Tuesday, August 23, 2011

just jack by Joe Blades

no aide
no entourage
no bodyguard
just jack
at the entrance
to moe’s
in dorval
make that
pierre elliott trudeau
airport
catching
a plane or
between flights
and jack goes
to the bar
not a table
like the one
for two i’m
at alone with
mug of beer
and empty
sandwich plate
journalling
while jack gets
a build your own
montréal smoked
meat platter
et un verre
de vin rouge
looking out
over the tarmac
gates and
the endless
movements
of silver birds
international
and domestic

1 comment:

Ellen S, Jaffe said...

Thank you for your poem, Joe. I am not sure how to submit a poem (if this is still open), so I'm including it here. Ellen S. Jaffe
**********************************

For Jack Layton: State Funeral and Celebration, August 27, 2011

Dream no little dreams (Indigenous prayer, spoken at the funeral)

The bagpipes play their strange sad lament –
TV lets us see everything without being there:
Olivia Chow’s strained face, baby Beatrice,
the silent surging crowd.

This morning I cleaned my kitchen cupboards,
touched up the orange paint (Colorado Dawn) –
death does this, makes us clean, straighten, see, listen, and touch –
loved ones, flowers, household clutter.

Rise Up – Amazing Grace – Hallelujah –
O Canada, how can we lose this man, who gave a voice to the voiceless,
home to the homeless, a song of hope to people in need –
not a saint, but a very human being.

I regret I did not know you, met you
only once – an NDP meeting – shook your hand,
saw your smile. The political is personal,
the personal political – you knew this by heart.

Now you go from the ordinary world – bike paths,
jam sessions, elections – into the mystic...
Into The Mystic, where we can’t yet follow.
All our love goes with you – love is all
we need to keep your dreams alive.


Ellen S. Jaffe

51 Chatham St.
Hamilton ON L8P 2B3
ejaffe@sympatico.ca
905-308-7683