Author Archive

Sunday Poem: Should I Continue Reading Man’s Lame Law

December 9, 2018

The inspiration for this villanelle came from a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision, and from the Westmount Poetry Group.

Should I continue reading Man’s lame law?     /
Particularly when eyes suffer a shortage of time     /
Of all I’m certain is life’s short see-saw.     /

In most cases judges flip a coin, ya
I would do the same if I had a dime
Should I continue reading Man’s lame law?

Life’s lessons do not help preclude making flaw
I’ve discovered this often in my prime
Of all I’m certain is life’s short see-saw.

When holy court slams Vice they rub me raw
Flexing one’s freedom should not be a crime
Should I continue reading Man’s lame law?

Most decisions are filled with fluff and guffaw
The worst part is: The fuckers don’t rhyme
Of all I’m certain is life’s short see-saw.

Sitting in chambers supports the final straw
Talk, Talk, Talk. Dysfunction rules sublime
Should I continue reading Man’s lame law?
Of all I’m certain is life’s short see-saw.

Advertisements

Sunday Poem: Address to a Jelly Donut

December 2, 2018

Good morning to you my jelly friend

Upon your deliciousness I depend

Annual joy I yearly defend

On lips upon chin

You’ve begat fairest social trend

Where no belly goes thin.

 

Your birth unknown from a baker wise

Your filling fills up a child’s eyes

Your taste no honest man can despise

If racks run bare

Another batch of yeast will rise

To fight despair.

 

Upon your lifting out from oil

The aroma divine, texture royal

There’s never been a one to spoil

As all get et

No bag is needed just sheet of foil

For none’s grown old yet.

 

In the palm of my hungry hand

You leave a mark a fatty band

There is no worry small or grand

You disappear

Upon my gut’s command

O save me dear.

 

As stickiness descends on my bite

I catch a mouthful of sugar white

As my exploding buds ignite

As I devour

The sweetest gluten in my sight

I thank farmers for flour.

 

Surrounding jelly, soft dough sings

The combination in winter brings

The pleasurablest things

I need another

And though the dough has greasèd wings

No pastry I’d druther.

 

After six I fear I might puke

My partner offers stern rebuke

I smile, I burp like richest duke

As acids blow

And swirl, I catch long fretful look

Suffer no woe.

 

Pączki, sufganiyot, berliner

So good out but better when inner

For none can I wait to get in ‘er,

I know for fact

Who eats them’s a winner

Red fruit jam-packed.

 

In this world there can be only peace

If donut availability doth increase

For every tongue needs a little grease;

War will abate somewhat

When all human beings get their piece

Of blessèd jelly donut.

 

Sunday Poem: Democracy Kills

November 25, 2018

I’ve learned democracy kills. /

If you lay beneath all the Bills /

Government has enacted /

You’ll be mortally compacted.

 

Sunday Poem: The Only Amusing Encounter I’ve Ever Had

November 18, 2018

I once met a man named George Amusing
Did this actually transpire
Or was I snoozing?
Now that my head’s afire
I find the current occurrence confusing.

 

Sunday Poems: On being asked for a War Poem, and Theoretically I Am Against War

November 11, 2018
On Remembrance Day 2018, I offer two poems. First, W.B. Yeats’ 1916 poem, On being asked for a War Poem, followed by my poem, Theoretically I Am Against War.  I might add that following Yeats is an honour.

On being asked for a War Poem

By William Butler Yeats(from the Poetry Foundation)

I think it better that in times like these

A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth

We have no gift to set a statesman right;

He has had enough of meddling who can please

A young girl in the indolence of her youth,

Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

*****************************************

Theoretically I Am Against War

by J. Lokshtanov

Theoretically I am against war

But when big bully steps on my toe

I rise defiant to even the score.

 

Peace is perpetual deep in my core

It was planted early in my embryo

Theoretically I am against war.

 

When tyrants threaten in way I deplore

Do I sit quietly in fear? Hell no

I rise defiant to even the score.

 

I wish small injustice I could ignore

But teeny wrongs produce woe upon woe

Theoretically I am against war.

 

Violent actions I certainly abhor

And violent actors we must overthrow

I rise defiant to even the score.

 

When bullies persist I’m given a chore

No person should deny their work, and so

Theoretically I am against war

I rise defiant to even the score.

 

Sunday Poem: The lot of Canadian poets is a pity

November 5, 2018
Note: This poem was issued late due to a technical difficulty(it wasn’t completed.) Enjoy, comment, and share, please.

The lot of Canadian poets is a pity
Why? I’ll give you a clue:
A lot of poets write pretty shitty.

Life’s light allowance can be quite gritty
When publishers skimp on marketing and glue
The lot of Canadian poets is a pity.

How rare the writer who dare be witty
Yet creative creatures could fill a zoo
A lot of poets write pretty shitty.

When poets join a sausage committee
The result: What no person should ever chew
The lot of Canadian poets is a pity.

We all desire respectability
But I strive to critique well, not to woo
A lot of poets write pretty shitty.

You may think my opinion is petty
or plain pathetic, but I assure you
The lot of Canadian poets is a pity
A lot of poets write pretty shitty.

Sunday Poem: You Know What I Mean

October 27, 2018

I’ve had my fill of social media
When all I see is Fissipedia.

Sunday Poem: Some Fledgling Poet By The Name Of Yeats

October 20, 2018

Who was it so silent who wrote the verse
On Being Asked For A War Poem?
Some fledgling poet by the name of Yeats.
Now tasked to write an anti-war poem I converse
With deceased William Butler to show him
His old man on a winter’s night still resonates.

 

The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied

October 15, 2018

This is a book I highly recommend. – Jack Locke

by Bruce Campbell, James Lorimer & Co. Publishers

The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster      CLICK HERE to order a copy from the publisher

“The book uncovers new elements of the story behind the Lac-Mégantic disaster: what happened, how it happened, who was responsible, and why it can happen again.

 Lac-Mégantic was not a rare random occurrence, impossible to foresee. On the contrary, it was the culmination of a series of events, policies, decisions, which as the book details, over time saw an enormous build-up in the risk of catastrophe, to the point where it became a matter of Russian roulette— not if, but when.

The book traces the trajectory of deregulation—accelerated by privatization and fiscal austerity—beginning with the Mulroney government, continuing with the Chretien-Martin government, and culminating with the Harper Conservatives.

It chronicles the measures, which systematically removed safety protections— producing a weakened and compliant regulator captured by a powerful industry—which subordinated government’s foremost obligation to protect its citizens, the citizens of Lac-Mégantic, to the private interests of corporations. Public betrayal.

The book recounts the story of US railway hard-liner Hunter Harrison who, as head of CN and later CP, transformed the Canadian railway landscape; and with CP became a central player in the highly profitable but increasingly risky transportation of Bakken crude and Alberta bitumen.

It shows how, despite critical assessments of Transport Canada’s deeply flawed rail safety regime, and warnings from inside the department, senior officials and their political masters downplayed the growing dangers in the rush to get oil to coastal refineries like Irving. The railways, averse to limitations on their lucrative new revenue stream, pressured government to block or delay regulations to help cope with the new reality.

The book describes how CP subcontractor, Montréal Maine and Atlantic Railway, headed by another US railroader Ed Burkhardt, a company with an appalling safety record and a culture of negligence—was able to gain permission from Transport Canada to operate its oil trains, which ran through Lac-Mégantic, with a single crewmember. It probes the decision-making dynamics within Transport Canada that led to this approval, and the abnegation of ministerial responsibility. It reveals how the single person crew decision was covered up as a cause of the disaster up by the politically compromised final Transportation Safety Board report—overriding the findings of the investigation team.

It is also the story of lives, which were forever changed by the tragedy, subsequent tragedies endured by many, and the courageous struggle of those who have fought against despair and for safety and justice for their community.

Only three front-line workers were put on trial for criminal negligence. They were acquitted. : No decision-makers within the industry, the company and the government were held to account.

Virtually all criminal and civil actions have been settled behind closed doors except the criminal trial, where the only people who testified were low-level company and government employees.

No company executives or its owner, no senior government officials, no political or industry leaders— were compelled to testify under oath. As a vehicle to uncover the truth and hold those responsible to account, the legal system failed.  A public inquiry is  the only remaining vehicle capable of  getting at the truth and bringing a measure of justice.

 Finally, the Harper and Trudeau government’s failure to address fundamental safety risks that still exist, leave open the door for history to repeat itself at a time when oil-by-rail traffic is reaching record levels, and estimated in 2019 to be three times the volume it was at the time of Lac-Mégantic.”

Advance Praise for “The Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster: Public Betrayal, Justice Denied”

“Bruce Campbell has carried out meticulous research in many fields to piece together the whole story of a catastrophe-in-the making, and his findings, as reported in this book, will be of interest to readers who value human life, intact communities, and a safe environment.  Much more than a research report, the book is a dramatic read, with no letup in the action from start to finish.” (more…)

Sunday Poem: The Westmount Library Reading Room

October 14, 2018

The Westmount Library Reading Room

is sedate, yet full of magical images

I sit across a table from a retired

McGill Man. He reads the newspaper, framed

by the table’s green, glass, conical lampshades

I want to take his photo

Respecting the sanctuary

I do, and therefore do not