the poetry that matters

Paul Barclay

Paul Barclay is an ex-pat Canadian now living permanently in Korea.  He studied literature at the University of Manitoba and the University of Toronto.  He published a chapbook Creole (Pachyderm Press, Winnipeg, 1993) and has edited and published a variety of poetry zines. 

The Rattle

a rattle, i shook it
a riddle she could
solve herself, wholly
involved, a knave laughed
threw the dice down
there a thigh does dance
a patriarch put a rock
on top of an art prof
for patterning a fop tune
not for paraffin night proofs
she insisted, chanced to
do ten chants, astonished

where did that one come from
a weird death took my farm
awarded the tree calm form
more fame, accord, a thought doorway
stood, waited
while stairwell stories
unfolded loving
and realms of aged deer dens
no truly savage dare attains
snow tore a ditch, fish lay resting
under dark ice sheets
a stash, a sacred return

On the Road

he wondered who wintered
there, did the holy thread die, the hole
through to death heal though road teeth hail
on our heads, seed horns
he questioned how crows tend
what a prof’s weight proves
knew the fear sowed in the forest
now sheep stir, hush, a downtrodden soul issued a caveat, a meted word
in which posture he should enter at a noise lashed cave at midday wild
he doubted, he dabbed a toe
into his wounds’ wide gaps such that
no two hazy winds would keep a stashed thought
in the same moss throne
without raising alarms
a small noose, a rod, though who
put grim tools like these here
withered reason looms
some lure new swords through
no one knows, oh, snow noon
wine dooms, ill windmills
pied grooms toil, lick thus hair
locks kept in a tin chest
luck escaped not, no jest

“a unique knock”

a unique knock
against casting
stone notes
into a pool’s sand lap
a planted sloop doing
is that someone anonymous toothes
constituted coins toted
in bags of fake bane
nab a coffee coloured
faux cabin collared
by a sung horseman
passing a hearse mine
two divas advised
chuckled chocolate
abridgements of ridged mounts
dressed in red knots
while there’s still
a will, there’s a toll
tricking us all into
a tiny listing crate

“a file of life”

a file of life
held in the hold
peeled and pled
two-plied and toppled
and impaled on the maple
sword sowed
into a candy cone note
adjusted a two-chested
nude and
mildly molded
amidst mists

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