What will you give

I am not ready, not ready,
I do not want to grow up,
I do not want to become a lemming,
in this playful existence I ask,
why do we rush to that cliff,
the abyss of no return,
living in the shadow of life,
only a ghost of what we could be,
fearing the dark beyond life’s walls,
making excuses for mortality,
seeking immortality in myth,
life is how the sun feels on skin,
life how the snow feels on your tongue,
a gentle breeze in loves hair,
the caress of a baby’s touch,
the sweet smell of a puppy,
the small things that touch you,
what will give you eyes,
where will you find it, where
will life rear its head and kiss you,
will life hear your final thought
into whose arms will your spirit return,
life is so precious, so unappreciated,
what lives will life merge with yours,
and, what will you give back, what?

2014, Donald Harbour

Why do you hide

tessThere is a shadow, behind
the living room couch,
peering with uncertainly,
trying to greet the day,
blending itself
with flowered wall paper.
Pretend you cannot see it,
pretend that the day has
not begun for it, pretend
that it is not there.
How does one greet a shadow,
or, acknowledge, its furtive being,
how do you see something that
does not want to be seen,
that only peers at life in daylight,
hiding in the night,
afraid it will be
extinguished in the light.
So, I wait, sitting, reading,
emphatically waiting
for the shadow to move,
coursing across the floor, until
the heavens have found its place,
silently, steadily, beside me.

©2014, Donald Harbour

Wood envy

Before me an ancient table,
a lustrous finished piece of wood,
the surface slightly marred,
dull in spots, yet having
a depth that seems translucent
encasing waves of flowing hair.

There is love and character
in each twist of its grain,
years of stories written
in multicolored age rings,
what volumes are there, if
only one could read them.

A master gifted by time,
handled and buffed this wood
until, its surface was mirrored
to a sheen that reflects back
each transfixed soul gazing upon it,
marveling at its golden warmth.

With all my heart I do adore
and envy you for you will be lost,
I weathered and twisted by age,
will loose grasp of your touch
and, you will seek to be treasured,
capturing another admiring lover.

©2014, Donald Harbour

Someone had to do it

You know, I watch her pass,
Another year gasping, choking,
Swollen and bloated in death.

Eventually, becoming a useless thing,
Her piquant posture lost luster,
Now a bag-lady beggar on the street.

A year, dancing across life’s stage,
High kicks to her coming morbidity,
A has been chorus girl with no tutu.

Resolutely, I ponder her lost youth,
Preparing her fish-net hose lined grave,
I wonder what I ever saw in her.

©2013, Donald Harbour

The bite of winter

The season’s dog has clamped its jaws,
biting deep into my warm, moist flesh.
It’s bark turning the sky dispiriting grey
as a canopy of death, an ash urn turned
upside down clutching at the life below
with corpse cold fingers. The birds
refuse to fly, those that do soon drop
from heaven, feathered chunks of ice.
To breathe is to inhale shards of glass,
each breath a searing arctic surgery.
The air is still, cloying, a suffocating chill.
Frigidness permeates every pore in the body
making hands useless, hammer struck fingers
ache dangling off reddened fleshy paws.
The end of the year brings the burden
of survival to all creatures; except
those frozen in stillness, burrowed deep in
the earth never knowing the suffering above,
sleeping to awaken when spring triumphs,
banishing old man Winter to his northern realm.

©2013, Donald Harbour

Spirit Whisperer of Avalon

“It is time,” softly spoken the words awoken
the heart that was clasped in stone,
grains of time wilted, on dry stalks stilted,
blossomed from the dark fertile loam,
the air unscented became heavenly minted
with love flowered honeysuckle cologne,
midnight gloom banished from the ancient room
as cast, Avalon’s brilliant rainbow shone,
arising in the midst of a cascading mist
the Flower of Life reclined on a golden throne,
thus having awakened the dreamers were taken
back to their far off lost celestial home,
all humankind wondered as heavens thundered
“It is done,” leaving their souls lost and alone.

©2013, Donald Harbour

Shi Tao

Shi Tao, a Chinese poet and journalist, was arrested for an email he sent to pro-democracy websites in 2004. He was finally released from prison September 2013. It should be noted that his conviction was predicated by an email taken from his private account by Yahoo and given to the Chinese government. He served 8 years of a 13 year sentence. Congratulations Shi Tao, you made it. The following is a protest poem about the injustice suffered by Shi Tao, which I wrote 7 August 2008. It speaks for every person that promotes freedom and human dignity for all the repressed peoples of our world. You can read more about his arrest and the poem “June”, by Shi Tao, here.

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Shi Tao your thoughts are as water,
They will always find a way out.
Your suppression is a cotton gag,
Soon to rot and disintegrate.
Despot leaders and jailers all die,
Their passing the cleansing of stain.
Their trial against your humanity,
Rust on the steel of human rights.
History’s repressive governments,
All of them are footnotes in time.
The poets, the writers, the teachers,
Their words the soil of expression,
They pay the price for our freedom.
Your penned words etched on paper,
A killing field of social injustice.
The world’s authoritarians fear this,
Their minions the truth eradicators.
Shi Tao, unlike you they are fools,
They never learn the pen’s strength,
The weight of your written words.
They cannot dismiss freedom’s voice,
For your brothers and sisters speak.
Your indignity poison to the corrupt,
The gall that spills over black deeds.
Nothing exists forever except,
The verdant fields of knowledge.
The poetry of your life, Shi Tao.

Copyright: 2008 Donald Harbour