ecstatic yunyun


st. columba
A- G
st columba has praying sites
F G
for voyages ’t come n’ go
he kneels in silence
reflecting on the ocean
its corners beyond vision
struggle for sky
A- G
lines he must not cross

F E
and stars that have no light
F C F C
chorus: small people welcome st. columba
F C G
who turns their lives into a cross
F C F C
hills exultation, “christ is my druid,
F C G
turn your eye to this new god”

until a clump of rocks
could give him rest
the ocean would recede
to heather ‘neath his head
night lost her moon
he slept until morn
the islands floated near
the coracle shone

chorus: small people welcome st. columba
who turn their lives into a cross
hills exultation, “christ is my druid”
turn your eye to this new god

he sang in thanksgiving
these his first notes
the herring in a dance
around the old fishboat
he’s bathing in the salt
swaddled by ocean
repeats an ancient prayer
A- D
the melancholy unspoken

i am setting my Aunt Flo’s book ‘The Barra Poems’ to music for the Princeton Traditional Music Festival in Princeton next month. i play this on my Great Uncle John’s button accordion.

cat mac’s outstanding!
out standing where?
out standing on the corner of main and hastings

still looking for, as Jamie puts it, bill’s ‘ecstatic yunyun’
like when she saw Al Stewart playing Year of the Cat in a little club on Granville,
later Al ate cold Campbell’ s soup out of the can with a spoon

Germany’s thirty percent wind & solar
Denmark’s one hundred percent wind
Sweden will soon be fossil free

to not break the sky
protect the rain forest
stop Kinder Morgan, Site C Dam
& the TransMountain Pipeline,

our last best hope of earth
The Green Party & NDP replace Christy Clark
(some think it’s up to the Queen now)

less summers ahead of me now than behind
an Air BNB from Zurich sleeps in my living room, on her whirlwind whistle-stop bike tour Vancouver to Whistler, Banff to Port Hardy & all around Vancouver Island

a bad idea, i never slept & the herpes i just
got for the first time last week, came back
how does one get herpes? the doc says it’s everywhere
think i caught in St. Paul’s Hospital last week

a wee woman houses a wee dog in her wee purse on the beach at English Bay
“no dogs on the beach” says the cop on the Clydesdale
who takes a dump larger than the dog itself, trots off

i watch the dog watch the sea
go home, watch the cat watch tv
nibble kibble

Joy Kogawa waits on the corner of Davie &Jervis
a Douglas Fir falls beside the highrise next door
under the supermoon under stars understand

through maples and moonlight without my glasses, i see snowflakes
and delicious looking leaves

in Granview Park, i’ve the grand view of cops chasing a man
at gunpoint. outside Brittania Secondary the gunshot
the sound i see

& my buddy John injected a boy dying of fentanyl
sitting on the toilet
in his shelter with narcon. the boy snapped back

a dog ate pizza full of sewing needles in Strathcona Park
the man beside me in Shoppers asks for viagra
some yahoo kicks the bejesus out of someone
oh, this road map of my face

i press back my cuticles with my thumbnail
spit pink nail polish out of my mouth
tylenol gives me my day back

i try to make myself unremarkable
unruffle my mind
the rumblings of my heart

come morning light
love is like a little bird upon the sea
no great beast slouches

says love

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