Tag Archives: social activism

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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

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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

 

 

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