July 9th, 2017
I remember those stark compositions I invented with the eye
When you sat here. I look up once again and the sky rewards me
With hints of its dark palmistry. Sky grotto. Sparks from Greyson elders.
Old clouds on crutches hobbling from east to west across the sky
Like grievous angels genuflecting.
And so the book fills in its missing chapters.
The day’s slow needle moves ahead.
The sounds of birds awaken in me, and all my
Observations that lay mute until now have come to life.
I’m receiving full psychic messages from gopher hedgely
through the return of the western sky geist.
I’m leaning into the secret language of plants and animals.
Rampant ones make dark assignations among green and steady plants.
In the backyard an entire family of malcontent grackles are cresting on a bough.
I am the lost serpent in a nest of vipers here. The basketball net flutters
Like a lost airport sock. The tree limbed three fingers of death
Peace sign me—making a high five statement about death
and all of its dark enchantments.
Birds long on the wing have always stopped here
seeking the pillory bow’s verdant repose.
They too sit and think awhile like a moon stick in an elliptic trance.
©Denis Robillard, 2017
The Plath Thing
I remember doing the Plath thing circa 1994.
After I came back from out west
Burning all the letters, rhyming off incantations
In a rough circle on the farmhouse.
In my own private Devon roundstone moment of clarity
Burning all of the false words still clinging to me.
I burned her and all of her old Winnipeg letters.
Made secret incantations to the blind muses
Bartered the heap of ashen papers to the Fates.
Like I said the dark ones have great appetites
That have always fed my need.
Now my achey grey heart turns like
An abused weather vane. There is no center.
TED: You said you needed a strong woman
To collar your manhood.
Like you I fancied myself a poet maudit
and celebrated it.
She petted and stroked the beautiful velvet animal
Of your thickness. But that was never enough.
Sylvia was never enough.
About the Author: Denis Robillard was born in northern Ontario in 1966 and now teaches high school and resides in Windsor, Ontario with his wife Joyce and children. For the past 15 years, his poems have appeared in the small presses and online magazines across Canada, The USA and England and Scotland. He has over 300 publications to date. Some of those include: Rattle, Rampike, Word Riot, Nashwaak Review, Lummox, Cliff Soundings (Michigan), Orange Room Review, The Windsor Review, Northern Cardinal Review and many more. In 2011 Robillard was published in a Windsor Review sports issue. His poems were also featured in a Black Moss Press War of 1812 Anthology called An Unfinished War. In 2015, his full-length book of poems called The History of Water was published by Cranberry Tree Press. He is the 2015 winner of the Ted Plantos Memorial Award for Poetry. In 2018, his full collection of poems called Ask The River was published by Black Moss Press. He is also an avid photographer and traveller.