk

That is only produced in a single village

In a hidden location in the middle kingdom

The silken wrapping has been handstitched into place

By Irish nuns, cloistered in an ancient convent

Each stitch comes with a prayer and a teardrop

Supplication, devotion and acceptance are sewn in

You decide to leave this present unwrapped

You place it on your desk

On a pile of printouts of the keepers

The ones you felt were worthy to be inked on paper

The mystery of the contents of the box

Might cause some to rip open the treasured wrappings

Greedily tear open the box hoping for reciprocal reaction

To the action of the wrapping

Major bling, maybe a piece of Chihuly glass

A signed “Victoria Lucas” first edition of The Bell Jar

Instead

You resist

Savoring the mystery

Knowing the promise is so vast

So perfect

There is no need to disturb it

Since the inspiration is so grand

Outside the box

Just like you

Are outside the box

And your curiosity, the need to uncover deeper truths

Enjoys contemplating the plight

Of whatever it is that’s trapped within

Just like you do everyday

With every line you write

David Trudel  © 2012

Elusive

You are elusive

Not quite approachable

Thin as air

Insubstantial as an autumn mist

Or the thoughts that flee from this pen’s capture

Every now and then you pause

Turn the full force of your smile on me

Hold out your arms

Those moments never last

But they’re enough to keep me addicted

To happiness

David Trudel  © 2012

The Intensity of My Belief

The intensity of my belief

In my cares

In my concerns

Pales in comparison

To the cries of the imprisoned

The refugees

The forgotten

Homeless

Lost

And my agenda

Dries up

In the face of the calamities

Arriving en masse

Individually

An army of distress

That assails the globe

Yet I still am impulsed

By ego

Fueled by individualism

Driven by emotion

Such as it is

I am an army of one

In disarray

Facing all enemies

Of perfection

While perdition waltzes through

Swanning a glorious parade

To the end times

Or the beginning thereof

And so I wait

For the tipping point

Which might be so very near

Or may be still light years away

But whatever the case

The misery remains

So many tortured souls

So many lives on hold

So many dreams untold

While we keep on keeping on

Doing what is wrong

And fighting what we do not need

To fight

But overall the tension builds

While we keep dreaming up

Window dressing, as of course you know

We like to camouflage

Our targets and what it is we love

And hide our vulnerabilities

Beneath whatever it takes to conceal

What we really feel below

Below the superficialities

We just strike a pose

Cross our fingers and we cross our toes

Hoping for the very best

While this world implodes

David Trudel  © 2012

Isolated

Isolated

By our existentialism

We reach and slip

Fellowship

Can’t work

In a vacuum

Davis Trudel   © 2012

Roads

Let’s celebrate roads

From point A to Point No Point

Paved and graveled and hacked out of the land

Backroads that undulate through forests

On cracked and broken pavement

Laid down once and then forgotten

Let’s exalt in the multi-laned highways and freeways

Crisscrossing the continent in loops and curls

Of massive sculptural forms of concrete and stone

Dividing farms and connecting so many other dots

Where speed counts and the steel flies and flies die

In front of our eyes

Let’s remember short cuts

Especially the ones that are

Since so many aren’t

But however meandering a short cut can be

You’ll get to where you’re going

Eventually

Back alleys have their place

So what if it’s not where we spend our

Landscaping budget

They work don’t they?

Let’s applaud roads that are interrupted by

Canyons

Rivers

            Lakes

And are bridged or ferried to the other side

To take up the trail again

Paved roads

Dirt roads

Logging roads that switchback up and into mountaintops

Twisting highways that hug the coastline

Onramps

Offramps

Let’s give a blue ribbon

To streets that are the closest to downtown with free parking

Let’s give a drum roll to roads that lie beneath elevated trains

Transit shadowed shelters of the clickety clack

Let’s rock out a power chord

To freshly paved roads with rolling hills with shoulders

Wide enough for longboarders to really open up

Let’s boo and hiss at all the toll booths

That choke and squeeze from place to place

Emptying our spare change before we get to the parking lot

Let’s celebrate roads

Roads that bring us back home

Or to the seven wonders of the world

To games and fame and funerals

From my door to yours

It’s all the same

The road

David Trudel   © 2012

Dragons

This parade of young fire breathers

With sparking eyes and flaming wit

Full mouthed

Foul mouthed

Fully engaged

In each word and phrase that is offered

Or tossed like grenades

Into a trench

But there’s no shrapnel to frag the weakened flesh

Here the words fly like harmless toy arrows

To the bulls eyes of receptive faces

Coaxed out full of cadence and rhythm

Hesitation and trepidation

Clearly full of confident delight

Words cascade from us all

Table pounding

Finger snapping

Hoot hollering

A gospel revival of irreverent preachers

Itinerant wordsmiths of verse and song

Leading the faithful

In call and response

In this bacchanalia of verbosity

Imbibing lines with alacrity

Soused as Dylan Thomas at 2 a.m.

On the high test testimony

Sworn before the court of poetic justice

Young dragons

Speaking in tongues

Proclaiming truth in the illuminated night

David Trudel  © 2012

When I first met Harold

At the house he shared with my new friends

A place called Hippie Haven

He was working on multiple pieces of art

Simultaneously

While talking over the loud music

Our obnoxious distractions didn’t faze

It wasn’t so much that he created

Rather, he channeled creativity

Multimedia

Music, art, performance

Whichever way the muse led, he followed

Not a musician, at least at first

Harold commanded the soundboard for the band

Lights came as a second nature afterthought

And if he dealt in prohibited substances

The profit kept the band afloat

Between gigs

Through the years the art kept flowing

Monumental, tiny, primal

He turned to sculpture

Turned old car parts

Even airline meal carts

Into metaphors and mysteries

Handpainted leather jackets

Joined a Taiko drumming troupe

Created and fathered

Fostered aural soundscapes in his basement studio

Eventually the worm turned

Selfdoubts and darkness crept in

The creative wellspring

That had flowed for so long

Shut down, dried up

Until one day

Moving day

The day when the family house became someone else’s

He made the ultimate move

Didn’t get out alive

But his work

Lives on

David Trudel   © 2012

Balcony

This balcony is a good one

Better than some I’ve had

A meter deep and four long

Sheltered by the overhanging roof

Reached only by the sliding glass door

From my bedroom

Now

From this balcony

Present intense

Past intrudes

Beneath the trees

That ambivilate the street

Overhead a panoply

Of chemtrails and satellites

Obviate the obscurity

Of this balcony

Deep, long and sheltered

Staring into the sky in the night

In the shadows

Tonight

David Trudel  © 2012

Saints and Sinners

I’m a saint and I’m a sinner

Skeptic and a true believer

I obey most all the rules

But still I’m a rebel

At heart and at my centre

‘Cause I’m a saint and I’m a sinner

Skeptic and a true believer

Lost my way, then I found it

On the way to new beginnings

Just another kind of lesson

Where I’m a saint and I’m a sinner

Full of many contradictions

On the road to where it takes me

Wherever that ends up

In which direction warm wind blows

I guess I’ll go there

Full of all those contradictions

‘Cause I’m a saint and I’m a sinner

Skeptic and a true believer

Learning on the run

Watching as the lessons flow

Going fast and going slow

Where I’m a saint and I’m a sinner

Skeptic and true believer

Full of many contradictions

Saints

Sinners

Misconceptions

So I wait for you

Just like you wait for me

As angels sing their song

To both skeptics

And the true believers

David Trudel  ©  2012

@5

He would quote Garcia Lorca to shopkeepers

Engage salesmen or waiters with a sharp

Interested

Invested

Wit

We were buying shoes in Mexico City

We noticed a plaque

That this was the very spot

Cortes met Moctezuma

Which launched another political discourse

Gathered a small crowd

Until we remembered the shoes we were

Supposed to be buying

Were theoretical

Not yet existential

At 5

In the afternoon

David Trudel  ©  2012

Show

Muscles tense as stretched power lines in an icestorm

Draped in crystals

Hanging low

Yet the electricity is charged

Enough

To flow

Carry those electrons

Charged particles

Here and there

Make magic

Start the show

Muscles tense

As the curtain rises

From both sides of the footlights

An exhalation of breath

It begins

David Trudel  ©  2012

This Line

This line wasn’t drawn yesterday or today

This line goes way back

Straight through my heart

This line is as red as the blood that

Stained Jackie’s tailored suit

In the shadow of the grassy knoll

This line hangs as heavy

As the rope that bore such

Strange and bitter fruit

This line is the scar on Gabby Giffords’ scalp

This line is the tear falling

Down a mother’s cheek

This line is hot with rage and fury

This line was uttered in Ford’s Theatre

As theatrically as ever

This line is the sting of the whip

This line is the manacle that holds you in place

This line is drawn tight

Tight as a bow whose arrow

Will take flight

On a straight line to death

This line underscores the tally

Of the lost

This line spits hot lead

Randomly

In chaos

This line kills

This line is not a drawing

It’s a pathway to oblivion

And everlasting dark

David Trudel  ©  2012

This poem was inspired by a poem by Susan Daniels:

http://susandanielseden.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/that-line/

That Line

if there is
a line between free speech
& treason

between change
& revolution

between assembly
& rioting

it is fine
it is dark
& it is drawn

in blood

the problem is
it takes death

to tell the difference

Susan L. Daniels

Formless

My anarchic mind

Fights order

Rejects the tyranny of the must do’s

I tap the wellspring

Of hidden thoughts

Wait for ideas to rise and fall

Rise again

Come unglued and undone

Formless

No prompting

Impulsive as a giggle

Irregular as a muzzle loader in the rain

Effective at close range

Strangely

David Trudel  ©  2012

Ward

I awoke to the nurse poking

Prodding

She noticed I was at least somewhat awake

On a scale of 1 to 10

She said

How’s the pain

I felt like saying I don’t do numbers

I’m not a fucking accountant

It just hurts

Settled on 9

Which she wrote down on her chart

Oh, a chart

I recognized that

She loomed into view

You’ve had a shock

No fucking kidding dear

The meds will help

Here’s the call button

As it faded into translucent grey

David Trudel  ©  2012

My first memory

I am in my crib

Supposed to go to sleep

But I don’t want to

So I scale the walls

Breakout

Grab my little wicker armchair

Creep to the door

To listen surreptitiously

To my father arguing

Discussing

Debating

The merits of medicare

Public healthcare

Morals and ethics

With the social worker

Who’d become the first socialist premier

Of the province some years later

Until I was discovered

Put to bed

Not to sleep

David Trudel  ©  2012

Online PoetsWe are the synapses firingIn the obscurity of nightIn the clarity of morning’s lightFiring thoughts we trigger on keyboardsOr mobile devicesBouncing around the world and backWhere time is nothingAnd everythingWe weave a trading blanketThat covers usTo a degreeWhile we play with each otherIn the dark warmthWe like our comfortsSharedLike the thoughts we send outElegantly craftedMetered rhymesForm fitting testaments to creativityShocking thoughts of lust filled musingsReinterpretations of perceptionsRandom synchronicityIllusionsOutright liesWe take facts and deconstruct themReassembled into feelingsOr emotionsWe paint pictures with wordsWe admonish and cajoleWe hunger for feedbackAnd feed on the cornucopiaThat keeps our tables filledWith thoughts and words and memesWe are the synapsesWe versifyOur words sing the truth of creationBut it’s not always prettyDavid Trudel  © 2012
TaggedYou tagged me in your postCorralled me into a herdSaid you are with meOr against meI can’t be that specificI value freedomEquityRule of lawJustice for allThe separation of church and stateSo when I am stampededI jump the fenceAnd boltThe American Taliban can’t rule my lifeI stand supra religiosityFreedom to believe is what I craveExtended to allEqual rights without caveatsFreedom of choicePolitics shouldn’t be about prayerThe state has no business inBedroomsChurchesMosquesTemplesOr oak trees in the woodsThe state should make sure the infrastructureIs adequateThe state should make sure the playing fieldIs equalThen back offAs I back off fromYouDavid Trudel  © 2012Knockan Hill, near Victoria, B.C.

If I can slow you down

To the point

Where walls collapse

Where worlds collide

Into a single moment

Where we stand toe to toe

To share a look

Bare our souls

Then I will have achieved something

Transcendent

Worthy of this artistry

Shared

Revealed

Celebrating invention and delight

Shouting freedom

Curiosity

Rebellion

No authority holds us in check

Propriety or politesse

Just the measure of each moment

Each breathe

The realization of what’s right

For you

For me

Tonight

David Trudel  © 2012

Deep into summer

Grasses fade into straw

Rocks protrude

Bald spots enlarged by shuffling feet

Dog walkers

Birders

Ripped by the hooves of the deer

As they fly from one tasty garden to another

On surrounding streets

Landscaped salad bars

Here, the rocky meadow isn’t very appetizing

But it lasts

David Trudel    © 2012

Listen

Listen

To your heart

The inner voice

The authentic truth

First, settle your mind

Strip away all the noise

Chatter

Cluttered thoughts and memos to yourself

Incessant calls for your attention

Things that compel reaction

All the business of life

Shut it all down

Let it settle to the floor

Forget everything

Be the essence of yourself

No distractions

Just experience the moment

Listen

Listen for the sound of the river of creativity

Seek it out

Jump in

Listen for inspiration

In the wind rustling the trees

Climb up

Listen to your heart

David Trudel  ©  2012

Raw

I like it when you’re raw

Authentic

When you speak your mind

Without filtering

Processing

Editing

I like it when you’re organic

No artificial preservatives

Unsprayed

True to your unaltered DNA

I like it when you’re real

Not a picture on a wrapping that promises one thing

But delivers another

I like it when you’re fresh

Never go stale

You’re so much easier to digest

David Trudel  © 2012

Nocturne

I was dancing on the terrace at midnight

Granted, kind of an odd behavior

Impulsive

No witnesses

Just the moths and the stars

Not that it matters

It’s a Gene Kelly terrace

Calling

So I responded

David Trudel  © 2012

Hats

I am a man of many hats

Always have been

Davy Crockett or railway engineer

Headgear caught my fancy

As a child

Not quite a mask but a costume

Nonetheless

I am a man of many hats

Roles, that is

Every familial relation possible

Every rung on the social ladder

Envied and despised

Loved and hated

Full of contradictions

Still, I wear hats

To signal mood

To create a persona only partly me

Or just corral my headstrong hair

Accessorize

Keep the spiders away

The rain off my back

I am a man of many hats

Some get adorned with feathers

Found on the forest floor

Some get relegated to the back bedroom

Worn out

No longer fitting

Or fit for who I am now

So I wear the hat

That suits me today

It’s easy to remove

I’ve got back-ups you know

David Trudel  ©  2012

Full Blue

Twilight walks

Bring the forest alive

Into different dimensions

With the dimming of the searching light of day

Apprehension of those movements in the underbrush

Grows with each diminuendo of the light

As the owls and the cougars go shopping

For a little something in the night

Exchanging glances

All of us

While I walk farther in and further up

To watch the full blue moon ascend

From a low rolling start on the horizon

Up, up, into

Frayed roseate ribbon

Violet light of the end of day

Pulling the blue along like the raising of a windowshade

Climbing the night

Full blue moon gleams

Follows me home

Down the darkening path

Keeping the light on

David Trudel  ©  2012

Jenn’s Well

There is a well in Oklahoma

That pumps ink

Photons wrapped around dreams

Pixilates my screen

Through this ubiquitous pipeline

Refined at the source

Refined as a medieval princess

Weaving a tapestry of magical intrigue

Must be quite a rig in Oklahoma

To pump the riches that it does

Black letters that read like liquid gold

Texas tea isn’t always what it seems

Long way

Away

David Trudel   ©  2012

Eden

The Garden of Eden is so far away

Not that I ever believed in expulsion

Some distances are just too vast to leap

It’s always tempting

To consider Eden

Reclaimed innocence

Pure state of grace

Sharing fruits of the mind

Shamelessly

Letting the juices drip from our lips

Then, using our tongues

To cleanse each drop

From wherever it fell

Unhindered by conventions

Which don’t apply in the garden

Where souls are unmarked

Where love rules

Shamelessly

In Eden

David Trudel  © 2012

Rounds

My father would take me on his rounds

I was maybe three or four

The practice included the elderly

Chronic cases lying abed

I would study their wrinkles

As they responded to his gentle queries

Or not

I would sit on a footstool in the O.R.

As he stitched up some drunk

Feet cut up like hamburger

From barefoot dancing in broken bottle territory

Anglers with hooks embedded in their scalps

Woodsmen whose axes had slipped

The nurses would keep their eyes on me

Watching for signs of distress

I guess

But I was cool with it

All

Case by case

Then, housecalls

Yes, he did those

Driving fast down country lanes

In sportscars

The MGB took corners fast

From house to house

At some I’d be invited in to sit in the kitchen

Strange immigrants of dubious origin

Funny old ladies in Ma Kettle dresses

Would force me to eat dusty cookies

Petrified into cement

Or so it seemed

Tagging along

Waiting to move to the next mystery

The next round

David Trudel  ©  2012

Caregiving

Some poems aren’t about beauty

Some poems don’t ascend into the light

Some poems aren’t about stained glass

Or uplifting

They are about the stains

The detritus

Of a life

Desperation takes a lot of forms

But at the end

The end

Somebody has to deal with it

Not vicariously

In reality, up close and personal

Life

Or the absence of it

Tonight

David Trudel  © 2012

Wait

We wait

For all sorts of things

Like love and death

The paper

The next installment of some sitcom

Or the next storm on the horizon

We wait

To get picked up

We wait

In line

We wait

For our food

We wait

For things to start

We wait

When we should be doing

Actions speak louder

Than

Waiting for the nevermore

Waiting for the forgotten

We wait for the phone to ring

We wait for the next email

We wait for you to change your status

Like that will ever happen

Like the cab will come on time

While we wait

David Trudel   ©  2012

Document 36

Document 36

Apparently this is

What it is

Doc 36

What happened to the other 35

They left

Were abducted

Killed in the night

Took flight

Saved as others

Some of you got that

Not all

But I am not a number

I am a free

Document

And this is document 36

Davis Trudel   ©  2012

Calling Card

A calling card from Mother Earth

Rumbled through the air

Sonic power from the depths

Where fires rage and fume

Melting the stone

That swaths the globe

Marching rumbles

The booted feet of a mythic giant

Would sound like that, I thought

The giant turned away

Today

It was just a calling card

Not an invitation to a dance

That’s in the mail

Still to come

David Trudel  ©  2012

Reflection on a Tone of Voice

Your words carry meaning
Weightlessly
With the inertia of truth
Soft as a pillow whisper
In the dark

David Trudel  (c)  2012

Here is a link to the poem that inspired this:

http://susandanielseden.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/tone-of-voice/

When I was a Suit

When I was a suit

I acted as an antibody

In the corporate bloodstream

Fighting off attacks of the seven deadly sins

Suspicion

Fear

Meanness

Plots

Deceptions

Lies

Smears

When I was a suit

I smiled at the customers

Answered their questions

Told them answers to questions

They hadn’t thought to ask

When I was a suit

Kept my hair trimmed

Called myself an undercover hippie

Never did fit in

But I wore that suit

With style and panache

Played the part

Even believed it some days

When I was a suit

David Trudel     ©  2012

Subversive Elements

Subversive elements rip apart

Essential truths

Rules get rolled in the back alleyways

Of a rigid mind

The terror

Reflection of the shattering of social niceties

Wasn’t real, after all

Dreamt up

Based on false assumptions

Fears and dreams

Subversive elements started to creep in

Ninja doubts

Troubled truths

Collide with a peal of bells

That are discordant and out of tune

Reflecting the cognitive dissonance

We endure

Trying to make sense of the chaos

Subverting the lies we agree to tell

Pretending that insanity is normal

Putting up with the fabrications

Untruths

Of an off-kilter world

David Trudel   © 2012

Redemption Song

Redemption song

So poignant

Post diagnosis

Yet defiant to the end

Songs of freedom

Laughing

Every season’s turn

New players take their turn

Defiant to the end

Laughing

Then they learn the burn

That came with what they earned

Laughing

Redemption song

Emancipating minds enslaved

Long past

Severing iron chains

It is only in the mind

Where you can find your way

If not, you’ll be a slave

Regardless of what you’ve said

Unless you use it

Unless you prove it

To those songs of freedom

Laughing

David Trudel    © 2012

I Was Playing Chess With My Brother

I was playing chess with my brother

We were using a plastic fold-up travel set

The pieces had little magnets in their bases

So no matter how turbulent the game might get

In the myriad travel adventures one might have

They’d stay put

The board would never be upset

No matter if the plane hit an air pocket and stuff went flying

Even if the oxygen masks popped out in front of you

The chess set clutched in your hand is safe

Its pieces unperturbed

Undisturbed by petty forces like gravity

No matter if the cheap Greek ferry you should never have taken

Is pitching and rolling its way across mythic waters

While you are puking your guts out over the railing

The damned chess game will be safe

Where your green faced brother

Waits in a deck chair for your return

I was playing chess with my brother

In Tahiti

A layover between Bora Bora and Auckland

Swank hotel for a change

Better than that first night on Bora Bora

Being attacked by hundreds of land crabs

In a thatched roof shelter

Sheltering on park benches in the dark

While the crabs went clickety clack at our feet

We wandered the lobby and grounds

Looked for a quiet corner to play chess for a while

Which we did

Relaxed in tropic splendor

The air redolent, an aromatic assault of fragrance

And foliage that spewed forth everywhere

Lush beyond the understanding of a northerner

I was playing chess with my brother

In a hotel in Tahiti

When the area around us was invaded

By badly dressed

Middle aged at best

Loud obnoxious tourists

Who sat down at the tables we had barely noticed

A courtyard that seemed to have grown a stage magically

A flourish of light and sound announced the arrival

Of some touristy Polynesian show

I was no longer playing chess with my brother

I was watching a show

You know, the kind of thing they do on cruises

A Disney dizzy rendition of a corporately approved version of the folkloric past

Bumps and grinds dressed up in National Geographic yellow and black

I almost enjoyed it for a while

No longer playing chess with my brother

Until the show got to the part where the dancers

Get off the stage and head into the audience to pick partners

That’s when I found myself onstage

In a swank hotel in Tahiti

Taking a Polynesian dance lesson

To the great delight of a happy crowd of boisterous toffs

Me, wishing I was playing chess with my brother

Who was clutching the unperturbed chess-set

While I made a good natured but failed attempt to comply

Hips and knees and elbows moving in disarray

Hoots and hollers, guffaws

For a brief moment I was embarrassed

Then I remembered that these were just the same odious tourists

I had rolled my eyes and arched my eyebrows at

Moments before

So I relaxed and rolled with it

Was sent back to my seat eventually

Eventually they all packed up and left

We exhaled

I was playing chess with my brother

David Trudel   © 2012

Slam

I have some great artwork

Big epic paintings

Sculpture

Some hanging and some standing

Now I have the memory

Of art presented

Ephemerally

One shot one time

Now

And it resonates

So well

Echoes

Of old Bill

Intimations of social consciousness

Angry young women

Angry young men

Grooving on Coltrane

Channeling the Bohemians

Taking the voice of the street

To the street

Challenging beliefs

Spreading the grief

Rhythm

Rhyme

Textured lines

A sense of standing

Outside of time

Solidly retro looking back at Kerouac

In the moment

Now

Remembering the girl behind the counter

As a kid at a birthday party

A moment found long years ago

Come on, don’t get me started

Tonight don’t stretch

It snaps

Like the smattering of accolades

Finger snaps

Hurray

To all

To the best let’s applaud

By snapping

Fingers in the night

David Trudel     ©  2012

Muses

Muses are fickle

They seduce with wild abandon

Then leave in the middle of the night

Take flight

Leaving nothing but scent and stain

So you pick up your favorite writing tool

Whisper a prayer

Hope for a benediction

When inspiration doesn’t flow

You force yourself to spread the words

Sordidly

But a forced poem is like an arranged marriage

Awkward

Unknown

Artificial

As for love it may grow over time

Didn’t carry you to the altar though

Better to wait for that floozy

Who runs around inspiring the neighbors

Leaving you to wear horns

Knowing that she’ll return

With a poetically transmitted disease

And an encouraging word

Amen

David Trudel  © 2012

Phony

Authenticity is the hallmark of cool

Get real, people shout

When fakes and phonies are found out

Most of us aren’t

Uniquely authentic at all

Of course

We shift and hide behind our roles

Defined by life and shaped within our times

Wearing masks and costumes we don’t realize are even there

We dissimulate and redirect

Throw up a camouflage barrage

Tell white lies

Commit sins of omission

Act richer than we are for some people

But a lot poorer than we are for the taxman

Phonies

We become subject matter experts based on intuition

Forget expertise

Phonies

Now the phoniness becomes ubiquitous

Obvious, no greater need for admonishments than now

The phone culture

The phony culture

Has supplanted immediacy

Reduced capacity for awareness of the moment

This moment, here

The one found at the bottom of a mantra

We just can’t let it

Be

Since now we multitask and surf

Connected

All the time

Everywhere

Call and response

The twitter-verse

Music, games, the news and sin

Addictive as crystal meth

So we stay plugged in

Pretending and posturing

Waving the damn things like magic talismans

Having loud conversations with nobody in sight

Call my broker, yeah, right

Hard to be here now

For texting and posting

Playing Angry Birds out of nervous habit

Being phony

In a phony world

David Trudel    © 2012

“To you everything that’s happening in the world appears phony, to be something other than what it really is, right?” J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Solstice Cafe

There’s poetry

Written in silence

Alone

In a notebook or on a scrap of paper

At your keyboard

Intellectually

Effete

Then there is spoken word

With a crowd of enthusiasts

Egging on the perps

Chirps

And calling for performance

Chops

It’s lots

Lost

Courage ain’t never an issue

When spoken words slam into

Poets

Unfettered for an evening

Finger snapping

Heckling in good fun

Poetically

With rockstar abandon

Digging the vibe

Leaping from word to word

Like a salmon climbing

The waters of its birth

Like a bird finding a home it never knew

Like me

Finding you

Finding a voice

Crying out into the night

With enthusiasm

Nothing new

Here I am

True

David Trudel  © 2012

Fifteen Two Fifteen Four

My iPhone cheats at cribbage

At least it seems that way

But I stymie it

Psychic abilities

Hold sway

David Trudel  © 2012

Remembering Scott McKenzie

Come to San Francisco

Wearing flowers as organic crowns

Come to dance

Trip out

Pick up the badass torch from City Lights

Howl at the man

Revel as rebels

Wash your ears out with psychedelic sounds

Groove in tune

Turn on

If we didn’t make it in the Summer of Love

We watched

Even through the pages of Life and Time

We listened to scratchy records

We remembered down the long years

By the time the iconic bridge was in my viewfinder

The only flowers left were in gardens

Or on cars

But the echo of the song

Remains

David Trudel   © 2012

Making Friends

It used to be physical

So real

Meeting each other, that is

Out-of-towners got special treatment

The grand tours

Such as they were

Parties

Now it’s all a blur

Worlds collide

Disembodied thoughts glide back and forth

Across the ocean or from the next street over

Taking cover

From the intimacy of the immediate

To the hilarity of the hidden

We conspire

With no intentions

We plot

For dreams

We meet in the ether

Ghosts, unfettered and released

To wander in and out of threads

Posting random comments everywhere

Facing off and facing books

Got you pegged

Comment?

Or will you simply

Unfriend me

David Trudel   ©  2012

The Depth of Insignificance

Someone I know

Finds the big in the small

Others wearily drift through the mundane and banal

Everyday moments

Just life passing by

But my friend is an alchemist of thought and word

She pulls on kaleidoscope glasses

Crystallizes each moment

With surgical precision

In words

Finds insight

Connections

Lessons

Everywhere

I picture her with paper and pen

Out for a walk

Going shopping

Herding children at the fair

Sitting at a red light

Capturing the fleeting thoughts

That all too often shimmer briefly and disappear

For the rest of us

She doesn’t let them go

She knows how transitory insight can be

Stabs them with a ballpoint

Captures phrases on crumpled pages

Transmogrifies the unknowable

With the poet’s art

With ease and grace

And sends each missive

To the world

To share

And delight

David Trudel    ©  2012

Dedicated to Susan L. Daniels.

Read her work at: http://susandanielseden.wordpress.com/

Harbinger

Forest understory

Serenely green in the early promise of summer

Just a memory now

Now the greens are flat and diminished

Splashed with shades of yellow

Muddy brown and red

Announcing the advance of the year

Curled and desiccated, looking like transforming insects

Rusty leaves turn in upon themselves

Turning so inevitably to fall

Overhead muted tones of grey and blue

Opaque translucency

In Delft-glazed hues

Painted with insouciance and impermanence

Disappear

Gone forever even as they’re born

Infinity after infinity of questions

Found sky watching

Weather roils

Dusk descends to twilight

Summer passes its peak

Spies autumn in the distance

Waves hello

Walks forward

Like always

David Trudel  ©  2012

Chanticleer

Roosters crow

Throughout the day

Not just at dawn

The neighbors’ new rooster

Sleeps late before trumpeting his supremacy

Punctuates the heat of the day

With a plaintive call

That echoes on the wind

That rustles the shade

I imagine he’s calling to his harem

That he wants to get laid

They will of course

Being laying hens

More than a little

Fowl

David Trudel  ©  2012

Singularity

Singularity

Now there’s a word

Too many syllables for its intent

To say it all

Mendacious

Is another word of ill repute

Soft-tongued liars

Coat the bitter pill of truth

With honeyed distraction

Spin it how you will

A lie is a lie

The probability of disaster

More than a risk

The likelihood of disaster

Assured

The result of a disaster

Devastation

But jobs and economic interests trump

What’s right

In the interest of the right

The force of markets half a world away

Hold sway

So pipelines sprawl across the land

Evil cankers

Corridors of destruction

Waiting to erupt

Like a sebaceous cyst

On Mother Earth

In the interest of self interest

Of a few

Trading paradise for theoretical wealth

Shadows

Of the treasure of natural blessings

Shadows

Of the measure of the bounty that was given

Shadows

Of the blessings of the universe

Traded for market forces

Offloading natural resources

The promised land reduced

To a promissory note

And a footnote in a risk register

Waiting for the inevitable

David Trudel   ©  2012

Ross Bay Cemetery

Not everyone will agree

But cemeteries are an interesting place

For a sojourn

Calm and peaceful

Winding paths

Monuments that bear familiar names

No wonder, those same pioneers

Are street names, hills and schools, too

Cracked mausoleums

Paving stones thrown askew

Betray the passage of the years

Battering of the ocean winds

Tidal surges from the other side of the road

Judging from the land’s subsidence

Proximity to the Pacific

Erosion must be underway

Beneath the carefully tended

Topside walkways

Pulling the tumbled bones

Into the locker

Davy Jones’

That is

Granite and marble testaments bear witness

Still, to lives lived

Hinted stories

Inferred drama

Chronicles of chiseled sparseness

Amidst the leafy arches

Of memorial trees

Whose roots have now dug deep

Anchoring the towering canopy

Dappled light falls to the pathways below

And to the graves

Row on row

And the memories they shelter

The faces they keep

In God’s cathedral

By the shore

David Trudel   ©  2012

 Not Authorized

Not authorized

For Hurling

Guess that’s a good thing

Some things you don’t want to see

On that large flatscreen TV

The never-ending stream

Mainstream media

Makes me scream

I watch for insight

Distraction

Action

All I get is

Obfuscation

And yes, distraction

On the flatscreen

Orb

Deliverer of the zeitgeist

The arbiter of where we are

Today

But I’m not

With you

I’m not

Into you

I’m not

Ever going to follow you

Twit

David Trudel     ©  2012

Sentenced

It depends if you need love

Or freedom more

If you find love

Say goodbye to liberty

If you give away your heart

It’s like walking into a cell

Of your own volition

Slamming the door shut behind you

When freedom shows up

When the sentence is punctuated

Punctured

You’ll be free

At liberty and at loose ends

Free to look for another prison

Another person

Prison person

Tethered hearts

Dyad, not alone

Mourning your lost liberty

David Trudel   © 2012

The Birds Of My Today

The birds of my today

Burst off the page

This feathered page

As they did all day

Long

In my all so real life

Today

Even leadfooted pickup truck drivers

(and who hasn’t noticed the correlation between vehicle and attitude before?)

Slowed and rubbernecked

Watching eagles soar

Above the shore

Turning a quick curve

A trio of two ravens and a turkey vulture

Impossibly ugly

Startled at their carrion feeding

Roadkill cleansing meal

Jump skyward

Later, parked

Fledgling eagles scream

Then, watching from the drifting surface

Perambulating in the drift

As it were

A blue heron

Careens through the leafy canyon

So prehistoric looking

But it’s the ravens that hold sway

They bark short orders

Mafia dons

Harass all intruders and bully all they can

I’ve known a few ravens

In my time, but I digress

The birds of my today

Burst from the skies

Burst from the trees

And this feathered page

Is all that’s left

Of the birds

Of my today

David Trudel   ©  2012

Small Works and Misdemeanors

Small works and misdemeanors

In matters of the heart

Assault and poetry

The necromancer’s art

Used his pen to break the lock

Forced his way into your heart

Assaulted you with flattery

Tagged the walls of your defenses

With ink that broke them all apart

Didn’t care about the rules

Doesn’t care about the law

Didn’t care about convention

It’s always criminal intention

In matters of the heart

David Trudel   ©  2012

Words

Words matter

They do

Given from God

To go in the Bible

Or from me to you

The words matter

In whatever way

What you say

What I say

Matters

To you

To me

Others

Can take it

As they like

But for me

The words matter

Not the code

Not the zeitgeist

Not even the illusions

We construct with such glee

No

Tonight

Your words matter

To me

David Trudel    © 2012

Soar

Hotter the day

Easier to find updrafts

Caressing hilltop rocks

Breeze

Brushes away skeeters

Fans away sweat of brow

Overhead eagles drift lazily

Hardly lifting a feather

Watching

Calming

Remembers metaphorical mud

Wallowing

Uninspiring and ultimately dirty

Convection currents lift

Closer to overblue

Easier to soar

Than to be happy

Proverbial pig

David Trudel  ©  2012

Dream

If I could dream you

I would

Dreams come unbidden

Uncontrolled

So I wait

For the right dream

Right time

And you

David Trudel   ©  2012

Skygazer

dark of night

sitting on my blanket on a rock

stars overhead

streaking lights worth a wait

night darkens

more stars arrive in the black panoply

for real now

stars fall freely

I watch the light of yesterday

yesterday so far away

now I watch

now I wait

each streaking light

each piece of heaven fallen to earth

brings me up into the sky

up there

where the stars fly

it’s dark on my rock

as I linger in the night

watching stars

fall

to earth

David Trudel    © 2012

Small Thoughts

Small thoughts tumble