Mercy mixed in

By a bus stop on Saanich road we set up our furniture. A sofa, arm chairs, a pole lamp–humped through the sagging front door of our listing bungalow, carried across the street and placed on the sidewalk under a ‘no parking’ sign. And there we sat drinking and smoking for half a day until the police came and watched us drag everything back across the asphalt past the stumpy caraganas releasing it all onto an overgrown front yard. In those days we stole time without trying or noticing. In those days time went nova and nothing escaped notice; nothing meinchair was lost or wasted or in need of redemption. We marked our lives under the shade of maples on boulevards and measured them by park boundaries and benches and cracks in concrete and tangles of driftwood. And we were never far from being in love. And when love ran out we fell in love with the idea of being in love. We were of no fixed address but never displaced. There was always space, place, and time. No one suffered and died under the weight of headlines. When the world grew large and unmanageable we sought out the islands. When the islands shrank we rowed out on books. When books sailed us too near the falls above the jagged rocks we berthed and hiked back to the buskers on Government street. Because on Government street mixed among the pretentious pillars breathed the mercy of their music. And beneath the egregious steeples lived the mercy of artists playing out scenes on cinder. And drifting above the sleeping poets, the laughter of office workers at lunch. All this we counted on, as I count on still, that mercy will always mix in, always recline within steel’s speed, always park itself under ‘no parking’ signs and twine its tendrils up and over the hard surfaces of life.


  1. Wow, i really like this one Dad.. Good on ya.. i also like the one before, especially the line ‘to refuse to change is to age at a rapid pace..’
    gunna have to remember that…

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