Montreal Incarnate

I am made of red brick and cobblestone.

My arms, lifted high to thundering skies,
Are gargoyles and gilded statuary,
Revealing windows to an earlier time.

My hair is the firestorm of autumn trees.
My fingers are tree branches,
dense and twisted by harsh winters.

I am chain link fences and barking dogs.
Clotheslines drape across my shoulders,
Lilacs and morning glory crown my head.

My feet are the crunch of fresh snow and dried leaves.
My legs, are wrought iron, spiral staircases
leading upward into the humid summer night.

I am railroads, above ground and below.
My heart a locomotive, my blood the rhythm of trains.
Under the overpass, through bridge and tunnel, I am connected.

My eye, a searchlight, sweeps the skyline
My canal is made of wine and tears,
I cry my river, and then I drink it.

Take comfort on the mountain of my breast.
I offer you my music, my food, my culture.
Though poor in pocket, I am rich in spirit.

I am made of this place.

Stones

I carry my errors like stones.

When I left instead of speaking.
When I spoke instead of listening.
When I allowed anger instead of compassion.
A false accusation, a projection.
Ignorance, selfishness, judgment.

All these stones, they never leave me.
Apologies do not break them.
They stack up in my heart,
and even if forgiven, I do not lay them down.

Sometimes, instead of seeing your face,
I see the stones I carry for you.
Hurts I’ve caused you.
Those errors that are bygones for you,
are stones for me.

I love you.
But these stones remind me
that you have reasons to not love me back.

I cannot undo what has been done,
so I try to make up for these errors,
but nothing allows me to put down my burden.

I am forever trying to heal a bleeding wound
that cannot be staunched by stones.

-March 2011

Dance

The Gods set me on fire and told me to dance.
“Dance” they said –
And when I dance
I am perfect balance,
I am free.
There is music in me –
And when I dance,
I am emotion in motion:
Spinning…
Spiralling…
infinitely into eternity.
And I can see the music
Travelling though time
And speaking through my body.
When I dance,
I am the bridge between
The world we know and the world we don’t know.
When I dance I dance my story, I dance my pain.
When I dance, my body opens
And all the madness comes screaming out:
Dance with me.

 

-circa 1998