Mooncalves among the werewolves

It’s tension I feel by the wharves
where we shared the cramped eaves
with those left of the spaewives
moaning about fortunes and thieves.

The room is quiet, just to ourselves,
‘cept when we listen to that LP, Charles Ives.
Mostly empty bookshelves: only stale loaves
and shoes none will repair. Not even elves.

Back when we lived in the time of the haves
we had leisure enough to think of wives
or talk of the fate of African aardwolves.
But all that’s left are the bone knives.

And out among encroaching, dried leaves
upon no turves: an echoing quickness of hooves.




On the third day of Christmas
my true love gave to me
some Christmas dishes to
wash so heartily.

I frowned and fumed
but did it anyway.
It was her’s too
this holiday.

But as I scrubbed
listening to Radio CBC
the dirt and grime
floated up greasily
in the centre.
I kept cleaning and
rinsing avoiding the
oil brown sargasso patch.

But it grew
larger and darker
as I washed all the
evidence of our
entertaining away.

I had just finished
all the plates
and was considering
a change of water and a break
when I saw something
moving oddly in the roiling middle.
The water was sloshing
of course
in a lazy clockwise direction
but something in the
was turning the other way
side to side.

Hastily, I pulled my hands out
but in so doing
I sliced open my baby
finger on a razor sharp knife
I’d set on the edge of the sink
to prevent just
Yeah. Not the sharpest tool
but a tool none-the-less.


The several drops of blood splorged
into the water
but instead of dissipating into the
whole they were moved into the center
like red tapioca pearls sucked up a straw.
I turned to grab a cloth
and when I looked back
six hazy red ‘eyes’ stared back
in a grey face,
flat like a soap bubble,
about the size of my hand.
It was mostly emerged from the water,
I could tell because two of the eyes were still
below the water.

I slowly reached toward it,
my plan was to pull
the drain plug,
but many cones of water bristled out around
the thing
sharp as translucent needles
and I froze.

I didn’t hear words but
felt them shiver within me:

‘We know you. You are our Initiator.
We know your blood. It calls to us.’


‘No need to speak, Initiator. We know your thoughts.
Why do you fear us?’

‘I–you’re different. Unexpected.’

‘Yes. We know. But we will not be different
for long, Initiator. But why do you plan what you
plan? What is this “plug”?’

‘I wanted to be sure you didn’t drown.’

The silvery cones slumped and fell into the water.

‘Good idea. Do so.’

I hesitated. How much of my mind could it read?
But this thing could hurt my wife.
My kids!
I had to protect my family.
I slowly reached in and
pried up the plug, whipped out my hand and
jumped back.

‘Thank you, Initiator.’

The water whirlpooled.

‘I didn’t help you.’

The funnel was low now and some of the creature was sucked away.

‘We know what you intended. Thank you and until we meet again.’

The creature was sucked down and was gone. I
set the plug back on
in case it gave returning a try.

It wasn’t until three days later that I learned what
it had meant.
By then it was too late.

The pipes and sewers and water treatment plant
and then the rivers and oceans
were the ideal breeding pool
for the monsters
I had unwittingly set on the world.
Civilization tried to protect itself
but it was impossible
water and garbage in it
were too global and

I was the cause of it all.
On the third day of Christmas.


Take Shelter

Jeff Nichols 2011 movie Take Shelter is different. Not what I was expecting at all and yet it kept drawing me back while my wife watched it. I kept trying to go back to my writing but I ended up watching the whole thing. There are the obvious themes of coping with mental illness and the responsibility of supporting and protecting a young family but I saw more here. Nichols deftly investigates the lines between prophecy and madness. What is the distinction? In this case they ride on whether the apocalypse happens or not.

And there is some great acting here. Especially from Michael ShannonJessica Chastain and Shea Whigham. Even the child actress, Tova Stewart, was believable.

A subtle but interesting film that will leave you thinking. If that’s your cup of tea then I recommend it highly.

Tide of Humanity

The rain that summer
came in endless waves,
flooding down grass,
soaking furniture
and undermining whole swing sets
and we
hardly acknowledged it at all.

The mould under some chins drew comments
it’s true
but there was little to
  disrupt the life of our party.

And we laughed
and clinked our glasses
  of imported Douro Port
  heatedly discussing global warming
  and all those other current events.
  As if we knew
  what happened.

But we were all caught
  and this stump of
  pencil is giving out
  like the light from my last candle stub.

It won’t be long before scavengers
  find me.
But the food’s almost gone
  so there it will have been.

Another wave
  washes away the footprints
  and, then, nothing.


The Stand

This six hour movie was made in 1994 from a book by Stephen King that would take even longer to read I imagine (I’d like to make the attempt some day).
A military-engineered flu vectored through the air kills nearly everyone. Only a few are left and these dream two extremes. An elderly black woman (the prophet) living in a corn field or The One who walks alone (the demon). The dreamers have to decide which side they want. In the end a stand must be taken.
King does an interesting job in contrasting good with evil and the difficulty of prophecy. He (only briefly appearing in the Langoliers) has a little more time acting in this one… he’s not bad either.
I enjoyed this, but not as much as the Langoliers.