Two Squid and Six Whales

Though the island’s small 
Room enough for a whale’s grave 
One of six Right Whales 
Deaths big enough to warrant 
News coverage and necropsies 
 
Almost escaping notice 
Two squid long lean tentacled 
Lying obscenely 
Motionless in the white sand 
Of no importance 

This seems too public an end 
For such a private creature 
Cellphone cameras 
Killing curiosity 
With unsparing light
 
The death of a squid 
Cannot be known–let alone 
Its under wave ways 
Its liquid life lived in dark 
Waters sparkling in the sun

AGG20170711 

Depth Charge: This poem echoes one of my earliest poems. A Sunday Drive to the Sea

Pass Fail

We all fail the test
Of time with flying colours
We all pass the test

AGG20170415

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Winter Leaves

The patches of skin 
Of the dead clinging tattered 
To barebone branches 
 
AGG20161209

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In the Dying Days of 2016

So far it’s coming down as a cold rain
Through the dying branches of November
Speeding the decay of newly dead leaves
But soon—very soon—it will fall as snow
White as all the white men in the White House
Who’ll stain its false promise of a fresh start
With born again crimes of seeming reason
To bleed the horrors of 2016
Into the bones of a new year stillborn
They’ll start—as they always do—with the weak
Whose final cries to them will be laughter
Amid back pats and champagne corks popping
All the while deaf to the resilient
Beings already growing underground

AGG20161120

Depth Charge:  Even as the American media rushes to normalize a completely abnormal presidency, Donald Trump is assembling a team of committed white supremacists, homophobes, Christian nationalists, anti-Semites, misogynists and corporate thieves to pillage America and blame the resulting havoc on the weakest and most marginal. Hope is hiding in very deep places.

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Foul-mouthed Sweet People

As you’d say, “Fuckface,
You’ve been dead sixteen years now. ”
If you could know though
You would know—not forgotten
Still there are silent spaces

You once filled for us all with
Profanity and kindness

AGG20161101

Depth Charge: Written on the 16th Anniversary of Bob Read’s death.

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The Gift that Keeps on Giving

About their own deaths 
The dying can know nothing 
It is their final gift 
To us as they take their leave 
One that one day we’ll re-gift 
 
This is what makes me  
A rich man beyond compare 
Having been bequeathed 
Their jewel encrusted skulls 
Each a precious death shining 
 
So choose friends wisely 
You’ll be the dullest person  
At your funeral 
Befriend those quick with a joke 
And those with long memories 
 
The storytellers  
Whose words will mask your silence 
And give to your death 
A sinuous cohesion  
That your life completely lacked 
 
AGG20161016

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A Reason to Live

This life comes complete 
With all the reasons you need 
Not to keep living 
Danced in delicate tangos 
Full of promise and peril 
 
At the year’s closing 
Even leaves are free to fall 
Dead to the cold ground 
You give me reason to live 
I kinda hate you for that 
 
AGG20161014

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I Love-Hate a Parade

And I hate that now
When RBC Bank parades
In dark royal blue—
Your first march with them the last
I would see you alive—tears

At least we did kiss
And you walked away—laughing
As far as final
Memories go that’s not bad
Others have simply faded

Each year the minute
Of silence grows more crowded
Faces voices dimmed
A sea of strangers all lost
In their shared humanity

So Gay Pride leaves me
Light headed heavy hearted
Remembering all
Not just every disco
But all the funerals too

AGG20160820

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Fuckin’ Right We Stole the Rainbow

Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow
Because long before Orlando
We taught hatred how to laugh
And we showed pain how to dance
Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we claimed full marriage
Because the way you’d disparage
Our relationships as lesser
We’ve rewritten the book of love
Fuckin’ right we claimed full marriage

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we redefined gay
We didn’t like the way you’d say
Pansy faggot lezzie fruit
You turned queer into a sneer
Fuckin’ right we redefined gay

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we’ve taken back pride
Because we no longer want to  hide
We refuse to play those sordid
Religious games of blame and shame
Fuckin’ right we’ve taken back pride

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow
Because long before Orlando
We taught hatred how to laugh
And we showed pain how to dance
Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow

AGG20160725

Depth Charge: My visit home to Prince Edward Island this year coincided with PEI Pride 2016.  One of the events was a Poetry Slam organized by AIDS PEI and held at BEANZ Café. I threw together this rant the day before the event and presented it.

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Now missing forty-nine beats

After days of heat
The rain sizzles on the leaves
Here and there a drop
Eludes the green canopy
Joins with others on my cheek

Still my rage burns hot
For queers caught in the crossfire
Christianity
Islam hate terror and guns
America’s toxic mix

I excuse no one
I point ten fingers of blame
Pound both of my fists
And curse you all left and right
For the lives lost on that night

Our pulse continues
Pumping the red human blood
You still won’t accept
Equal in worth to your own—
Now missing forty-nine beats

AGG20160622

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