From the fishpond

I. Seasons

(A poem in four linked haiku)

We orange, we silver,
we brazen dazzlers twisting
around Summer’s knees:

gold torpedoes flirt
with air and blue sky, black bugs
sucked from water’s lip

into hungry throats.
A daily feast of algae.
We grow fat. But now

comes Fall. Beware – and
clupe with bulging eye on the
hand in Winter’s glove.


(A feeding behaviour common to carp is called “cluping”. Cluping carp are sucking whatever is caught in the water’s surface film – anything, in fact, that looks reasonably natural. While feeding, they may be in shoals of six to more than 100 fish, and they can be located with binoculars or heard at distances of up to 100 yards. Source:


Those tenacious tendrils

Squash plants: how the tendrils cling
fiercely to the nearest thing

persistently insinuating
yet with the merest touch.

Climbing up the chain link fence
their daintiness is all pretense

the weight they hold – it makes no sense!
They’re strong as Jean Valjean.

Melons, gourds, meaty orange Hubbards
will soon be resting in our cupboards

that is, if we can move those mothers:
those tenacious tendrils.


Audio version:

Mabelline the dancing queen

was real sweet, she didn’t mean
to make a mess,

but when she saw
the earth, she couldn’t stop her paw

from digging down and shovelling up
mountains of the rich, wet stuff

until the plant sagged toward the ground
and silt and soil piled all around.

Then, with her tail puffed up for joy,
Mabel grabbed her favourite toy

and threw herself, while Mommy slept,

into the dirt dance.


In the morning, before dawn,
still dark, not a lightbulb on,

stumbling awake, Mom promptly trod
directly through those piles of sod.

She tracked them through the house and then
she turned and tracked them back again!

Wondering at her kitten’s glee,
Mom flicked the switch, so she could see…

and after she had sighed, and wept

took her broom and carefully swept…

while Mabel

threw herself into the dirt dance.


Audio version:

Written when Mabel was just wee, and published for her sixth birthday, 2014