The Union Station Courtyard


A man strums a ukelele.
It’s a soft and sturdy tune.
His white service dog works hard at not being distracted by the wild sparrows fighting over discarded pastry.
To his own music, a boy runs under the jacaranda trees.
He’s been told to catch one on his head.
Something about Canadian mythology.
Purple blooms fall sporadic and soft,
like the strains of music
casually edging the corners of the courtyard,
mixing with the single spout fountain
underscoring the reprimands of hungry birds.
Away, inside, commuters pace, buy, sleep.
Out here the contented vagabonds waiting
For the next train to arrive.
The boy leaps high, his nose touching a falling flower.
Calling this triumph, he sits beside me
And asks if I was watching.

On the passing of Squalls


Rail and roar, oh thunderous storm!

I hear your hail and weeping!

Allow me to answer your tumult and gale

Before I return to my sleeping.

Such rage and such fury!

What billow and rain!

Go rend all your garments

And wail your refrain!

Crash on and roll over, oh thunderous storm!

I hear your raw wind and peeling!

Allow me to dance in your madness and maw

Before I return to not feeling.

Such madness and worry!

What gales and rain!

Go brace ‘gainst the Heavens

And scream your refrain!

Break hold and speed onward, oh thunderous storm!

I hear your howls and flailing!

Allow me to weep as you fade in the sky

Before I return to my sailing.

Such sniffles and nonsense!

What drizzle and rain!

Go settle to breezes

I’ll sing your refrain!

Day 24/25/26


Day 24: Luxury

The shower cap is labeled “finest”

As though every other piece of elasticized plastic

Would crumple in shame if put in the same company

As this testament to hair protection.

On the same tray as this miraculous product

are the “finest” sewing kit, “finest” facial soap, and “finest” emery board.

Next to these royal amenities,

Is a five dollar bottle of water which doesn’t fill the glass next to it.

You will not find a better comb,

And you must afford the water.

The true mark of a classy joint.




Day 25:  Bad Hello

You don’t realize how difficult “hello” can be

Until everyone says it wrong.

“Hello” a word whispered at my back,

A test to see if I’ll stop and turn around.

I don’t. Improper usage and timing.

“Hello!” screamed from a fourth story window

A test to see if I’ll look up.

I do. Sometimes. A minor teaching point.

“Hello!”cheerily called from the turf

A test to see if I’ll take out my headphones.

I do. Counter-test. Always met with laughter.

“Hello!” Filthy words in disguise.

A test to see if I’ll notice the inflection.

I do. Allow eyes to slit. Respond with ice.

“Hello,” A fishing line for my thinning wallet.

Probably a trap. Best keep walking. Silent.

You don’t realize how difficult “hello” can be

Until everyone says it wrong.




Day 26: Book on Tape

Do you have any books on tape? I suggest.

A great way for her to hear the beauty of the language,

As well as clear speaking voices.

I bought one for her, but she never uses it, he chides,

popping a CD into the player.

She grimaces in anticipation, gripping the wheel a little tighter.

I wait, curious.

Then – bees.

My brain is thick with bees somehow.

Oh wait – no, they’re clearing,

And now I’m listening to a voice as heavy as wrought iron

Reading from the dust jacket

About the Great Crash of 1929.

No wonder.