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Tricia McCallum is a Toronto freelance writer and also publishes fiction and poetry.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Second Thoughts. 
 
You think you’re writing poetry 
and then you read one in a New Yorker, 
about elephants, 
tied together, heads down, 
being traipsed in a line through the Queen’s midtown tunnel after midnight, 
on their way to Ringling Brothers downtown, 
forever away from their home and the wild, 
and you just want to stop writing what, 
for all these years, 
you’ve been calling poetry.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Because someone asked for a poem for their wedding day...

The Unspoken Vows.
For Jim and Becky on their Wedding Day.

You stand before one another today
Expectant, full of love,
And recite the traditional vows so many have before you,
And will after.
The simple, elegant vows of marriage, each word chosen with such care
To convey precise meaning, not one wasted,
Romantic, timeless,
Lovely.

But there is much they leave unsaid;
It may be the only limitation of the ceremony.
So much that the two of you will give to one another down through the years
In the name of love,
So much that you vow to each other, unknowingly, today.

Shall we speak of them now?
While we may?
Those nights when sleep won’t come and the other offers to make tea,
Dark days that weigh you down and the other gently lifts you up,
When your child needs guidance and the other finds the time,
The times she will see beauty in you when you see none in yourself.
How he’ll want others to see everything that you are, and can be.

It’s these unspoken vows that will see you through
day to day, year to year,
Side by side,
And speak volumes in their silence.


Tricia McCallum
April 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Entreaties

My gums are bleeding again.

There’s a stack of papers that need attention

But I can’t find my glasses.

My truck is making that funny noise.

I sleep too late,

There's no one here to wake me.

I don’t write,

Seems it's all been said.

Your point’s been made:

I am selfish and fickle,

Say what you like.

Come home.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Gift of Donovan.


A frigid November day in Barrie, Ontario, 1967,

Wednesday, I remember;

We had just come from Novena Devotions.

Mark led me downtown to the town’s one record store,

“For a surprise,” he said.

The proprietor was in on this, I soon realized,

watching him head

to the stacks of wooden slots on the wall

and retrieve a 45 disc in its small paper sleeve.

 
The needle on the vinyl
dispensed a melody through the small shop,
And then Donovan’s innocent accented voice,

Colour sky havana lake
Colour sky rose carmethene
Alizarian crimson...

Next, the bewitching refrain,

Lord, kiss me once more
Fill me with song
Allah, kiss me once more
That I may, that I may…

Wear my love like heaven

Worlds, colours I had not yet heard of,

at the age of 15.

Yet, I sensed the magic of which he sang.

I went on to my life, Mark to his.

Not long after he died, still a young man,

never giving me the chance to thank him for his gifts that day,

for seeing me in a way I had never seen myself,

as a girl worthy of devotion,
for giving me,
in that dead-end town,
an impossibly beautiful song.
 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Be quiet: You’re talking.


Tell me something I don’t know.

That there are insects that can fly through the rain

without getting wet,

That Bing Crosby had the first tape recorder in America,

And Esther Williams hated the water.


That astronauts have the highest divorce rate,

Redheads need more anaesthetic than others,

Emily Dickinson didn’t leave her room for 12 years,

And Chinese doctors examine a patient’s tongue first.


Enlighten me.

Fill me with awe.

Share things incandescent.

Or stop talking.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To a friend on leaving Eleuthera.


You’ve come to know her secrets,

The quiet recesses of her,

Where she tucks away her sea glass,

How her oleander smells after the rain.

You know the particular colour of light

That ladles itself across Cupid’s Cay at dusk,

The creak and sway of her cargo ships,

Loaded, inching their way into the harbour.

You know her tides, her impetuousness, her fury,

Her hundred shades of blues and greens,

The open smiles of her children,

The unadulterated solace of her.

You know her expectant sunrises,

her bittersweet setting suns, too,

The content in returning, weary,

Time and again,

to her open embrace.

All of this,

You take with you today,

The moments, the years with her that helped shape you,

And she will rest deep within you,

Intact, a part of all that you are,

For the remainder of your days.

 

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