Here in the American Midwest, waking up to sub-zero lows the past few mornings reminded me of a poem I wrote one January more than two dozen frozen winters ago, titled WINTERDREAM….so I dug the poem out of cold storage, blew the snow (or was it dust?) off it, and re-read it for the first time in some time. As I did, it dawned on me that, although published before (both in paper journals and online), perhaps it could stand one more exposure. Then, near poem’s end, I re-came upon the word “lips”….and that settled it (reference the last two sentences of my last post, LIPS SERVICE). Here, then, one last time, is….


Suppose a homeless man
found a tattered hat,
abandoned, like himself,
to the elements….
and in that tattered hat,
tucked inside the band,
a winning lottery ticket
could transform his life;

but first, he must see it –
and then, seeing it,
not toss it to the wind,
as life had tossed him.
Let us further suppose
the deadline to claim
its prize came at midnight
of that very day.

That night, in winter’s turn,
the man had a dream
that he could live his life
starting all over again,
knowing as much at birth
as he knew this moment,
so that all the choices
and hidden chances
of wasted turning points
lay exhumed ahead….

but the thought made him
cringe: regret was a fire
that gave pain without heat.
He awoke in cold sweat
to the taste of blown snow
on the cracks of his lips,
and pulled down the brim
of yesterday’s fortune.
What luck to have found
a buffer against fate.





I suppose I might’ve waited until July 1 (Canada Day) to publish this post, but winter cold seems more fitting than summer heat for conjuring up Canadian karma. Even in January, having traveled its provinces by car from Nova Scotia to British Columbia in my younger days, I can draw on many warm memories of America’s northern neighbor — not to mention one or two bordering on boorish (experiences at entry points). But that’s ancient history. So, rather than bore you with vacation stories, I’ve decided to bore you with a few neighbor-ly poems:


On the fossil beach at Joggins,*
One finds fossil bods and noggins
Washed up from the Bay of Fundy**
On tides higher than born-agains on Sunday.

*Joggins, Nova Scotia
**haunt of the world’s highest tides


Lost on my way to old Kamloops,*
I came upon two nincompoops.
When I asked where I was, I knew they were dumb:
They advised me to return where I just came from.

*Kamloops, British Columbia


Snow may fall, in fall, in places;
Like autumn leaves, it leaves its traces.
Come May, there may still traces be;
But may I say, it leaves….eventually.

In departing, I was going to leave you with a clip of an old song called CANADIAN CAPERS, but as I was clipping along, I came across this old cartoon of the same name (it’s not aces, but it’s funny in places):



I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but where I am, there was snow yesterday, today’s wind chill is below zero, and tomorrow morning’s predicted low temperature is minus-five degrees….but do I mind?


Take this job
and shovel it!


Around here, when you say
“Have a nice day” —
You won’t seem a fool….
Believe me, it’s cool.