A few Poems of late that I haven't yet put out there.

Poetry is an interesting form of writing. For me, at times, it comes easy, seemingly flowing out of my fingers into the keyboard. But then when I want to write about a specific subject matter, aka my son or a gathering, the words seem to falter. The two poems below are of the first type, where little thought about them occurred and I simply wrote what came to me. I like this form the most, although, the more deliberate form might work too, the jury is still out. Regardless, it has been a year of poetry for me. More than that, I have preformed most of them on my instagram feed. Who wudda thunk it!

Haggard Young Man

Haggard young man, alive, aware, full of regrets. Half a century at his back, a life walled up with stones of silence. Decades of duplicity, the jester, the priest, the duke of anywhere. Feigned recklessness and bravery adorn his armour, glistening, velvet cape draped round.

Knowledge for currency, stacked neatly in a vault. Riches beyond measure, burn brightly, fuelled with poverty poured out, drenched brands burn cold and blue with fury.

The drunk king demands more wine, the warrior’s sword shattered. A mage alone in the corner doubts visions now clouded in haze.

A whale not in the distance stalks the boat. The tempest rages, waves crash hard on oiled hewn boards, and still the sailers whisper, afraid to act. Alone, afraid the man awaits his due, black waters beckon, the path marked, bones, straws, signs, announce rejected instructions. 

His face set like flint against the task, trust just out of grasp. The night fades into orange, and dim light brings delusions, fragile dreams offered up, smouldering ash filled bowls.

Haggard young man, alive, aware, alone, without home. Half a century at his back, nowhere to call his own. His glass filled with soft tannins, brick red rimmed, once fresh, now fit for tired tongue.

Visions of a new journey, flit around the edges, gates open wide, a king and his subjects sit in ashes. A hot wind blows, pulling the plant up from the cracked ground. Refuge, anger, pain, alive in its shade. The haggard young man, for now, waits impatiently in uneasy rest.


Mutual affection, gazing in unison, fixated on common objects demanding attention.

Two or three gather, perhaps more, common presence declares a community, fellowship. Hearts laid bare, hopes and dreams foretold, revealed, caressed, dashed, restored.


Emotions reigned tight, hearts walled in stone. Words laid down carefully in manicured patios proudly for all to see. Polished patios constructed with words, carefully tended, ringed with high walls of busyness, self-made obligation. Polished patios carefully adorned with welcoming chairs of gleaming coals.


A bounty of nourishment, food, drink, conversation, prayer, and concern. Empathy, thick as onion paper flows freely, suffocating sympathy fills the room. Hearts laid bare, seized, too long only pumping air.


Deluded dreams, laced with angst and disdain. Bitter wine poured out in brimming goblets of hospitality. Ripe platters of loneliness distributed with cheerless smiles. Sisyphus holds court in the corner with yarns of adventure gone cold.


But did not our hearts burn, yearn, crave more? Buoyed hope carried upon inauthentic waves, shallow pools stretched wide with the promise of care and meaning.


Bullshit and the middle of the Mess

I had a chance to catch up this week with a friend (and colleague) that I haven’t seen in a while. I enjoy these lunch dates. Rarely do I dine at “supper time” but I find the middle of the day a great time to connect and catch up.

Plug for the Marc and their Wednesday Burger, always a highlight!

During lunch, I expressed to my friend this growing need within me to pen a book. I have wanted to write a book for a long time, and have even had a working title and table of contents saved on my computer for years now. But, I just don’t know whether people want to read about my journey into the world of coffee?

Carolyn had what might be a brilliant idea for me though. She suggested that I write a book on Bullshit. She said my naturally “grumpy” disposition (she meant that as a compliment, I am sure) was perfect for the subject matter.

You may not be a humorist Poul, but you have sarcasm enough to make up for that!

The idea has stuck with me for the rest of the week. I have witnessed so much bullshit in the world of coffee, just as I know you have witnessed a ton of bullshit in your life. I think Bullshit is a common thread in all of our lives for that matter.

Everyday, I am confronted with bullshit advertising in coffee, bullshit claims about sustainability and ethics, bullshit corporate social responsibility, the list goes on and on. So perhaps there is a book in the middle of all of this mess.

I am beginning to realize that the mess is really where all of life happens. I am just starting to come to grips with how to reside in the middle of the mess and not succumb to the panicked emotions clambering for escape. To live in the middle of the mess where I am not desperately grasping for recognition and praise, affection, and affirmation. To live in the messy middle where I can be free with my emotions, but not controlled or enslaved by them. To revel in moments of anger, angst, and then in the next moment feel joy and hope without thinking that I am losing my mind. This journey of unravelling started with a vague notion that there was a destination at the end, somewhere to get off, an oasis of contentment. But as I continue down the path I am on, I am beginning to wonder if that oasis in the distance is just a mirage, and that I am destined to journey onward despite it all.

I am starting to get a glimpse that living in the middle of the mess, learning how to be content in the middle of the mess, learning how to revel in the mess, is perhaps the destination. To have the freedom to cry BULLSHIT when appropriate and then to raise a glass and shout CHEERS in celebration, all within the same day, the same moment, is not madness.

The writing of a book may not be in the cards, perhaps all I have in me are muddled thoughts on the screen of a mostly unread blog. But regardless, I am starting to understand, albeit slowly, that my journey will likely never lead me out of the middle of the mess.


wrote a couple of poems this week about some of this stuff….. this one is called Stirrings.

Unfamiliar stirrings, unwelcome, yet ironically full of promise, declared the spectators.

Dubious silent lament, accompany my journey, heavy upon my shoulders. A broken compass in one hand, a snuffed lantern in the other. 

Uneven the path extends before me, shrouded in fog and relentless chill. Stiff with uncertainty I move forward, possessed only with awkward trust.

Cruel memories of fellowship haunt me. Flashes of warm conversation and laughter weigh down my garments, as if heavy with rain.

Fleeting whispers of hope echo off the barren landscape, dragging me forward, ignoring parched lips. 

Far off, a dim light flickers just above the horizon, doubt floods in, is it only a mirage in this frozen desert? Taunts of something more emanate and beckon me forward on weary limbs. 

A crumpled and faded map leads me onward, a promised oasis of wisdom and contentment. Heavy footsteps crunch and break the silence beneath me. A gnawing pang drags me along, mocking the looming urge to succumb to the surrounding wilderness.

The Windhover

For reasons I can’t explain, this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins has been bouncing around in my head. It has also led me to remember Paul Upton who despite a rocky start, inspired me in the realm of literature during my time at the U of L.

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king- dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing, As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing! Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier! No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear, Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

A Collection of Poems (I wrote this during 1987 - Grade 12)

I stumbled upon a collection of poems that I penned during what must have been my grade twelve year of high school. I think that they are significant only in that they give me insight into what was rumbling around in my head thirty-one years ago. Oddly enough, some of the same thoughts are still rumbling around in there…. testimony to the reality that age doesn’t in itself produce wisdom. In fact, reading these words with older eyes makes me wonder where some of the wisdom has gone.

These poems were never published in 1987, so I feel it only appropriate that they get published now.



deep, unnerving

the birds all gone

the leaves all fallen,

and blown away.

The fields all barren

now stored:

grain or hay.


deep unnerving

waiting only,

for the first feathered flake.


Often confiding,

daring almost to share,

Often restless,

almost accepting support,

Often doubting,

almost accepting advice,

Often saddened,

accepting cheer, then no!

Often fearful,

nearly accepting comfort,

seldom a friend,

But gladly taken.


The sky darkens with heavy dark clouds,

rain transcending to the ground.

The stalks heavy laden, ben lazily down.

Hail ten miles over; shells that which

is already on the ground.

Hope flutters like an autumn leaf drifiting

in a breeze.

He sits watching and waiting for a

sign up above.

Time crawls slowly across the plains.

Patience prevails and a new day brings a new

light and new warmth, he looks up

smiling as if greeting an old friend.

Migration near completed; off on cold north


The lands now silent.

What once was, is now only half.

Struggling on he thinks only of next year.






loving always in a special way,



then dropping from view,



until needed again.


The sky cold and windy grey,

and as I sat there that day I pondered,

the events of that day,

perhaps is was only in my sight,

yet within it still grows,

to you probably,

always untold,

yet someday, who knows.

The man who sits here may someday seem more bold,

until that day,

I sit here and ponder,

hoping still a sunny day may come,

gazing at hidden stars up yonder,

wanting only for this day,

to finally be done.


I chanced one day upon a fawn,

a clear could morning early,

just before dawn.

No wind blew.

The grass swayed to the sound of the silence,

each blade shedding a single drop of dew.

I pondered then on man’s great achievements in science,

though never able to create the simplest form of life.

Yet I marvelled at the beauty of nature

before my eyes.

The pines awaiting the breath of day,

across the meadow up on a hill I spotted the doe,

watching me; seemingly with perfect trust.

Through the trees the sun now rose,'

and as I walked away, a shot shattered the silence.

My heart filled with rage, my mind with shame,

and I pondered once more,

Man’s Great Achievements In Science.


For most

eighteen years do pass,

slowly at first,

then almost too fast,

hurts, wants, goals, failings, wins,

losses, friends, shadows,

all are now past.

For most,


some seldom not,

but one remains!

Anticipation arises,

childhood dreams now dying,

friends crying,

come what may,

yet always take the time to ponder the past,


life goes on

but memories always last.