so many things in life should be measured
in a spectrum rather than a state of black or white
no one is completely good or completely bad
no book is perfect, nor wholly devoid of any value
no animal is entirely ugly or beautiful
and so I wonder
is “neurotypical” even a real thing? Or
just some word devised by some psycologist
in order to say “this is good and all else is bad”
black and white
but who doesn’t have
some sort of issue
mental challenge
some are autistic – on a spectrum
some have FASD – (S is for spectrum)
mental health issues are common – some
barely notice, while others barely cope
and so I wonder
is “neurotypical” a word that should be
thrown into the dustbin of history
so that we can all say
“I’m neurodivergent – on the spectrum
same as you”
perhaps if we throw out the absolutes
we might start to get along.

When I was young

When I was young the adults knew
So many things that I did not
The words they spoke were always true
When I was young the adults knew
“Perhaps one day I’ll know things too
When I am old I’ll know a lot”
But now I’m old – my children know
So many things that I do not.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give scales of 1 to ten a …

Of scales that rate from one to ten
The merits of some given thing
Such as the value of a book
Or of the wisdom of a king
I have to say that I approve
For ranking helps me when I buy
To purchase something that I’ll like
(Not something that will make me cry)
But sometimes scales are not so great
“That dude’s a three, that gal’s a nine”
That’s superficiality
And that is never ever fine
Some things I think are fine to rate
But sometimes scales are far too cruel
Perhaps a class on “what to judge”
Should be a class that’s taught in school
So on a scale of one to ten
I guess that even scales must score
If I’m the judge to rank such things
I give such scales a three point four.

Memories of a bike trip I took in my youth

The sun and the wind and the rain
All play their part
We liked certain parts more than others

Do you remember the signs
That warned of bears
And said, “stay in your car”?
We read them from our bikes
And laughed nervously

The journey is the point
The destination only marks the end

One thing I’ve learned:
Riding down might be more fun,
But attaining the summit is victory!

If not for our helmets
The freezing rain
On Sunwapta Pass
Would have really hurt!

Boy in post-apocalyptic world finds a toaster

It’s been a thousand winters since The Fire
When dieties in anger burned the land
what Ancients did to earn this divine ire
Is best left buried under rock and sand

There’s no such thing as science anymore
And what the Ancients knew is best forgot
And yet young Jotha likes to go explore
Where village elders said that he should not

When Jotha found an Ancient metal box
With dials on the side and holes on top
He should have left it hidden in the rocks
And yet he took it out…he could not stop

“Look what I have” he called the village chief
“What do you think about this thing I found?
If we should look quite close, it’s my belief
the Ancient’s had great knowledge without bound!

Without a word the chief walked from his tent
Then said the village elders were to meet
He told them all about the days events
Young Jotha was then bound up hands and feet

The villagers were told to build a pyre
Young Jotha learned his lesson far too late
Like Ancients he would meet his end in fire
The gods were angry once, why tempt their fate?

When things go bump

When things go bump in darkest night
The bravest soul will still face fright
When shadows chill you to the bone
And in the dark you hear a moan
What lies in wait just out of sight?

You try to think of some delight
To chase away the haunting wight
Oh how you hate to be alone
When things go bump

There is no rescue from your plight
For you have not the strength to fight
You’ve heard an otherworldly groan
And it’s as though you’ve always known
Never more will you see light
When things go bump


A Rondeau written for NaPoWhttp://napowrimo.netriMo. This is a bit darker than what I normally write.

Things a book can’t do

There’s lots of things a book can’t do
Like cook a meal or clean my room
A book can’t ride a dinosaur
Or make a cannon go KABOOM
It cannot dance it cannot sing
Nor can it play an instrument
It can’t saw boards or build a house
It’s useless mixing wet cement
I’ve never seen one shave a whale
(But do sea mammals need to shave?)
And if a king should come to town
I doubt one single book would wave
I think I might have failed to say
That this is only partially true
A book can’t do things on its own
It needs a reader. It needs YOU


The first time I participated in NaPoWriMo was in 2015. The prompt on April 1 of that year was to write a poem of negation (describe something by saying what it’s not). Today’s prompt is (once again) to write a poem of negation… So in some ways, writing another negation poem seems like “coming home”. If you’d like to read my original negation poem, you can find it here