It occurs to me…

It occurs to me that if I had an original thought in the middle of nowhere
there’d be nobody to hear me out; nobody to confirm
that the idea is remarkable – that my thought is genius

which is why I’m here staring blankly at my keyboard
and not enjoying myself, perhaps paddling my canoe across a lake
I need to capture that original idea; wrestle it down; get it on paper
and then hold it up above my head and parade it around for all to see

I turn the light out and sit in the pre-dawn darkness listening to my breath
close my eyes and watch white, ghostly figures dance across the underside of my eyelids;
wash all thoughts away from my mind and concentrate on the creeping silence
and I imagine I’m out on the water, taking long J strokes to keep the canoe straight
there’s mist and dark evergreens and a distance shoreline, reed beds and a crane

so, sitting alone, in the dark, fingers cramped, poised, airborne overtop of my keyboard
I glare at the motionless bird, and all its promise, hoping in some way to connect
to what lays before me and the shoreline and the breeze and sunlight above the pines;
to those primal feelings that cause us to wince, itch and mumble aloud to ourselves
and, in this way, I might be able to gain some perspective, and strike a new thought

 

Chris George

Chris George has released “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was”, a compilation of 10 poems compiled through last year’s summer months. The verses capture the expectations raised in moving into a new community and making a new start. They also include personal reflections of a writer’s challenges to begin again, afresh. If you are interested in receiving “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was” – write chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.

untitled

it can all be summed up by something entitled: untitled
that’s it – so far

there’s been too many blank pages, empty words and wasted days
discouraging but for that inside voice that commands me to:
start where you are. use what you have. do what you can.

 

Chris George

Chris George has released “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was”, a compilation of 10 poems written through last year’s summer months. The verses capture the expectations raised in moving into a new community and making a new start. They also include personal reflections of a writer’s challenges to begin again, afresh. If you are interested in receiving “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was” – write chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.

Draining emotions

You cannot step into the same river twice.
Yet we’ll harbour a hope with each reunion
That there’ll be familiar feelings to wash over us

Our greetings always elicit a warm embrace
Smiles that drain away all time and distance
And then we plunge headfirst into our stories

Yet we wonder in our heart, wander in our mind
Just how much water has flown pass us? and
how far have our affections been pulled under?

How is it that our talk is so hesitant and dry?
We remain safely splashing about in the shallows,
ever reluctant to dive and lose ourselves to the current

We stay planted, careful not to slip or stumble and fall
in the flood of memories that are gushing against our senses
and threatening to sweep us away, downriver somewhere…

And I note that it is none too soon that we step to shore
and climb out from that river bed that once was – and now
I stand, dripping and chilled, so glad to watch you leave.

 

– Chris George
   June 2014

 

 

A Clear Choice: To Party On or Begin to Pay the Piper

Thursday we choose between our generous Step-Mom,
who is treating us and partying with Dad’s credit cards
and Dr. No, who we are told will enforce our bed time

We are either Wynners with all our wishes, wants
and desires; a celebration for the here and now forever!
or we are conscientious objectors who pronounce the party over

The really neat thing about credit cards is the sky is the limit;
Dream big, live large and we can chill for Step-Mom tells us
“We can have it all; there’s no bills due and no consequences!”

Gotta believe her when the fun filled gaiety is supported by teachers,
nurses, and even the police who recount stories of shadowy Dr. No,
while they’re stuffing their pockets and faces with Step-Mom’s treats

We are told we can happily live the dream, no curfews or alarm clocks
and no need to heed Dr. No’s prescriptions for restoring a routine of
paying the bills, putting in a full day, providing for Family and community

Much is at play in Ontario’s election and our vote comes down to either:
Enchanting Step-Mom, leading a parade of partiers thru our living room
Or the Doctor, with his serious, sour demeanor and a scary set of rules

Chris George
June 2014

 

 

 

Almonte’s Riverview

almonte_falls2

The river rapids are swollen, gushing with Spring’s anticipation;

my gaze sweeps upwards beyond the falls and spray.

I’m elevated, suspended somewhere above the rocks,

the deafening noise and the surge and the fury.

I’m hung there, numbed senseless by my creative drought,

whilst the clapping echo of the pregnant Mississippi

dances through my soul’s cavity, pulling at my empty thoughts.

I moisten my lips with the spray, then turn the corner of Mill Street

to retrieve my daily bundle of flyers and bills from the post office.

 

Chris George

The Move

– So it’s a calculated move?

– Sorrta: the vineyards were fine for the wineries

but a working soul can wither in the Niagara sun

We chose to leave the magnificent web we had spun,

leave behind the comfort, contentment of the Briarfield lair

to jump into “the next phase of our lives”

into the deep end, with both feet

and now as we consider the many unknowns

that leap has us free falling into the future.

 

There is so much anticipated for Almonte

We know it as a colourful, caring small town

A Rockwellian Main Street that time passed by

filled with genuine folk who smile, nod and

go about their honest day’s business.

A wonderful home town to nurture a growing family.

 

We’re excited about exiting the road we’re on – for Main Street

Yet I am certain we are accelerating towards new realities:

Truths are exposed when no longer wrapped in familiarity

The status quo is challenged when there are no recognizable boundaries

Decisions are deliberately taken, one-step-at-a-time, when the path is unknown

 

– So, a calculated move: yes

We are convinced that it is a necessary journey

spanning both geographical and spiritual divides

to discover new streets, new people and new truths

to re-discover old feelings, buried muses and forgotten memories

to exhume those lifeless parts of ourselves,

prop them up in front of a mirror and

dare ourselves to realize the potential and promise

of our Family’s prospects, our dreams and hopes for Life’s adventures.

 

– Chris George

 

(ed. – This March 2013 poem is reposted on the occasion of the one year mark of our “moving day” and arrival in Almonte. It is hard to believe it has been a year!) 

Like a magpie’s refrain

amwritingSorry, there’s no inspiration here.

There’s deliberation and cursory reviews,

some light criticism and cynical observations,

and heaping servings of borrowed thoughts

(even some regurgitated pulp from

dated, unconnected ideas written years ago).  

But no insightful pronouncements,

no brilliance, no profundity.

Sorry, there’s been no epiphany today.

There’s only scribbles and lifted quotes

dropped onto a page, tied together with phrases

arranged by a harried, unknowing magpie.   

Here we have the results of a curious bird

flitting out every morning in search of

those prized musings to put the absurdity of

our human lot into some kind of appreciable order.

Supposedly, if you comb through this feathered nest

long enough, you will find a trinket or coloured stone

that will cause you to pause, delight your senses, or better:

provide you with a glimpse of the possible and the good.

 

– Chris George, January 2014

A Knave

 

Another deal and I’ve lost count of how many times that Jack of Spades has been flipped;

to think that playing solitaire to beyond midnight might bring answers is sheer lunacy.

Better a set of Tarot cards or a Ouija board, or casting down bones out across the table,

for I am dazed watching the cards fall – that is until I see (again) that one-eyed knave –

regal, yet sinister, knowingly glaring into the future and all that can and will be.

 

There is a great quote by Vonnegut, “If you can do a half-ass job of anything,

you’re a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind,” and, so it goes, according to K.V.

Here, overturned realities stare back at me, framed in yellow light and long shadows;

but one truth’s been ushered in with the ticking of the mantle clock:  we cannot foresee

the promises of dawn; we’re simply to shuffle, deal a hand, and play the cards or fold.

 

— Chris George

(Through the summer months I wrote 10 poems that are compiled under the title: Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was.  If you are interested in receiving this compilation, connect with me – chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.)

Poems that speak of “the new start”

almonte_falls2

 Chris George has released “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was”, a compilation of 10 poems written through the past few months. The verses capture the expectations raised in moving into a new community and making a new start. They also include personal reflections of a writer’s challenges to begin again, afresh.

 

If you are interested in receiving “Almonte and the summer of 2013 that was” – write chrisg.george@gmail.com – and provide your e-mail.