Category Archives: poems-Sask

About Mila

I walk through the halls of learning
I have seasoned life’s bitter bread
With its salt — have greatly
Heaped up achievements.
Yet I have no dreams, I am driven only
By the fear of failure.
I have no place in the scheme of things.
I do, yet never accomplish anything
—— nothing to work for
Where everything is another thread in the loom
Another line in the story
Another drop to the cup
Of fulfilment.
Like a highly powered, graceful
Speed-boat, I race around
Making beautiful patterns yet
Having no destination.

I have no place among those
Whose goring is saved by their Works.

Canora, Sask. — September, 1960

To Betty

I walk through grains of field
And stumble through towns of street
And though my faults and follies
Be many
Yet know, ye who can hear, that I too
Once hoped and dreamed, saw
And sought, failed and fell
Had a heart pure and an intellect
Quick — I too could feel the
Cosmic vibrations of the universe
Yet somehow I felt that striving
I would not succeed.
But that only made me defiant more
— I am the human spirit that
Shall never die, though one part
Wallows in the mire of life
The other burns clean
And walks with the gods.

Canora, Sask. — September, 1960

Life?

Life, my friend, is a game.
And I intend to play all the parts
To live life on its many levels
Not superficially, but actually.
Like a child who when he pretends to be
An Indian, he is
An Indian.

You are what you think
And you can change what you are
By changing your thinking.
So to-day I’m a student
To-morrow ……………….

And yet there’s a little part which never enters
Into the game, but musefully watches
This great play of plays
Convinced that it must be a game
For why would people play their parts
So seriously
If it wasn’t a game?

Saskatoon, Sask. — July, 1960

On Reading Arnold (English 234)

Read, read —– remember, remember, remember.
Printed words arranged in sentences
On glossy paper —- the culture of the past,
Stuffed mummies and antique chairs.
Culture is ever among us, growing
Evolving, changing.
I read —- but I look to see how
Many more dreary pages are left
And by the process of elimination
Finish.
Beauty? Culture?
It cannot be instilled by exposing antique chairs.
It is within you fool — you only lack the courage
To let it out.
“Sweetness and light” — much playing of harps
And floating in Eternal Bliss.

Saskatoon, Sask. — July, 1960

Looking Back

Upon looking back upon my life
I find that the parts I’ve played
Although by impulse followed,
Seen to fall into their places
As if by design.

A God working behind the scenes
Prompting the heart which way to go
But yet he does not hold you to follow.
If you do, you play your part and
Take the next.
If you don’t, you still
Get by and even get on
Live and love, but you are
Never completely happy.
I know because “I have felt”.
And like a mystic cry:
“Lead on, O’Spirit
Thru the mire and confusion of the world.”

Saskatoon, Sask. — July, 1960

English 234

I climbed that distant mountain,
Waded thru sticky swamps of prose
Scaled the sharp crags of poetry
Plunged into the abyss of doubt
And pulled myself word by word
Up the frail string of thought
Until exhausted I did attain the peak
And saw through the mist of confusion
The world below.
I meet my guide at the foot
of the mountain — to tell him what I saw.

What can I tell him? He who has
Climbed more treacherous mountains?
The struggle of climbing — the glory
Of attainment — that glimpse
Of the world — the rock formations
On the way — or nothing at all —-
Silence being better than words?

But alas, one must pass, this ……. class!

Saskatoon, Sask. — July, 1960

While taking a summer school course on ’19th-Century Romantic English Literature’ at the University of Saskatchewan.

Ode to Night

O’Black, sensuous night, thickened with mystery.
The moon-goddess with veiled eye peeps in on the earth
And sleeping shapes of men —- looking for someone,
Someone lost in the servility of pursuing things.
Night that opens the doors of Imagination and lets
It wander from star to star where time is eternal.
The ancient night wind rustling in the trees, clearing the
Mists of the Mind
Which cloud it during the day
And man is once again free from the sight of things
And the worship of accumulation.
A freight truck roars through the night
Stealthily carrying its cargo of produce
To feed the gaping mouths of industry.
But it disappears like a shooting star
Into the enveloping silence of night.
A peace. And yet a peace that stirs the Mind
Prompting hope and wonderment out of
The dark crevices where they hid from
The sterilizing light of day.

Oh, wondrous night refreshing the world with your dews
The body with your cousin Sleep
And the mind with your brother Peace.
If I were prone to worship,
I would worship you;
For you show the beauty of the heavens,
Spur the body to endure yet another day of toil
And offer refuge for the minds of dreamers.

Saskatoon, Sask. — July 1960