Chardin's Rabbit


Lilac bough limp with rain

hanging across the fence, in the arc

of Chardin's rabbit (vertical, yet falling,

tethered to a leather looped from one stiffened leg

to a thick beam in the ceiling, its shiny eye a seed

of oil.  An inverted crucifixion framed by an oval

of darkness, the rabbit's head resting

on the edge of a warn and battered butcher's block.

Pigment painstakingly built up grey over mauve,

bristled, blood-stained ears pointed, alert

at the moment of death).  I imagine the lilacs

clusters f dampened light, will spring back

buoyant when morning comes climbing

up the white fence pickets.  I step across

interlocking brick, shake the bush -

no dead rabbit masterpiece - rather,

simple woody boughs, various wet leaves,

deepening shades of green, bundles of mauve.

Cut one.  Shake it.  Vase it under carnal light.

Blossoms lift, living room fills with lilac desire.

Hopeful, I meet you with smile

and clean skin, the sun arrives for our kiss

across the frame of your bicycle.  A good kiss,

brave meeting of lips in the middle of the street.

I look up to you.  Not because you are tall (and you are tall),

but rather because our eyes lock and yours water gold,

and it isn't a reflection of sun or light changing

across your face that takes me

by the throat, it's the weight of those

gold-earth eyes, warming us both.

A kiss through opening sky, I saw the interplay

of grace and sadness on your face when you told me

about your wife.  Between us was the brilliant frame

of your bicycle, its spinning spoke, the sincere wedge

of your voice.  Above us, the oil-black cloud of the lie.


Frontenac House, Calgary

21 March 2018



“If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”

- William Blake -