Speak Now, My Friends


Speak now, my friends, yes speak, but speak true,

Of the darkness descended and what we must do,

When days reek of madness, and nights smell of shame,

And the air smells of gore of the infinite slain.


Let’s dream, once again, of democracy’s glade,

The peace and the calm, for which many have paid,

Where the poor are the richest, and the rich are long gone,

And in the bright sunlight the darkness is done.


And when we remember all that’s been said,

Of justice for all and where it has led;

While the cruel and the selfish veil their true face,

We’ll sing of the heroes who’ve argued our case.


So proudly we’ll speak of the brave ones who die,

There’ll be vows to revenge them, tell truth to the lie,

But yet, as we speak, will come shouts, “who leads me?

So we’ll raise a bright mirror for the doubters to see.


But why fades your voice, your eyes look away?

While you suffer alone long night and dark day,

So stay, and reflect, as we join our rough hands,

What our union could do in our, unchained, lands.



The Rain Pours Blood And Ashes

The rain pours blood and ashes

Steady, down upon the snow,

Lying gently in the fields,

A soft sigh upon the world,

And bleeds away its beauty,

In myriad flowing tears,

Rose petals on a river,

Foul with waste of war.


Church bells ring and choirs sing,

For countless angry dead,

Who have no friends, no love for them,

No one waiting by the door,

Forgotten when they hit the ground,

All torn by lead and lies,

Yet still the bells are ringing,

Calling others to their end.


Some, we’ve heard, dare question,

The who’s, the how’s, the why’s,

Some others turn to listen,

The rest chained are to glowing screens,

Who see not the men arrive,

Nor hear the knocks at 3.am,

To take away the daring,

As they pretend to sleep.


The rain still falls upon us,

The sun and moon have lost their light,

Enlightenment stands with Reason,

Hard pressed against a wall,

Reaction strangles Progress,

Justice dangles from a tree,

While vultures perch on branches,

Where other corpses hang,












Speed Home The Passing Stranger



Speed home the passing stranger,

Who comes gently to your door,

Whether fleeing hunger,

Or cruel, incessant war,

For bound are we by one true law,

That above the rest does reign,

Humanity is one shared self and so must share the pain.


Speed home the passing stranger,

Whose heart sings of journeys past,

Through loss and toil and danger,

And each day feared the last,

For the future is a die yet cast,

And none can know their fate,

But it’s easy to extend a hand before it’s all too late.


Speed home the passing stranger,

Who travels through your land,

Seeking refuge from the anger,

To be touched by gentle hand,

For none of us alone can stand,

Against the bitter blows of time,

Sharing be the only wealth, all else is a crime.


Speed home the passing stranger,

Who one day may be me,

A solitary wanderer,

Long blind, but now can see,

That we can have or we can be,

But in the having we must die,

For having is a taking and all the rest’s a lie.


Speed home the passing stranger,

Who’s weary this tired day,

No matter if a sinner,

Or perhaps has found the way,

For it’s what we do instead of say,

That makes us who we are,

We who live together, beneath this saddened star.
















Interalienation of their hearts,

It seemed and was not,

Though both played resentful parts,

In proud unwillingness to share,

One place, one pillow, one paltry fare,

It was perfectionism, they confess,

To know the truth and ask for nothing less.

Their fierce-eyed guardians watched from overhead;

‘These two, alone, have learned to love,’ they said,

‘But neither can forget they are not worthy of each other yet.’

Autumn Memory

Cold, cold air creeps deep in my clothes,

The October sun’s gone,

November winds blow,

I stopped on the path to look at the trees,

The yellows, the golds,

The reds of the leaves,

And remembered one day a city in heat,

While drifting in dreams

Of that Bloor Street beat,

That Toronto sashay,

That lunch time retreat,

Past the cafes, the shops,

The laughter, the tears,

Past working men’s bars,

And their deep, secret fears,

Past the steamy, dark, alleys,

And mysterious pearls,

Past second-hand bookshops,

Where fantasy swirls,

Past the theatre’s stage,

The juke joints and flops,

Past bellying buildings,

Worn out with age,

Past the blues joints, the beer, the hall of tattoos,

Past the place where she kissed me,

One sweet day in May,

My Trina, My Trina,

How’d you do in LA?

I walked in a dream,

Past the whisky, the cabs,

The cops in their cars,

And cheap dental labs,

Past the lure of the whores,

The girls and the boys,

Staring like ghosts from bleak, dingy doors

No reason to hurry,

The heat made me limp,

I watched a young girl take dope from her pimp;

Stopped to kill time,

To look at some books,

Hoped for some Balzac, or Hugo,

Some Zola, some Wells,

But found nothing but bios of very fat cooks,

And dusty old lives of French artists’ belles,

Then appeared some relief,

Maybe the answer,

Miller’s grand riff,

The Tropic of Cancer,

So paid the five bucks,

The man cuts like a knife,

Then walked through the haze,

And walked through the noise,

Aching for something,

I couldn’t define,



Crossing the line,

Or some instant high

Or something,

As simple,

As hearing her sigh,

An old man bowed low,

Copper burnt by the sun,

To most that walked by

He was just an old bum,

But he looked like a saint,

He had all the signs,

So we talked for awhile,

We touched, shared the vibes,

‘Til Time grabbed my arm,

So bade him good-bye,

I looked back just once,

He begged with some charm,

Just one of the many,

I wished him no harm,

As the thick, sticky air shimmied and danced,

Dry, shrivelled leaves hung from limp trees,

Dogs dozed in alleys,

Ignoring the fleas,

As husbands and wives walked desperately by,

Shivering in tension, the long suppressed lie,

The cold winds are come,

And now fades the light,

Like her very last kiss,

In the darkness of night.



She Looked In The Fireplace Mirror



She looked in the fireplace mirror,

Face lit with the heat of the fire,

That warmed the dead, and the living,

Who of their tears did tire.


Around her the few, and the lonely,

Sat quietly, undisturbed,

Yet each the other heard breathing,

Though none dared utter a word.


And the priest looked old, and saddening

For he could cast no magical spell-

As the flames of the fire flickered and flared-

He wondered if they were in hell.


A cat curled up in a corner,

Content with a memory or two,

Of the one they somehow mourned for,

To whom they had never been true,


Two slender, white scented, candles,

Sat graced by two flowers of light,

On top of an elegant casket,

Her bed her fare-welling night.


She looked in the fireplace mirror,

At the woman once she had been,

And remembered a longed for lover,

She once had seen, in a dream.


She looked in the fireplace mirror,

‘Til the priest hushly whispered, “Let’s pray,”

And the mourners took up their poses,

And thought of the new coming day.

Nagasaki Warning





The news came through the din of war,

That things were seen not seen before,

Nor told in tales, nor prophecies,

Nor legends known, our histories,

Of lights and shadows roaming wild,

The veil of death on every child,


The news came through of shaking earth,

Of flaming winds and thunderous might,

Of vapours born a bloody birth,

Of melting skin in dark of night,


The news came through of cities burned

By blast of flame, by flash of light

As women turned to shadows yearned

For evening songs, a morning bright,


The news came through, the last we heard,

Of madmen dancing on a tomb,

Who jeered at life with every word,

And bled the blood from every womb.


Then we turned towards the sky,

Towards the rushing, roaring sound,

And, for an instant, wondered why.