Join me on the darkening shore

There! In the red west
Where waves struggle with the sky
To pull the sun down
They’ll win their battle–again
Wait! The shadows will be ours

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Depth Charge: The image accompanying this poem is a painting by  Christine Trainor , Unfinished Sky, oil on canvas, recently purchased by the Prince Edward Island Art Bank.

Unfi

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In another mother tongue

Landscape a language
No one is able to speak
Felt like sea breezes
In another mother tongue
Shadowed on faraway hills

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for Christine Trainor 

Depth Charge: In an article about her Cornish language album Le Kov, Gwenno says “Cornish is a dark language, very close to Breton, a lot more Zs and Ks and Vs, which gives it a very different texture. It probably reflects the harsh landscape of Cornwall. And it’s almost like an emotional shield. Singing in Cornish, I thought, ‘Wow, no one understands me!’ I can get lost, and everyone else has to get lost, because what else can they do? It allows me to escape and find freedom in music. There’s something magical about that.” This made me think of the beautiful landscapes painted by Christine Trainor.

guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
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To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

The Ephemeral Blues for Reuel Dechene

Have fun while ya can
Fate’s an awful thing
You can’t tell what might happen
That’s why I love to sing
– T-Bone Shuffle by T-Bone Walker

Singing all the songs
This wide world could not fill in
Our silent spaces
Grieving you we discover
How profound this emptiness

We hear your laugh echoing
Across the millennium
Feel ghostly traces
Measured in milliseconds
Somewhere in our minds

Ephemeral noise
Of fragile grace amazing
In its resistance
To time’s persistent 12-bar
4/4 stroll into the void

AGG20171024
for Reuel Dechene 1965-2017

Celebration of Reuel’s Life
Saturday, November 4, 2-5
Blythe Bernier Funeral Home
940 Avenue Ogilvy, Montréal, QC H3N 1P4
Everyone welcome.

guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
To read  as close as the clouds by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the linke and select “Save link as…”
To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffinjust click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

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

Charlottetown Harbour 4 AM

How quick the clouds are
To cover the full Moon’s light
In its final hour
Dark woods full of sleeping crows
Dark waters full of unknown

All week long people
Made strangers by passing time
Have been surfacing
Thrown up by the tides of chance
In memory’s tattered nets

Scraps of history
Causal conversation
Luminescent facts
Bright irresistible lures
Dangled before razor teeth

A strip of street lights
And a well-worn wooden path
Suffice for purpose
Desire grows with the unseen
Pluto shadowing the Moon

While Venus rising
Promises summer pleasures
Wild rose fresh bay leaf
Sun and wind on exposed skin
And salt drying on the lips

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Last Day of Lobster Season

On the horizon 
Last day of lobster season 
Having pulled its traps 
A white boat returns to port 
Trailing ravenous white kites 
 
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guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
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To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffinjust click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

For Now (New Year’s Day 2017)

Back home on the back balcony
The sun breaking through the blue
The cold wind of New Year’s Day
Excites yesterday’s snow into life
Sharpens memories
Of you sitting wrapped
x    And warm beside the fire
Of our parting embrace
x    My arms around your tiny frame
x    Your face beautiful and old
x    Pressed against my chest
x    My lifetime contained within yours
For now
x    The heart you gave me beats next to yours
For now
x    The breath you breathed into me we share
For now

AGG20170101
for FMG

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The city strange as the sea

The city strange as the sea
Never knows a true moment
Of complete silence
The predawn sky pale and calm
Still thrums noisily

Relentless as waves
Advancing and receding
Eat this small island
Alive but not from hunger
Solely from force of habit

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guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
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Blooming Point: A Short Conversation with a Nude Eighty-Year-Old Man

Grandfather sold cod to the Portuguese.
Later in life he lost his sight, they said
He had been struck by lightning while at sea,
Which seemed strange to me. After he was dead
I learned glaucoma was the real reason.
I guess lightning made sense enough back then,
When poetry stood in for medicine.
Nineteen fifty-four was my first time here,
It already had its reputation
And there was a sense of danger and fear.
If someone you knew saw you they knew why
You were here and, for a while, a Mountie
In full uniform would patrol, swooning
From the heat as we made out in the dunes.

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Depth Charge: Blooming Point is a spectacular beach on the north shore of Prince Edward Island and, for as long as I can remember, a section of it has been an unofficial nude beach. This summer after a conversation with an man in his 80s on the beach, I learned its history as a nudist beach was much longer than I had thought.

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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.

guoande seal script jpegTo read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”
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To read the chapbook Happy Birthday Hanafuda by Andrew Grimes Griffin just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”