There are no warts on wasps
or blemishes on bees.
Birds eggs have such simple symmetry
clouds are what they are
oceans deep and flat
raging swells and crashing curls on rocks;
they hold that perfect beauty
even as they change.
Does the ragged petal of the flower,
the scabby apple on the tree
see itself apart from all the rest,
marred and out of sorts,
as I see the birthmark and the scar,
one arthritic toe,
my creased and rolling face,
this mind bent toward
the flawless execution of all tasks,
this impatient hunger for results
pristine and pure?
This is a sickness to be
locked up inside oneself
when I should be aware and know
about the scars and scratches
on the bees, jagged juts,
knife-edged waves
blotched blossoms
windblown fruit
rotting on the ground
flesh that never stays the same,
fading words laid down
that never reach a perfect state.

Watching the Collapse

We are bucking up scruff cedar
from the cleared subdivision lot in town,
once a thick stand of forest, now
a rolling dried out, root ridden
scrape of earth, plotted
for more cookie cutter homes
with neat and tidy lawns,
cultivars, bark mulch presentations
which no self-respecting wild
creature would call home.
The tree frogs, snakes, and their food
are moving north, just a hop
a slither ahead of the booming creep.
The deer move too, lurking
in that ugly forest just beyond
the clipped hedges,
the short cropped grass;
they sneak back at night
to eat the roses, turn those
sweet petals into fur and bone.
We buck up the straight lengths of cedar,
haul out the pieces, new posts for the pergola;
the rest is drying back into the earth,
destined next week to be hauled away
for chipping, burying, or laid to rest
where new ecosystems can be employed.
In a year, roads, curbs
driveways, lot lines, fences,
all the little urban compartments
that make this life
but on the edge where all the creatures hide
the corners curl in and collapse upon themselves.


David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island. He is the founder and editor of Ascent Aspirations Magazine since 1997. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in over 40 journals including Three Candles, Regina Weese, Ardent, and Ygdrasil. He has published a collection of his poetry, Going to the Well (2004), a collection of short fiction, The Dark Side of the Billboard (2006). This spring, 2006, HMS Press, London, Ontario will publish a small chapbook of his poetry. He is at present working on his second collection of poetry, Barefoot After Dark. Currently he is the Federation of BC Writers Regional Director for The Islands Region. This summer he will be a finalist judge for the Pacific Region Arts Council’s Writing Competition.

Copyright © 2006 David Fraser