the poetry that matters

Rebecca Power

Rebecca Power was born under a Leo sky in a Dragon year and raised in Branch, Newfoundland. With a B.A. in Literature from Memorial University, Rebecca enjoys being a writer, editor, musician and mother. Her poetry and short stories have been published with KoreaBridge, PusanWeb, the Newfoundland Herald, The Current and The Antigonish Review. She has traveled widely, sharing her poetry and songs with audiences around the world, always returning to her beloved Newfoundland purring and brimming with tales.

Church Hill, St. John's


there’s a big brown church

trying to get in through my window

it thinks I am not aware of its plan

but every morning when the fog lifts

it is a little closer to my second storey roof

I am sure that no one else notices

it is very discreet

the size of it means that it has to be slow

and very stealthy

and it is

oh it is

one of these years I am going to wake up

and the church is going to be right

outside my window

where I can touch it

and it can touch me

with its stone limbs and glass fingers

and then I will be damned for all eternity

with no virgil to guide past the rings

because I am roman catholic

and the brown fiend

with its hungry belly and its kaleidoscope eyes

is not



this morning on my way to work, something strange.

is that
no, don't be an idiot, you're in korea, not at the spur
but, oh i can't hear, it's all static and shit
static and shit, you are concise
i know what it is

no you don't, don't say it, you are an idiot
oh gentle jesus in the garden
i know it, i know it!!!
you are beginning to annoy
it's tom traubert's blues
the tom waits song, my god, you are delusional
no, just listen very closely, it's tom traubert's blues off the small change album
dancing jesus, you're right
see, told ya
i'm awesome


it was tom traubert's blues

playing from a speaker store on the corner

while i waited for a taxi...

i was so amazed

i almost chased the vegetable nazi

in his little flatbed truck to get him to

turn off that loud speaker

jesus h christ my man

don't you ever get tired

of hearing your own voice?

it's tom waits

he's big in korea.

i stood on the corner

watching taxis pass up and down the street

accepted the fact

that i would be a little late

and just basked in it


the poor koreans didn't know what to think

"look umma, there's a crazy russian girl

she's gone and lost her mind

umma i'm scared

of the crazy swaying singing russian girl"

"don't worry child

just stare at her

foreigners like that

and point, yeah, like that

that's the good boy

she'll be fine now

we helped her"

of course i am not russian

but that's the general assumption made

by koreans

english teachers have blue eyes and light hair

and look respectable

i am generally described

by koreans as "tu-puh" or tough

the dark hair and "nappen yujah"

(bad girl) image just seeps out

i heard tom waits

from a staticky speaker

on a street corner in korea...

that's pretty grand





on being here sometimes  


la la la dee da
it doesn't seem that impressive
now does it
not when you see it here like this
but if the right person were to sing it
it could fix you
break you touch you
oh yes
even kiss you

i am happy here
happy living where i am
half ways round the world
with the man that romance built
and he loves me
but this is not about him

this is about the

la la la dee da

the melody that is smothering
between concrete and glass
between high rise happiness and slum sobrieties

this place has it all
everything a person could ever desire
why there's oodles and oodles of the stuff
and work why there's so much work that you would never be without
and its cheap here
why you can eat your fill for a dollar
yes its heaven
pure heaven
(la la la dee da)

the beer is good
and cheap

the cigarettes are tolerable

if you destroy the filter
bars on every corner
and cheap mean taxis
yes just about everything a young gypsy could require
(la la la dee da)

dare i admit
one but
what good are all these alleys
if there is no drunk playing spoons
no whore selling kisses
no hobo bestowing wisdom
(la la la dee da)

this is heaven
without music


i am sorry
i cannot finish the praises that i stared to
about this place

i have gotten all caught up in the other part
the other
(la la la dee da)

what good is heaven
if the angels are too busy to sing


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