The least of us

Tonight, a cold north wind
finds a tormented soul,
encrusted in cast-off old rags,
discarded fabric, forgotten cotton,
feet clad with worn out leather,
a motionless form lays crumpled,
held in a cardboard shroud,
the scraps of existence, no joy,
a forgotten shadow of life,
of what was, of what could be,
the wonder of city night lights,
perform kaleidoscope dances,
they mask the most precious,
humanity’s sack cloth clothed,
life should not suffer so,
life abundant should provide,
the lesser are the mightiest,
the strength of the spirit,
existing to remind us of,
in a heartbeat, are you, am I.

©2014, Donald Harbour

Slaming the slam

this night is cold and wet,
an ice water rinse of clothing.
parts of me curse my inability
to find shelter, leading me to
a lapse in judgement, it is
an illustrative life event.
my only solace, a dimly lit beer tavern,
it is a  rain drop caught on the tongue
quenching a drought of understanding.
there thrust into amateur night chaos,
finding a poetry slam pit of confusion.
in a grungy corner perched on a stool
presumed poets are preaching,
spewing out denial, these floundering
disciples of expressionism, railing
against men, women, war, peace,
a rambling dirge of complaints,
they are puppies barking at nothing,
cats piteously crying for recognition.
words strung together, randomly
searching for cognitive thought,
limited by their experiences, they are
lost lunatic poetic apostles ,
wandering a wasteland of thought,
the poems dried fish divided
for the masses. their vinegar will
never be made into wine, their bread
offered is stale, pitted by the weevils
of claustrophobic boredom, the  voices
self searching plastic soul surgery.
the  beer is flat and tasteless, untouched
I return back  into the drenching night,
thankful for its companionship, once again
wrapped  in the comfort and warmth of its misery.

2014, Donald Harbour

A birds nest tale

In the backyard, with indifferent abandon,
a holly bush leans against the fence.
An invitation that will be taken.

Within the protective dense thorny green foliage,
mom and dad Cardinal make a twig home.
Soon peeps announce a new families hatch.

Foraging with industry the male and female
endlessly fly to the yard garden grocery store.
The tomato horned worms do not survive.

It is an organic garden relying on benevolent help
from these talon red feathered creatures and good bugs.
Ravenous chicks doom the plant destroying worms.

A peek in the nest reveals two fluffy hungry babes
their open yellow rimmed beaks pointed skyward.
They are ravenous to any rustle of the branches.

Flashing dazzling colors, song birds dart about,
one of the benefits of planting a harvest of veggies.
Everyone benefits the bounty; birds and neighbors.

The family dogs seem to sense their unspoken duty
protectively lying in the shade beneath the nest branch.
Coming inside at nightfall they give up their guard watch.

Night darkness can become the indiscriminate evil hour for life,
when dark hides the skulking casual destroyers of homes.
The time of burglars, murders, the devils spawn, feral cats.

One of the neighbors daily feeds these treacherous felines,
in sympathy for their dispassionate wild primitive existence.
The cats have no morals, only a taste for baby birds.

©2013 Donald Harbour

I am an addict

I have to admit, I am an addict.
There I’ve said it; I am an addict.
I crave my drug of choice,
Drink it in, wallow in it.
I rejoice at it’s nurturing feeling,
Its uncomplicated high.
I fear my soul is lost to it.
It fashions my dreams,
Whispers to me in the night.
It takes away my depression,
Catapults me through anxiety,
My days are spent seeking it,
I pay what ever it demands.
The torture of absence aches my being.
It is a canopy that shields me,
I hide in its unfathomable reality.
Having consumed its sweet musk,
It now courses through my veins,
Shaping my world, my mind, my beliefs.
There is no help for me,
I do not seek intervention,
Counseling is a rich mans joke.
Naked before it I seek only its cloth,
A mantle of glorious colors and light.
Alone in this sanctity I am immortal,
Bringing me to my existence roots.
I have no choice but to give in to it,
Though, my love for it is shameless.
I hold no one responsible except myself,
There is no arrest for using it,
No laws violated, no prison.
It is bought and sold, yet free.
When you call me and no one answers,
I will be incapacitated by it,
Unable to respond to mankind’s devices.
I do not wish to be disturbed,
I will be with my obsession,
Inhaling my dependency;  Nature.

©2013, Donald Harbour

Kingdom come

People are a disingenuous species,
Stealers, cheaters, killers, devourers.
Religious psychopaths imagining a God.
Teaching false humanity, love thy neighbor,
Unless the neighbor believes not as you, then,
destroy him in the creators name.
The hypocrisy of religion is salvation,
the cosmos cares not about beliefs,
the Creator cares only about life,
All life, even the hypocrites of life.
There is no judgement day, there is now,
there are the fish in the sea,
the birds singing in the trees,
the babble of cascading brooks,
azure blue skies with white clouds,
there is you, there is me, there is
only time flushing detritus of delusion’s delirium.
The excuses for our species,
the greed, government, uselessness,
organic perversion of universal life.
We will be judged not by our accomplishments.
We will be judged on our stewardship,
and the earth is taking names.

©2012, Donald Harbour

Embracing nothing

did you ever know desolation
knowing that there is nothing
but a mind trapped in a loop
the scene playing over and over
no way to turn off its totality
a feeling of vast aching emptiness
a wilderness scream no one hears
no one cares no one ever will

the streets are  full of catatonic people
moving objects in cloistered shells
avoiding each others eye contact
no smile no hint of human recognition
they are a wasteland of flesh and bone
bodies clothed in a death shroud
plaintive expressions of indifference
no one cares no one ever will

the thought occurs you are alone
you are the only thinking human left
you feel the species quickened demise
fear has replaced rational reason
in a moment breath is gone collapsing
there is a panic of emotional suffocation
you now know the burden of loneliness
no one cares no one ever will

©2012, Donald Harbour

Greeting a winter morning

The alarm twitters on the night stand,
Window panes are glazed frosty dark,
A winter drizzle fogs the morning,
It is a  rolling mist of chilled foreboding,
With metallic mouths  we greet each other,
Peering from beneath hay stack tousled hair,
Another day reveals itself as a comic,
I listen to the patio wind chimes sing,
They are temple bells calling for meditation,
Although together we harvest the years,
The feeling is that life will never end,
Mornings are the heralds of continued love,
Blurred promises to honor the day,
It expands chrysanthemum tendrils of light,
The window still casts its non-commitment,
So we turn away from its fractal vision,
Inward to the home, to coffee, and each other.

©2011, Donald Harbour

My twisted sisters

Where I live there are parades,
three daily panty hose parades down main street,
morning, noon, and late afternoon,
a pleasure to behold,
a joyous carnival,
it’s the  “Puttin’ on and Struttin’ Parade”,
however, men are not supposed to watch,
or make any obviously delirious comments,
it’s politically and dangerously incorrect,
watching with admiration is sexist.

Still I have asked my self,
“self, why are those women wearing all those fine things,
glittering with costume bling,
perched on stiletto heels, and
more makeup than a Barnum and Bailey Circus dressing room,
if they are not struttin’ their stuff, what are they doing”,
it’s a quandary.

I whistled once at a gorgeous blonde,
really thought she was a beauty, until
she opened her mouth, called me asshole, and
used her middle finger to demonstrate her level of intelligence,
but wait, brunettes, and reds do the same thing,
I guess they too are proud of their Revlon nail polish,
show offs.

I never call a woman names unless she asks me to,
or use hand signs, that would be ungentlemanly,
I have too much respect for the opposite sex, and
I have come a conclusion: there is not a gentleman among them.

Ladies, my twisted sisters,
a smile and a thank you,
makes you beautiful.

©2011, Donald Harbour

Who is Marey Mercy

to know Marey Mercy
is to know too much
a pick pocket of persona
a plumed bird of image multiplicity
whether grainy black and white
fading sepia or blurred graphic
she is a 35mm Pantone expression
a randomly clicked slide show
art spreading out a panorama
of pixelated creative genius.

©2011, Donald Harbour

On life’s stage

Sheet music to "Give My Regards"

This form of poetry is taken from Japanese tradition and is called a Haibun. It includes prose with a Haiku at the end. Written in response to the prompt at “Margo Roby: Word Gathering for Tryout Tuesday, Haibun”.


I have wandered life’s stage never yet finding my voice. Somewhere in the wings it hides in the folds of the curtain. Or maybe on the scaffolding where the lights are rigged. I often believe that searched for voice is adjusting the lights thus moving the spot on the stage where I should stand, should speak, should deliver. There is nonsense in this playful speculation though it causes me to wonder if all the other actors surrounding me are searching as well for that moment of oratory when they will finally be heard, be recognized. The performance is so brief and scripted. Although we are told that all great actors yearned for their moment too, I wonder if their script was written by the likes of Thornton Wilder while my lines came from some struggling unknown. Was the play I am in rejected by the better theaters, relegated to a high school auditorium in Bug Tussle, Texas, far from the Broadway lights whose glare can spell success in ones career? I do not wear a mask in this play. My mouth is not muffled by the tape of a false beard, my face not hidden by makeup. The foot lights blind me to the audience so I cannot see how many seats are filled. My fear is that when the curtain does come down there will be no great reviews, no applause for a performance well given.

Autumn is here
frosty footsteps
there is dawn