Thursday, December 19, 2013

Poetry just off the press (transferred from my art blog)

Always nice to go back home to Canada to see my family but it is also depressing to see the way the country and the world is heading.  I grew up near Shuswap Lake, one of the biggest and most beautiful in B.C. but money rules here more than ever and there was a lot of it with everybody just panting to have their own little piece of paradise and now it isn't.   'Tearing up  the Shuswap' is the Albertan term for their yearly invasion with all manner of noisy recreational machinery.  Of course there is some poetic license here.  Characters are strictly imaginary but the observations are true.

            'Tearing Up the Shuswap'

It's June when Ron and Rhonda Kretzky
Load their awful kids and snarling jetski
Ron's swimming togs and bourbon, Rhonda's pills 
And head off westward in their giant pickup truck 
That burbles up the hills

A line of faces in the windshield peer out over six feet up
Including Alex already huge but still a pup
If they'd left him like Ron wanted at her mum's
He'd fret and bark and keep the neighbours up
His tongue lolls while the giant tyres hum. 

The rig ain't vanity; it's more like safety, eh
They hear confirming stories all the time
Like with Ron's friend Grey
They work together out there in the oil patch
An accident - he drove right over someone else -
The truck was wrecked but he walked off without a scratch.

It's near eight hours to their cabin on the lake
Or once were cabins; endless rows of houses now
All cheek by jowl
Forgot the zoning laws - Ron didn't put it there; encroaching on the beach. 
Like that when they bought it, eh.  If only he'd been smart and 
Two years go they'd fetched a million dollars each. 

They've extended boundaries in the lake with lines of rocks
And to move the ducks and geese along(the loons long gone)
The plastic owls patrol the private docks 
Its not illegal, you still can stroll on through
Just respect their privacy, and please don't stop or touch the children's toys
Better yet to take the road - further down's a public beach
You'll know by bear-proof garbage drums and endless private mooring buoys.

Carp and squawfish frolic in the green and fertile waters
Fed by septic system waste
Courtesy of all; our sons and daughters
Quite the leveler mixing all that varied age and tastes
And on Saturday 'till late at night
For holidaying girls and boys
There's shrieks and sweets and fireworks
And deep down throbbing in your bones that doofing noise.

Kids asleep they sit out talking with their drinks of modern better times
Since computers hooked to TV screens and looked like crap
And eutrophication didn't have a rhyme
So nice and peaceful here, you put up with the local geeks
Mostly harmless retirees or doper freaks
Not so pushy like in those tourist holes, Phuket or Denpasar
But swimming's great there, eh - sharks finned out, they're up sh**creek
But when you get tsunamis like that one on Boxing Day, there's bodies washing up for weeks -

But leave them to their reveries
Could there be here or in some parallel dimension
Where summer people also bust themselves at having fun
A frozen ball of rock and nickel steel only ten yards wide
A tiny pinpoint glowing faintly as it rounds the sun
A mini-asteroid from out that great dark void
At some impossible height
The great 'X' of the Shuswap
Directly in its sights?
And maybe if some wise benignant god holds sway
Would he could he should he bring that sucker down offshore kerplunk at twenty thousand miles an hour
Before they all go home on Labour Day?

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