Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday poem #16 : Kathryn MacLeod : New Year


the cat’s first sly glance on waking. lolling sideways, exposing limbs and belly. believing we own everything.

after the economic downturn, after the slaughter in another country.

gestures graceful as the grass in wind. they lie to speak the truth, to keep us in the right queue.

a new breed of barbarity. as we age we enter ambiguity. the oaks are wailin’ up an old tune, mournful.


frantic squirrels, the rain-stained siding, the sky a bowl of instability.

we dream a better life, a deep connection.

the people sleep in tents on grass and concrete, their protest signs hand-wrapped in plastic. the office workers start their shift with some fatigue and apprehension.

daily, I record the details: I let the cat in from the cold at 5 a.m., the chubby grey cat with silver whiskers. I fill the kettle, choose a cereal bowl. before dawn I walk through planes of darkness.

we are a country with a lot of birds, a lot of sky.


this year, ranked 23rd in happiness. we have forgotten how to change and falter speaking.

I made some big mistakes, I lost my appetite. I wish the good life had been mine to give my children. pay attention

I stood up and said like, pay attention.

the women are irascible: they knit and cook, read literature, write manifestos.

the trees, the birds, the beasts who love us. it is too much of an illusion and the real world fails. this is my artist’s voice.


the curse of all our wants and all our fears. we breathe in and feel the cleansing sea. breathe out the greed, decay, imprisonment.

I did not know how art had changed me. I stared it in the face until the danger passed. I could not see the real, amazing world until I saw it with amazement. the tiny details of our wondrous lives.

We live in beautiful and troubled times. love vibrates, cracks the days asunder.

Kathryn MacLeod lives in Victoria, BC. Her previous books and chapbooks include Entropic Suite (above/ground press, 2012), mouthpiece (Tsunami Editions, 1996) and How Two (Tsunami Editions, 1987). Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals (most recently 17 seconds Winter 2013) and anthologies, including Companions and Horizons: An Anthology of Simon Fraser University Poetry (2005), Writing Class: The Kootenay School of Writing Anthology (1999), and East of Main (1989).

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan