When Poppies Fade


When poppies fade, our memories

Are washed in sepia, photo sleeves

With tattered corners tucked away

In dusty albums’ slow decay.


When poppies fade, recollections

Fall, dead leaves in mass defections,

Crumble-dry beneath bare branches,

Blowing lost in frozen trenches.


When poppies fade, awareness slips

From senseless, heartless fingertips,

Petals blanched, without their power,

Bloodless loss, amnesia’s flower.



lamb's ears

Wet behind the ears, gentle

as a lamb – innocence wrapped

in silver paper, tied with

remembering string knotted

on ancient knuckles.  He may

not know their names any more

(Time has seen to that), but he

could tell them just when to cut

the wheat, where to find the best

Saskatoon bushes – bent like

beasts of burden beneath their

berry up-dos – how to get

the last  drop of sweet milk from

that skittish cow. His silver

mane beads with the effort at

recollection; memory,

ephemeral wisp, drips off

like sweat on yesterday’s dust.


This is a leaf from a ‘Lamb’s Ear’ plant…

What She Saw

frilly daylily


A daylily, ruffled and still

with folds of fresh linen (freshly

made bed) soaking up sunshine on

laundry-day line. She paused there, caught

helplessly on its anthers, struck

by the glory that withered while

she watched. ‘Why bother?’ she asked no

one in particular. Leaning

in, she traced the petticoats, breathed

deep of Arabian nights, veiled

virgins dancing on memory’s

edge. Eloquence beckoned on pale

finger with nail painted purple,

folding to hide philosopher’s

stone. Time passed. Conquerors and kings

and sleeping beauties, history

and fantasy, who she could be

in the morrow swayed and unfurled

in complex rhythms and secret

whispers. Her back straightened, rigid

barrier, and, closing her eyes,

she walked blindly back to the house.


Summer Is

Rosy Returns daylily

Summer is a strawberry,

incubated eggs leaking

juicy sweetness down tanned chins.


Summer is watermelon

rinds on styrofoam plates, chilled

picnic fare shared with neighbours.


Summer is barefoot grasses,

firefly lanterns at dusk,

creamsicle smudges on shorts.


Fireworks stars, awnings strung

with campfire’s glow, seared grill-marks,

sandy toes at water’s edge;


Lazy hours with dog-eared books,

aloe vera to soothe sun’s

kiss – all add up to summer.

Summer Senses



When green grows bold and paints the land

with emeralds in verdant hand,

and mourning doves in cloaks of grey

lure shadows down from Milky Way,

you see it’s summer.

When peonies let loose their scent

in waves of summer sentiment,

and lilacs dab behind their ears

with French perfume to rival peers,

you smell it’s summer.

When watermelon drips in creeks

down saturated, pink-stained cheeks

and rhubarb tartly wraps itself

in pies and cobblers on each shelf,

you taste it’s summer.

When breezes tickle sun-tanned skin

and Sunshine hugs each friend as kin,

the grass grows silky carpet-down

and sand meets shore where toes are found,

you feel it’s summer.

When wrennish scolding shames the cat

from lurking where the nest is at,

and children’s cries of pure delight

rival fireworks at night,

you hear it’s summer.